Best Encore Career Options

Encore Careers Options

Learn how you could make your next career your best career.

By Chris Kyle

Ever go to a concert where the encore was the real highlight of the night? That's because many musicians save their best for last.

Why should your second or third career be any different? You're older and wiser now, more experienced and determined than ever before.

[Find a degree programs that works for you]

If you're thinking about making a career change, check out these hot careers that are well-suited for second and third acts. With a little planning, you too can save your best for last.

Encore Career #1 – Medical Manager

You don't necessarily need a background in health care to pursue a medical manager career path. Just strong business skills and management expertise, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

If you lack management skills, getting an MBA could be one way to start the transition process. Studying health care administration is also a good place to start.

Although this profession does include managers with a specific medical expertise, it also includes more general administrators who oversee business-related services like finance and human resources.

Prospects are great for medical managers, since health care is far and away the biggest industry in the country, with 10 of the 20 fastest growing jobs, according to the Department of Labor.

Average Salary:
Medical Managers: $80,240*

Search local and online Health Care programs.

Encore Career #2 – Paralegal

No matter your previous work experience, it's likely a positive in the paralegal profession since these legal industry pros do everything from research to general office work. People skills are a plus, since paralegals work closely with lawyers and occasionally interview potential witnesses.

With the Department of Labor forecasting 28 percent job growth for paralegals through 2018, the timing for an encore career in this profession could not be better.

Another benefit is that you could potentially earn a paralegal certificate in as little as one year. Associate's degrees programs could take as little as 18 months, depending on how much time you have to devote. Online programs are available too so you don't have to quit your current gig.

Average Salary:
Paralegals: $46,120*

Search for local Paralegal programs.

Encore Career #3 – Registered Nurse

Are you a compassionate person who is looking for a new career with high pay and excellent job security? If so, you'd be wise to consider registered nurse as a career option.

Why? Let the Department of Labor count the ways...

  • Nursing is the largest occupation in the country's biggest industry: health care.
  • 581,500 new registered nursing jobs will be added between 2008 and 2018.
  • Hundreds of thousands of nursing jobs are expected to open due to expected retirements.

More good news: If you already have some college education, you might be eligible to enroll in an accelerated nursing program. Otherwise pursuing this path could take about three or four years.

Average Salary:
Registered nurses: $62,450*

Find the right Registered Nursing program for you.

Encore Career #4 – Computer Support Specialist

If you're on a computer 24/7 and enjoy helping friends and family with their technology-related problems, you're well-suited to a second career as a computer support specialist.

The ongoing tech revolution has created a surging demand for professionals who can give real-time support to customers in person, over the phone, and via email and online chats.

An associate's degree or certificate in technology support is a great way to launch a new career.

Average Salary:
Computer support specialists: $43,450*

Find a Technology Support program today!

Encore Career #5 – Medical Assistant

Looking for a new career during tough economic times isn't easy since many companies are cutting staff and outsourcing jobs. Fortunately medical assistants are seemingly immune to such concerns.

The forecast is bright for medical assistants, with the Department of Labor seeing a 34 percent surge in medical assisting opportunities from 2008-2018.

The career is a mix of administrative and clinical work so prior work experience may come in handy. One common path to this red-hot career is by getting an associate's degree in medical assisting.

Average Salary:
Medical assistants: $28,300*

Search for a Medical Assistant program near you!

Encore Career #6 – Teacher

Expertise in a specific field is a huge boon for professionals looking to transition into teaching. Often, the only thing you'll be missing is a teaching credential in your state.

If want to teach public school and you already have a bachelor's degree, the next step is to earn your teaching certificate. Graduate degrees can also be a big draw to potential employers.

Average Salary:
K-12 teachers: $47,100 to $51,180*
Postsecondary teachers: $58,830*

Find online teaching degree programs right now!

*All salary data is from the U.S. Department of Labor and represents median salaries for 2008.

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