24 Second Careers to Consider (With Tips)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated November 2, 2022
Published June 21, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Transitioning to a second career is typically easier when you research the available career options. By considering the duties, requirements, and salary expectations of potential professions, you may find a second career that aligns with your interests or passions. In this article, we present 24 great options for second careers across various industries. We also provide tips that can help you decide on the second career that will bring you job satisfaction.
What are second careers?
"Second careers" refers to mid-career changes where you decide to pursue a different profession after having worked in a position for at least a decade. It can also relate to a situation where you investigate new career paths after retirement.
Second careers enable you to explore a passion or interest or try something new. Depending on the role, you may need additional training or education. It could also be a part-time role requiring no further training or education.
24 options for second careers
Here are some options to consider when looking to transition into a second career:
National average salary: $17.95 per hour
Primary duties: Nannies take care of children and support their social, emotional, and physical needs. They can create daily schedules, supervise activities, and prepare meals for children. While requirements may vary, nannies should have work experience and certifications in CPR and first aid.
2. Tour guide
National average salary: $19.06 per hour
Primary duties: Tour guides show groups of people around places of interest such as museums, geographical destinations, and historical sites. They may also drive tourists around cities and interpret languages whenever necessary. You need experience in the tourism and travel industry to work as a tour guide. Knowledge of both official languages in Canada or an additional language is helpful.
3. Tax preparer
National average salary: $19.21 per hour
Primary duties: Tax preparers analyze and file tax returns for clients. They also perform administrative duties, such as setting appointments and answering phone calls. Tax preparers gather tax information from clients, fill in the appropriate forms, and analyze tax forms for accuracy. Tax preparers need to complete college or certified accounting courses.
National average salary: $19.31 per hour
Primary duties: Photographers take pictures of various events and subjects using cameras. They select and set up photo shoot locations. Photographers also edit, retouch, frame, and reproduce pictures.
National average salary: $19.98 per hour
Primary duties: Home health aides provide personal care and assistance to patients in their own homes. They administer prescribed medications to patients according to care plans. Home health aides need CPR and first aid certifications and must be familiar with safety and hygiene standards.
National average salary: $25.67 per hour
Primary duties: Technical support specialists assist customers with any issue relating to technology. They install, configure, and troubleshoot computers and solve software issues. They also update and run security checks on computer systems. Technical support specialists need professional IT training to be successful.
National average salary: $28.54 per hour
Primary duties: Personal trainers guide clients through exercise and workout routines. They evaluate the physical needs of clients, create personalized workout plans, and monitor clients' progress. Personal trainers need CPR and first aid certification.
8. Park ranger
National average salary: $23.78 per hour
Primary duties: Park rangers supervise national, provincial, or territorial parks. They inform visitors about park regulations and safety guidelines and provide educational tours about wildlife, the environment, and landmarks. Park rangers must be physically fit and good at relating to others.
National average salary: $23.06 per hour
Primary duties: Teachers educate students at various educational levels on different skills and concepts. They create lesson plans and conduct classes at specified times. Teachers need a bachelor's degree in education and relevant experience or specialized training in the subject they teach.
National average salary: $24.30 per hour
Primary duties: Bookkeepers compile and maintain a company's financial records. They also create reports on financial transactions for the management team. Bookkeepers must complete a college program in bookkeeping, accounting, or a related field or the first two years of a recognized accounting program.
National average salary: $27.22 per hour
Primary duties: Translators convert written words from one language to another. They conduct research to understand how to translate information accurately. Translators need a university degree in translation or related disciplines such as linguistics or philology. They also need at least five years of relevant work experience.
12. Dental assistant
National average salary: $25.26 per hour
Primary duties: Dental assistants assist dentists in completing tasks such as examining and cleaning teeth. They prepare patients for dental treatments and use tools to clean a patient's teeth. Dental assistants must complete an eight-month to a one-year college program or a dental assistant program. They also need a licence to perform intra-oral duties in all provinces.
National average salary: $24.33 per hour
Primary duties: Library technicians assist librarians in maintaining, organizing, and operating a library. They help readers locate books and make sure books are in their correct locations. Library technicians need to complete a two- to three-year college program in library and information technology.
National average salary: $25.78 per hour
Primary duties: Private investigators help clients uncover information they can't get through other means. They research, observe, and prepare reports for clients. They need to have a keen eye for detail, be discrete, and be able to manage confidential information.
National average salary: $34.56 per hour
Primary duties: Nurses provide medical treatment, care, and support to patients. They administer medication and monitor patients' vital signs. They also conduct various medical tests and take samples from patients. Registered nurses need to complete a university degree, college program, or other approved specialized nursing programs.
16. Insurance agent
National average salary: $21.92 per hour
Primary duties: An insurance agent provides insurance policies to clients and helps them select the best options for their needs. They analyze policies and customize insurance programs for each client.
National average salary: $35.52 per hour
Primary duties: Paralegals prepare legal documents and research legal principles and procedures to help lawyers and other legal practitioners. They draft, file, and compile legal documents and notices. Paralegals in law firms need a bachelor's degree in law. Alternatively, these paralegals can have a college diploma in their field and in-house training. Paralegals who work independently need relevant knowledge of legal practices.
National average salary: $13.06 per hour
Primary duties: Sales representatives market and sell products for a company or wholesaler. They negotiate sales contracts, close transactions, and prepare sales reports. Sales representatives need excellent communication and customer service skills.
19. Technical writer
National average salary: $40.01 per hour
Primary duties: Technical writers create technical information documents so they are easy for readers to understand. They write guides, journal articles, instruction manuals, and supporting documents. They also collaborate with other technical employees to make documents easy to read by including diagrams and charts.
National average salary: $24.86 per hour
Primary duties: Financial advisors help clients manage their finances and meet financial goals. They discuss a client's financial goals, develop plans, and monitor the client's financial situation. While anyone can be a financial advisor, successful financial advisors have certifications, training, and relevant work experience.
21. Web developer
National average salary: $29.80 per hour
Primary duties: Web developers design websites for clients by writing codes. They also direct and carry out website updates to keep the system current. Web developers must be proficient in various programming languages and have other strong technical skills.
22. Research analyst
National average salary: $29.52 per hour
Primary duties: Research analysts gather, analyze, and study data to interpret various key performance indicators. They present data to upper managers and must be skilled at communicating with others. Research analyst also design strategies for capturing, storing, and managing data.
National average salary: $44.66 per hour
Primary duties: Management consultants identify problems in a business's operations and strategies and solve them. They collaborate with the upper management team to develop efficient and productive systems to solve business issues.
National average salary: $54.24 per hour
Primary duties: Real estate agents assist clients in buying, selling, and renting industrial, commercial, and residential properties. They advise clients on the market price of various properties. Real estate agents prepare and review real estate listings and organize property viewings for clients. They also create contracts and deeds after negotiations are complete.
Tips for deciding among options for second careers
Follow these tips to ensure you choose the right second career:
Evaluate your interests and passion.
Determine transferable skills you can use in your second career.
Prepare to upskill if necessary.
Seek expert advice on your decision.
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