New Career Ideas at 40

Updated April 17, 2017

Workers who are 40 or over can parlay their years of experience into a new career. The key is knowing where to find new job opportunities. Three popular industries for 40-something career changers are health care, education and personal services.


Career changers who want to become nurses can take advantage of accelerated education programs. Aspiring nurses who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing can enter a BSN program that takes 12 to 18 months to complete, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Earning a master's degree is the pathway to working as a nurse anaesthetist or nurse practitioner. The job outlook is "excellent," according to the BLS, with 22-percent job growth through 2018. The highest demand will be for jobs in doctors' offices and outpatient clinics, as well as facilities located in inner cities and rural areas.


Those over 40 who are interested in transitioning into a teaching career can earn certification by completing an alternative licensing program. The BLS notes that a number of these programs are geared toward career changers who wish to teach math and science, or work with students in inner-city school districts and rural areas. A provisional license can be earned in as little as one to two years, making teaching an attractive option for the 40-year-old career changer.


Love of cooking combined with business savvy can lead to a new career at 40 as a caterer. State, a career information website, notes that catering businesses owned by one or two people can provide food for weddings and parties. Alternatively, aspiring caterers can seek employment at larger facilities such as banquet halls. Caterers have to plan menus, secure quality ingredients, and prepare and deliver food to the customer in a timely manner.

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About the Author

A.K. Jayne has written and edited print and online content since 2006. In addition, she has legal assistant/paralegal experience in areas including wills and trusts and family law. Her articles have appeared in the "Philadelphia Inquirer," "New Jersey Record" and "Burlington County Times." Jayne completed an Associated Press internship and is an alumna of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.