Growth Trends for Related Jobs
If your current employer is closing the business, or you’re just ready for a new challenge, a career change might be just the thing you need to feel re-energized. Burnout and a feeling that you may not have chosen the right career field are other reasons for a change of career at 40. There are several career change suggestions that can remedy the situation and even provide a more lucrative compensation package. With a little bit of courage, self-reflection and some training, you can transition into something that will take you through retirement.
1. Data Science Professional
Diving into data and making sense of it is the heart of the job description of a data scientist. This emerging field is becoming a critical need for businesses. Analytics help organizations learn more about customer habits, the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, and even the best way to recruit and retain college students.
A background in math or computer science is helpful, but you can also enter the field by taking a few courses, or an intensive workshop can give you the skills that you need. If you’re really ambitious, you can earn a master’s degree in data science.
In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the median annual salary for the category computer and information research scientists was $118,370. A 19 percent growth is expected in this field between now and 2026. You may even be able to assume this role for your current company if you demonstrate your skills and show interest in this position, and it might be one of the best midlife career changes you can make.
2. Personal Trainer
Becoming a personal trainer is one of the best midlife career changes to consider if you’re passionate about wellness. You can work in a fitness center or start your own business, providing private coaching for individuals. A background in exercise is a plus, but you can become a personal trainer without formal training.
To solidify your credibility, consider earning personal trainer certification. You can learn all about weight training, reconditioning, performance training and corrective exercise in an online course. Understanding the fundamentals of operating a business will help you manage the administrative aspects of this career.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual salary of $39,820 in 2018. A focus on fitness and a push for people to adopt wellness-based lifestyles is reflected in the projected 10 percent growth of jobs in this field.
3. Project Manager
Organizational and administrative skills will set you up for a change of career at 40. Virtually all companies and organizations are in need of a professional who can serve as a project manager. If you’re a multi-tasker, enjoy working with people and are creative, throw your name in the hat for a project manager position.
You won’t need any special training or certification to land this job. Repackage your resume to highlight relevant experience and accentuate the skills that are congruent with making projects happen.
The pay for this position varies, based upon the type of organization. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported median annual salaries for business operations specialists at $67,280 in 2014.
4. Social Media Specialist
Are you social media savvy? If you’re an expert user of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, consider turning your skills into a new career. Since businesses are dependent upon social media to cultivate clients and sell merchandise, a social media specialist is one of the best midlife career changes available in the marketplace.
You don’t need formal training to enter this career field, but it can be challenging to break into the business. If you’re currently working for a company that’s seeking these services, try proposing a role change. You’ll also want to make sure that your social media accounts are on point, so you can provide evidence of your skills.
In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the median annual salary for a social media specialist was $56,770. If you work independently, you may be able to earn more, but you won’t have benefits like insurance.
If you have a knack for sales and are goal driven, there are a variety of midlife career change options that you can consider. Apply your experience and skills and use your personality to sell a career change to a prospective employer. Most of these positions don’t require a formal education. Here are a few occupations that are sales oriented, along with their median annual salaries, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018:
- Advertising ‒ $51,740
- Insurance ‒ $50,600
- Real Estate ‒ $50, 300
- Retail ‒ $24,340
- Securities and Commodities ‒ $64,120
- Travel ‒ $38,700
- Wholesale and Manufacturing ‒ $61,660
A fundraiser plays a critical role in supporting the bottom line of colleges, hospitals and other non-profit organizations. Working as a cultivator, a fundraiser develops relationships with prospective donors and entices them to give money to an organization. If you’re goal-oriented, enjoy schmoozing with people and have a passion for sales, becoming a fundraiser might be an ideal change of career at 40.
There isn’t a formal degree program for this job, but you can go to workshops and seminars to learn the fundamentals of fundraising and development work. If you want to work as a fundraiser at a college or university, you’ll need an undergraduate degree.
Pay varies for this position, depending upon the organization that hires you. Some fundraising jobs offer a salary plus a commission based upon the amount of the donations that you secure. Others will offer a flat compensation package. In 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics published the annual median salary for fundraisers as $56,950.
Rooted in sales, a recruiter searches for talented people and convinces them to join a company or organization. Strong people skills and a background in sales are necessary for success in this career field. You can do this job as an independent contractor or work as a human resources specialist within an organization.
In most cases, you’ll need a college degree, but it doesn’t have to be in a particular discipline. If you’ve been working for a company and feel that your skills would be a good match for a recruiting position, this job may be high on your list of midlife career change options.
The pay for this position is contingent upon the hiring organization. You may find an employment firm that will pay you a bonus for each job match that you make. If you work for a company as a human resources specialist, you’ll have a stable compensation package. You can even start your own executive headhunting business.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual salary for a human resources specialist in 2018 was $60,880.
If you’re ready to apply your experience and expertise to an entrepreneurial endeavor, open your own consulting business. As a leader in your field, applying your knowledge to other organizations is an innovative career change suggestion to consider. You won’t need any special training, but you’ll need a keen business sense to recruit clients, handle billing and execute marketing strategies.
The salary for a consultant varies by your content area and industry needs. You can work at your own pace and take on as many clients as you need to meet your income goals. The contacts that you have from your work in the field can serve as a solid customer base as you start your own consulting business.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Human Resources Specialists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Project Coordinator
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Fitness Trainers and Instructors
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Computer and Information Research Scientists
Dr. Kelly Meier has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and has 30+ years of experience in higher education. She is the author and co-author of 15 books and serves as a consultant in K-12 and higher education with Kinect Education Group. She is the co-owner of a small business and a regular contributor for The Equity Network. She has numerous publications published by Talico, Inc., DynaTEAM Consulting, Inc. and [Kinect Education Group](http://www.kinecteducationgroup.com).