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How to Change Careers

Updated on October 3, 2015
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish is an award-winning Employment & Training pro with regional records and tens of thousands placed into gainful employment.


Time To Change Careers

Is it time for a career change?

You may be the victim of a downsizing or merger layoff that leaves you without your long-term job and career after 10 or 20 or more years. You might be ready to graduate from a program with a degree that is not in your current line of work but in one to which you want to transition soon. You may be burned out from a job that does not suit you as well. You may be a young adult that has found, after three moths in the job, that the career field you chose is simply not right for you and you set out to seek your Dream Job. Or, you could be a retiree seeking to return to work for a variety of reasons.

Congratulations! You are part of a growing sector of Americans that is transitioning into a second, third - even a fourth career. This is becoming the norm, so do not worry that you are different from the rest of America and will never work again. Further, the number of Green Collar and related jobs will increase at a rate during the next 100 years that will far outpace the rate of jobs lost to overseas outsourcing.


Education May Be Part Of the Process

There may be no need for you to pursue a substantial amount of further education in order to secure and thrive in a new job and career in a different field of work than you have currently been pursuing. Listed below are several high-paying jobs in healthcare/medicine, criminology, and fashion design that need no further academic degree if you already possess one. Some need a certificate earned in a short-term course.

In order to pay for additional education, your employer's Outsourcing Services connected to layoff package can help, or you can contact your local County Jobs Office, County Workforce Development Office, or WIA [Workforce Investment Act] offices. Look them up in the county government listings in the phone directory or call the County Commissioners Office for information. Sometimes these workforce offices are listed as something akin to Michigan Works!

You May Be Interested in a Legal Profession


Jobs requiring less than a BA/BS degree and offering high earnings.

Paralegal: $39,130

Paralegals are legal assistants to attorneys. They prepare briefs for trials, hearings, and depositions and do other interesting and sometimes complex procedures.

Many have an AA degree or a certification through a paralegal training program, although a few attorney's practices may still train a select small percentage of people on the job. Certificates take only a few months of training, however.

CSI Style - Forensic Science Technician: $44,010

Collect, catalogue, and analyze physical evidence and date, and document lab results to solve crimes and convict the right individuals. Computer skills, concentration, and confidentiality are required.

Any training in math and science you already have would be a big plus and an AA degree or a certificate in a physical science would be good.

Fashion Design
Fashion Design | Source

Fashion Design Is Fun and Lucrative

Fashion Designer: $55,840

One of my younger clients successfully pursued education in a vocational school toward a certificate in Fashion Design. He gained recognition and work while still in school! Innovation is key to success in this line of work and it helps if you are passionate about it.

Watch Project Runway to see excellent examples of this. It also takes a bit of an engineering eye, requiring visual- spatial skills in order to be a success in pattern-making.

Designers may have a two-year AA degree in fashion design, fine arts, or a related field. My student is studying Graphic Design as well. He is creating demonstration uniforms for a senior project and for our next martial arts tournament.

Healthcare Jobs Are Perfect For Some Individuals

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: $52,490

Again, this job is being included in Travel Medicine more regularly in light of the shortage of healthcare professionals in many portions of the country and world the world. Diagnostic medical sonographers work in obstetrics and gynecology [OB/GYN], abdominal/breast sonography, or neurosonography - brain scans, other neuro-scans. An AA degree necessary includes anatomy, physics, and physiology and if you have had some of this coursework within another degree, then you may be ale to skip those curses.

Dental Hygienist: $58,350

Dental Hygienists have become one of the healthcare occupations, along with Dentists, that has been picked up in the overall Travel Nursing and Travel Medicine field that is very lucrative. If you are free to travel, this may be the right career transition for you.

Dental hygienist is a job title in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' group of ensured fast-growing occupations for the long term. Practice requires the associate degree or a certificate from a school accredited by the American Dental Association Commission of Dental Accreditation.


Green Jobs Are Great!

Green Jobs: ~$30Ks and abover annually

Careers that promote sustainability and environmental stewardship are cutting edge and mainstream already in many major cities - Washington DC, Philadelphia and western metropolises. Interestingly, for hundreds of years in China, when workers have retired, many have been assigned volunteer duties in sustainable avocation.

In America, these are paid positions that are increasing the nation's economy and will continue to do so long term. One of the best things I have ever seen along these lines is a water treatment plant in the America West that treats water by running is through a long system of plant roots. The water is crystal clear on the other end, without the use of chemicals and filters that must be disposed and discarded. Plant life can help boost American economy with many more new jobs and greatly reduced costs.

If you are in the market for a new career, try the Green market of jobs. Networking will help -- Volunteer at a Green agency and make your connections toward a fulfilling career that not only provides income, but a sense of greater - or new - purpose.

© 2007 Patty Inglish


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    • profile image

      Lisa 3 years ago

      As a sonographer, I am happy to see that it is included in your list. What I want to add is that sonographer salaries are highly influenced by the 4 factors: education, specialty, experience and location. In order to get a good pay, sonography students should always only consider an accredited sonography program, not a non-accredited sonography program. Source:

    • profile image

      Sonography Technician 7 years ago

      Medical Sonography become an essence part of Medical Science. So there is a vast career opportunity in this field. As per the industry news sources the average salary of sonographers is approximately $62,00 a year and there are also great opportunity for growth as per experience and training.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Rudra! - That's true about risks. We need to weight risks against benefits and then make a decision. Thanks for that good input!

    • Rudra profile image

      Rudra 10 years ago

      Nicely explained. But wondering if a career change would be appropritate for some. There are some risks involved.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Let me know how it goes Whezo. What will you be writing?

    • profile image

      Wehzo 10 years ago

      Great top Patty. I work for the Auto industry, and we are experiencing a huge downsizing. Although my job is not directly eliminated, the complexion of the work place is changing rapidly, and I'm not referring to race, gender or, ethinicity. I am referring to the new work place rules. I am preparing to go into writing full time. If the Lord is willing, and the creek don't rise, the transition will be successful.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 10 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That's great! Three of the companies I worked for closed when the principals died or non-profit funding expired.

      It seems that the most employers want to hire and work only 25 to 35-year-olds, but what do you do after 35, especially with the retirement age increasing per the feds? Freelance and start business or go into the fields I have described above I think.

      Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your own hubs.

    • rogerbeta profile image

      rogerbeta 10 years ago from Thrakomakedones

      "You may be the victim of a downsizing or merger layoff that leaves you without your long-term job and career after 10 or 20 or more years"

      My company closed, and after more than 30 years in a very specialized field, it is difficult to start a new career, your article gives courage and insight to look at the posibilities for other fields.

      I decided to go into Internet Marketing, and I am enjoying my new career.