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These 5 Jobs Only Require a Two-Year Degree and Are Perfect for a Mid-Career Change


If you were the same person you were when you first started out in your career, things wouldn’t be so complicated. However, over time, you’ve matured as an individual and a professional, so it’s only natural that your priorities shifted accordingly. As a result, you may have found that the career from which you thought you’d retire is now stifling and has become the bane of your existence. You’re probably thinking that switching occupations mid-career isn’t the wisest decision, but is staying in an unfulfilling, stagnant career until retirement the better option?

fork in the road

(Photo Credit: sacks08/Flickr)

Taking the leap to a new career may feel quite frightening and unpredictable at first glance, but the payoff could be tremendous, especially when it comes to your happiness. The best part is: switching careers doesn’t mean you have to obtain another fancy four-year degree or settle for meager pay. If you’re looking for a career change, here are five careers to consider that show good growth potential over the next decade, pay over $50,000 annually, and require only an associate’s degree to get started.

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(Note: Earnings data derived from PayScale’s Salary Data & Career Research Center, and growth rates are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.)

1. Occupational therapy assistants

Pay: $24.35/hour

Growth rate (2014 – 2024): 30 percent or faster

2. Diagnostic medical sonographers

Pay: $28.05/hour

Growth rate: 20 – 29 percent

3. Web developers

Salary: $55,964 annually

Growth rate: 20 – 29 percent

4. Radiation therapists

Pay: $31.64/hour

Growth rate: 10 – 19 percent

5. Dental hygienists

Pay: $32.57/hour

Growth rate: 10 – 19 percent

If you’re looking for more guidance on how to tell if it’s time to switch careers, you should start here. Be sure to weigh the options before you throw in the towel, because, as with any major career decision, there is always some strategy required and risk involved. Once you’re ready to take the leap, use this guide to help you navigate through your mid-career switch.

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Have you made a big career change? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Leah Arnold-Smeets
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