Most professionals change careers at least once over the course of their lifetime. Although it can be unsettling, it’s a natural occurrence that comes over time as interests and priorities change. Think about it: Do you expect your interests at age 20 to be the same ones you have at age 55?
The key to a successful career isn’t staying on the same track, but rather making good transitions from one industry to the next. If you’re interested in getting out of your current profession and trying something new, you have a lot of variables to consider: your personal satisfaction, your income needs, your job stability and your opportunity for advancement. For many professionals, the health field might be able to offer some attractive working conditions for professionals coming from several different walks of life.
Job stability and growth
If you’re looking for a recession-proof profession, it’s hard to beat health care. Although it sounds morbid, illness and injury are only on the rise as the age of the general population increases.
Business in health care tends to remain pretty constant, and with populations increasing, the number of positions will also increase across the board. So whether you want to become a doctor, a nurse, a medical technician or another medical professional, you can bank on pretty solid job security for the foreseeable future.
Choose-your-own adventure in education
One of the challenges of changing careers is facing the educational requirements. If you’re an older person in particular, a long trek back through training programs, college and graduate school might be a turn-off. The same goes for anyone who simply doesn’t want to spend a big chunk of their time back in school.
But the medical field is filled with positions offering varying levels of education. A nurse’s educational requirements, for example, are much less than that of a general surgeon. And even if you’ve got a lot less education than a nurse, you could easily find a job as a medical assistant. Medical assistant educational programs can offer quick training that opens doors to a stable job with a decent living wage, and it also lets you engage other medical professionals during the course of your responsibilities.
High income at various levels of qualification
In many cases, health care jobs offer strong income levels considering the level of education required. A medical assistant, for example, earns an average income of more than $28,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other end, a general surgeon can earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in income every year. Your income requirements might depend on what you earned in a previous profession, but no matter what route you choose, you can expect your pay to be strong in relation to the education you carry into your work.
Switching professions can be a scary and troublesome problem, but even older professionals should recognize that it’s never too late to pursue a different line of work. The most important step is doing your research beforehand and having an actionable plan in place before you jump ship from your current career. But if you do your homework and lay out your next steps, you should be able to make a seamless transition that finds you rejuvenated and more satisfied with your daily work.