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3 Promising Second Careers That Don’t Require Another 4-Year Degree

Are you unhappy with the career you chose? If so, you're definitely not alone. Studies show that approximately 80 percent of people are also unhappy with their career choice. Giving your career a second life doesn't have to mean obtaining another four-year degree. Here are three promising careers for you to consider. Hopefully, one will bring you the career bliss you deserve.

Are you unhappy with the career you chose? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Studies show that approximately 80 percent of people are also unhappy with their career choice. Giving your career a second life doesn’t have to mean obtaining another four-year degree. Here are three promising careers for you to consider. Hopefully, one will bring you the career bliss you deserve.

Changing Careers

(Photo Credit: nthy ramanujam/Flickr)

1. Court Reporter – Median Salary: $48,216

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Do you have a knack for grammar and spelling? Are your fingers quick on a keyboard? Is one of your hobbies reading for hours on end? If so, then you may want to consider a profession as a court reporter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupation is expected to grow 10 percent over the next decade or so, and the most promising outlook going to those with “real-time captioning and Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART)” experience.

What does it take to become a court reporter? Depending on what field you pursue, some positions have on-the-job training (e.g. electronic writers), while some require postsecondary certificates or even associate’s degrees (e.g. courtroom stenographers). Typically all fields offer online courses that can easily be completed while maintaining a full-time job. To find a certified program in your state, see the full list on the National Court Reporter Association site, here.

2. Elevator Installer/Repairer – Median Salary: $29/hour (Salary Range: $37,061 – $99,463)

With the economy continuing to recover from the Great Recession, new commercial, residential, and retail buildings are being developed, which means more elevators to be installed/repaired. But this occupation isn’t for everyone. Being an elevator installer requires lifting and carrying heavy equipment, long hours, and being on call 24 hours. However, if you can make do with those requirements, then becoming an elevator technician is definitely a promising (unionized) career with a great earning and advancement potential — with an expected occupational growth rate of 25 percent until 2022.

How do you become an elevator technician? At the bare minimum, a trainee must be 18 years or older, have earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass an aptitude test. According to School Soup, “Elevator installers and repairers learn their trade in a program administered by local joint educational committees representing the employers and the union.” Trainees are required to pass a six-month probationary period, which qualifies them to begin their four- to five-year apprenticeship. Thereafter, trainees must pass an examination administered by the National Elevator Industry Educational Program in order to become qualified elevator technicians.

3. Real Estate Agent: Median Salary: $51,643

In the past few years, real estate has slowly (but surely) been picking back up, which is great news for real estate brokers and agents. The good thing about becoming a real estate agent is that the barriers to entry are extremely low. Agents are required to be 18 years or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, take real estate courses, and pass a licensing exam — most of which can be completely online.

Although becoming an agent is relatively easy, succeeding as one isn’t a walk in the park. Real estate agents are a dime a dozen, so if you choose to enter this field, then you’ll want to select a niche or targeted audience to grow your clientele at first. Becoming knowledgeable in your field will be key, because you’ll want to be well-versed in the applicable laws, regulations, and such before having someone sign on the dotted line. On the flip side, once you get in the groove of selling real estate, the job is one of the more flexible careers to have and with a nearly limitless earning potential — your earnings are based on how well you do that given year. Therefore, if you have sales experience and are entrepreneurial, then you should definitely consider a career in real estate.

For more information on potential second careers, use PayScale’s Salary Data & Career Research Center to see your dream job’s requirements and potential.

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Leah Arnold-Smeets
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