Chances are if you’re looking to change jobs, you want a career that gives you something you’re lacking right now. Here are seven popular ideas.

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Change is in the office air. A recent poll revealed that more than half of U.S. workers want to change jobs.

If you’re one of these would-be career changers, you’ve probably got a good reason for switching paths—needing more satisfaction, less stress, a new challenge, more flexibility…the list goes on. But no matter why you’re changing, chances are you’re looking for a job that gives you something your current career can’t—something a little different.

So to jump start your transition, here are the perks and quirks of seven top jobs for career changers. Would you change it up for one of these careers?

1. For less stress, become a dietitian

As a dietitian, you introduce clients to whole new worlds of flavor. Using your expertise on healthy meals, you guide others toward the best nutritional choices. Not only can this work be personally rewarding; according to a 2012 CareerCast survey, dietitian is one of the top 10 least stressful careers.

Average salary: $33,000 – $75,000
Job growth: 20 percent by 2020 (faster than average)

2. For more variety, become a consultant

Consultants are paid to let people pick their brains. So if you’ve got experience in a specific industry or you’ve mastered a specific skill (like public speaking), a consulting position could be right up your alley. Variety will be the spice of your life as you advise on different projects, with different people, at different companies.

Average salary: $34,000 – $107,000
Job growth: Varies by field

3. For more creativity, become a graphic designer

If you’ve got an artistic flare and an eye for composition, the world of graphic design offers many different areas to explore. You could work on advertising campaigns, print publications, websites, packages and even films. Competition can be fierce, but your creative muscles are sure to get a workout.

Average salary: $26,000 – $77,000
Job growth: 13 percent by 2020 (about average)

4. For more stability, become an accountant

Love the calm of crunching numbers? Want security in the knowledge that your career will pretty much always be in demand? Check out accounting. In this job, you use your math skills, your calculator and your knowledge of financial regulations to help clients keep as much of their money as possible.

Average salary: $39,000 – $107,000
Job growth: 16 percent by 2020 (faster than average)

5. For less routine, become a hair stylist

If you really want to break out of corporate culture, renting your own hair salon chair is a bold option. Once you’re wielding the scissors with style, you can have the freedom and flexibility to set your own hours, interact with a wide variety of clients and get creative with your clipping.

This job is physically demanding and it doesn’t usually come with a huge paycheck, but if you want a career that’s flexible, social and creative, it could be worth it.

Average salary: $16,000 – $42,000
Job growth: 14 percent by 2020 (about average)

6. For more meaning, become a teacher

Whether you’re interested in a traditional teaching role (like elementary school teacher) or a more out-side-the-box option (like yoga instructor), imparting knowledge to students is not easy work. But at the end of the day, your influence can make a huge difference in the lives of those you work with.

Average salary: $35,000 – $83,000
Job growth: Varies by field

7. For more impact, become a nurse

Nursing is an in-demand, well-paying, personally rewarding career track with good benefits and non-traditional hours. No wonder it’s a popular choice for career changers. Plus, there’s a range of different education tracks to train for this career. If you want work where you can really see the results of your labor, nursing could be a great move.

Average salary: $44,000 – $95,000
Job growth: 22-26 percent by 2020 (much faster than average)

Are you thinking about a career change? Why?

Salary and job outlook data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Annie Favreau works for Inside Jobs, a site that helps people discover careers they’ll love and find the education to make it happen. For more career change advice, check out 7 Steps to Prepare for a Successful Switch.


  1. Alison Elissa Coaching

    I’d add two more wants to your list- more challenge and more responsibility. There’s not necessarily a easy profession to name as an answer for these wants, but I think boredom and lack of ownership are something a lot of entry level workers struggle with.

  2. Emma Fogt

    Dietitians get the least stress for career change.

  3. Larissa O'Connell

    Westwood College has a thriving graphic design degree program ( and we are really excited about what our students are achieving in and out of the classroom. Great to see graphic design as one of the top recommendations on this list.

  4. Careerleaf

    Allison, agreed! More challenge is an important one. Many people are unhappy in their current position because they feel they are underutilized or not given challenging enough tasks. And if you are thinking of switching to one of these (or other) careers, ask people in your new industry why they like their jobs. Make sure that your new job will fulfill your current needs and that the change will make you happier, not more miserable. Great article!

  5. Teeny Tot Kids

    Great list somthing to think about! I choose number 3 any way.

  6. CritiqueMe

    Great suggestions! If you’re wondering how your coworkers think you’re doing at work and how you can improve, check out for their anonymous feedback!

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  8. A Kleener Image, LLC

    I think another option that should be mentioned is being a business owner. Granted there might be some stress as you get started with financial concerns but you truly get to open up your mind to so many creative ideas as you plan that you may not in a typical job. Take carpet cleaning for example, I get to delve into marketing strategies, risk analysis, sales, and all kinds of other interesting things as a business owner.

  9. Joaquin Alberto Mendez Gaztambide

    Hi colleagues! Boy, am I ever glad to hear that being a dietitian is not that stressful a job because back here in NYC where I live and work it certainly can be quite stressful depending on who you work for. Trust me, I have been there. Be well everybody!

  10. David Mays

    Thank you for this useful list. In this economy one may have to change careers often and your list was very helpful. http//

  11. Anonymous

    I’ve done lots of jobs in my life; I’ve been a bartender, a waiter, a nightclub manager, a project manager and a traffic manager. I’ve also been a graphic designer… and it’s the one job, both on my list and the one above, that I’d recommend anyone to avoid like the plague. There’s absolutely nothing creative about it (yes, you heard me right), the pay is meagre, the hours are long and the best treatment you can expect from your employers is to be treated like a gifted retard. It’s the most demanding and unrewarding job I’ve ever had.

  12. VanessaElizebeth

    Thanks for the great advice.

    What is your career

  13. ChaseSimms

    Teaching is not what you think it is. To anyone considering being a public school teacher, I suggest “googling” articles about high teacher turnover rate. I would also suggest volunteering in a classroom as much as possible. Teaching is a thankless, 60 plus hours a week, underpaid, stressful profession.

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