Get VIP invites to recruiting events with popular employers! Sign up here.

First Time on Brazen?

Spice Up Your Inbox!

Get invites to exclusive career events, networking opportunities and top career advice.



Reinvent Yourself: Top 15 Jobs for Starting Over in 2013

Pin It  

new plant life

Reinvention is no easy task. But when it comes to your career, starting over is sometimes the best—or only!—option. Whether you just got dropped from a job, are looking for more meaningful work or just feel the need to break out in different direction, a good place to start is by checking out careers with a strong future.

We’ve rounded up 15 jobs in high-growth areas that don’t require a PhD—in fact, most of these careers require less than two years of training. Reinvention isn’t the smoothest road, but if 2013 is your year to start fresh, it’s time to get pumped.

Start brainstorming with these quick-change career ideas:

1. Social Media Manager

Getting yelled at for updating your Pinterest board? Not at this job. As a social media manager, you understand how to use social platforms to build brands, expand markets and keep your clients connected to the latest trends. This field is new, so in-the-trenches expertise can make you an authority.

Average Salary: $23,000 – $86,000
Job Outlook: +14 percent

2. Convention Planner

If logistics is your game, planning conventions—from scouting out spaces to wrangling transportation—could be a good fit. Most convention planners have a bachelor’s degree, but most of your job-specific training will take place on the clock. This field is a great choice if you have a background in business or food but need a change of pace.

Average Salary: $27,000 – $77,000
Job Outlook: +44 percent

3. Energy Consultant

Energy consultants, also known as energy auditors, help protect the environment, increase efficiency and combat waste by inspecting buildings and homes for air leakages. This career is part of the rise in green jobs, so while the specific job outlook is currently unknown, it’s a strong bet that this career path will be in high demand for years to come. And while an associate’s degree can help, most energy consultants only need to complete a short certificate program to get going.

Average Salary: $34,000 – $107,000
Job Outlook: N/A

4. Interpreter

In our increasingly globalized world, cross-linguistic communication is more important than ever. The most important requirement to be an interpreter is total language fluency. Having a bachelor’s degree in your language of choice is a good idea, but many companies will provide on-the-job training if your language skills are up to scratch.

Average Salary: $23,000 – $86,000
Job Outlook: +42 percent

5. Yoga Teacher

If you’re looking for a more harmonious job, this career path could provide the right balance. As a yoga teacher, you guide your clients toward proper technique, helping students achieve physical strength and mental calmness. If you already practice yoga, it takes 200 hours of additional training to become a certified teacher.

Average Salary: $17,000 – $63,000
Job Outlook: +24 percent

6. Travel Guide

Looking for more adventure in your life? As a travel or tour guide, you get to share your passion for a city, country or historical monument with fellow travelers. You don’t necessarily need formal training for this job. You do need an entrepreneurial streak, a grasp on local culture and a high level of people skills.

Average Salary: $17,000 – $56,000
Job Outlook: +20 – 28 percent

7. Web Developer

If you’re a computer geek who dabbles in code, diving into website development full-time could be the right way to get a fresh start. Depending on where you want to work, education requirements vary widely. If you already have a tech background, you can start with online courses or a program certificate. Code newbies can begin with a programming course at a local college or through an online coding class.

Average Salary: $43,000 – $120,000
Job Outlook: +22 percent

8. Commercial Driver

As a long-distance truck driver, you’ll have the open road ahead of you and no boss looking over your shoulder. Abide by the laws of the road, get a commercial driver’s license, take a short course and you’re on your way.

Average Salary: $25,000 – $57,000
Job Outlook: +21 percent

9. Personal Trainer

Part motivator, part Energizer Bunny, personal trainers help gym-goers tone up, lose extra flab and actually fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. This hands-on job can be a good fit if you’re looking for work that will keep you active and let you connect with lots of people. Training can take a few months or up to two years based on where you choose to work, so do some research at your local gym to figure out your best option.

