Second Career Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Starting a second career can be a daunting task. Still, many workers over the age of 40 are diving in and starting over. Fortunately, there are a number of outstanding second career choices for people of any age. Whether your second career is being forced on you, or is a product of your own ambition, it can be a huge success.


Nursing is a good choice for career seekers willing to go back to school. According to Payscale, nurses can expect to earn £32,500 plus annually after earning a registered nurse license. Nursing requires long hours and a compassionate soul but can be a wonderful option for a new career.

Self Employment

Starting a new business is among the most popular second career choices. Top fields include marketing, online ventures, retail establishments and the service industry. While risky, the returns can be quite lucrative if researched properly.

Retail Management

According to AARP, the retail field is the leading place to begin second careers. Opportunities are available for management at the store and district levels. Leading companies that hire second career workers include The Home Depot, Borders, CVS and Walgreens.

Financial Planning

Starting a career in financial planning is challenging, but the rewards are potentially huge. Some companies offer training programs that do not require a college degree, but most employers agree that a bachelor's degree is recommended. Experience in the workplace is valuable here and can lead to a great salary in a few short years.

Social Work

Working with the public is a rewarding career that gives many second career workers a chance to use life experience. While schooling is required in most states, prospective social workers can work in entry-level positions while attending classes. Social work offers rewards that go beyond money.

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About the Author

Based in Greensboro, Rodney Southern has been writing and editing sports and nature articles for going on 10 years. His articles have appeared in "Nicean" magazine, "The Sporting News" website and countless other online venues. Southern was the 2008 Ultimate Call for Content National Award Winner. He attended Guilford Tech and was trained as an EMT in the Army.