Average Salary: $17,000 – $63,000
Job Outlook: +24 percent

10. PR Specialist

PR specialists are all about good press. You’re in charge of creating and promoting a positive image for a company by building strong relationship with the media. If you’ve got a background in media or communications, you can apply your skills and get on-the-job training for a fast-paced career revamp.

Average Salary: $31,000 – $95,000
Job Outlook: +21 percent

11. Licensed Practical Nurse

There’s big demand for medical careers, but if you’re not ready to commit to the 10 years of training required to become a doctor, there are much faster routes into the industry—like becoming an LPN. With just one year of training, you can don your scrubs and start making a difference in your patients’ lives. Plus, this career offers advantages—like good benefits, flexible scheduling and non-traditional hours—that can make starting over a more enticing idea.

Average Salary: $30,000 – $56,000
Job Outlook: +22 percent

12. Mediator

“We can work it out” is the mantra of mediators. In this role, you bring a little more peace to the world by helping clashing parties come to a compromise without going to court. And as the cost of court battles continues to skyrocket, your skills will be in demand by people and companies turning to alternative resolution solutions. Start with a conflict resolution course at your local community college.

Average Salary: $31,000 – $116,000
Job Outlook: +14 percent

13. Crime Scene Tech

Collecting and cataloging criminal evidence is not for people who get queasy at the sight of blood, but this job can be an engaging challenge for the right person. If you’re looking for a job that will use your science and sleuthing skills—and get you out from behind your desk—this could be a good match. Training requirements are all across the board, so check with your local police branch to nail down education details.

Average Salary: $33,000 – $83,000
Job Outlook: +19 percent

14. Nuclear Medicine Tech

This job is way more than just a cool title. As a nuclear medicine tech, you use radioactive substances to help diagnose and treat patients. To break into this industry, you only need an associate’s degree (in nuclear medicine) and a dedication to good patient care.

Average Salary: $49,000 – $92,000
Job Outlook: +19 percent

15. Entrepreneur

What better way to start fresh than by starting something completely new? Founding a company is a long and intense road full of late nights, big risks and exhilarating deal-making. But if you hit the sweet spot where luck, persistence and dedication come together, you could create your very own dream job.

Average Salary: Varies
Job Outlook: N/A

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 strong careers and find the education to make it happen. For more career change advice, check out 7 Steps to Prepare for a Successful Switch.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1168993119 Eric Perly

    Entrepreneur
    What better way to start fresh than by starting something completely new? Founding a company is a long and intense road full of late nights, big risks and exhilarating deal-making. But if you hit the sweet spot where luck, persistence and dedication come together, you could create your very own dream job.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11520730 Annie Rose Favreau

      Thanks for sharing the post Eric!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708470013 Tanya Upthegrove

    Just in case…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=239937902803122 Create Your Future Consulting, LLC

    Good to know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001121325846 Marc Collins

    In this globalized economy, few jobs are safe from job exporting!

  • Pingback: Reinvent yourself: Top 15 jobs for starting over in 2013 | Succes met je Talent | Scoop.it

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=123071267788487 Thomas Career Consulting

    Good ideas for those seeking a different direction.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1187497803 Joey M. Manage

    Now that’s how to start the morning!

    • http://www.facebook.com/howard.drive.5 Howard Drive

      Now that’s the best morning.

  • http://www.ahipara.com/ru/ Ahipara

    Great article! I have several years of experience working as a travel guide in New Zealand. I love my job, although it is seasonal. The best part is that it cannot be outsourced!

  • mylove

    Just an FYI: Licensed Practical Nurses are having more and more employment issues as most facilities are attempting to staff only RN’s. You can become and RN with just two years of school and be assured work, if you really want to become a nurse. Also, LPN’s have taken a drastic pay cut in the last 10 years in many states. Just something to consider. I have 20 years experience as an LPN and am currently working as an LPN in Florida.