12 Easiest Career Changes To Make (And They Come With High Pay)

These surprising career changes promise high pay from day one.

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Updated May 28, 2024
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Changing careers is a normal part of modern life. According to the Pew Research Center, an average of around four million workers switched jobs each month in the first three months of 2022.

Those who jump to new jobs also tend to boost their bank account. For example, among workers who switched jobs between March 2021 and April 2022, 60% saw their pay rise, Pew reports.

Whether you're curious about opportunities, unsatisfied with your current career, or simply need a change, there's no wrong time to discover rewarding careers that pay well. Following are 12 careers that are relatively easy to get into if you want to make a change. All salary figures come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers

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Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers handle everything from budgeting and campaign planning to contract negotiation and market research. 

They create interest in products or services through advertising campaigns and promotions. Marketing managers estimate demand, identify target markets, and develop pricing strategies.

Typical education/training: Most positions require a bachelor’s degree and experience in advertising, marketing, promotions, or sales.

Median annual salary: $140,040 (marketing managers), $127,830 (advertising and promotions managers).

Claims adjusters, appraisers, examiners, investigators

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Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators play crucial roles in the insurance industry. They assess damages, estimate costs, review claims, and ensure compliance with guidelines.

Typical education/training: A high school diploma or equivalent is usually sufficient for entry-level positions as a claims adjuster, examiner, or investigator. Some roles may require a bachelor's degree or relevant experience.

Median annual salary: $72,230 (claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators), $69,380 (auto damage insurance appraisers)

Dispatchers, public safety operators

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Dispatchers and public safety telecommunicators respond to emergency and non-emergency calls, gathering vital information to determine the severity and location of any situation. 

They coordinate with police, firefighters, and emergency services. They also provide instructions to callers.

Typical education/training: Dispatchers usually need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training. Certification, an exam, and a typing test might be required.

Median annual salary: $46,900

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Financial advisors

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Financial advisors assess people’s financial needs, often providing guidance on investments and other money matters. 

They help clients plan for short- and long-term goals, invest clients' money, and offer specialized advice in areas such as retirement or risk management.

Typical education/training: Personal financial advisors usually need a bachelor’s degree. Certification and a master’s degree improve their chances for advancement. There is also on-the-job training.

Median annual salary: $95,390


Halfpoint/Adobe happy young couple standing with senior woman asking for door to door funds

Fundraisers are responsible for organizing events and campaigns to raise money and donations for organizations. They also create promotional materials and increase awareness about the organization's goals and financial needs.

Typical education/training: Fundraisers typically must earn a bachelor's degree and possess strong communication and organizational skills.

Median annual salary: $61,190

Human resources managers

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Human resources (HR) managers oversee an organization's administrative functions, including recruitment, employee relations, and benefit programs. 

They serve as consultants who advise managers on HR issues, coordinate hiring processes, and handle staffing matters. They also collaborate with top executives on strategic planning and talent management.

Typical education/training: HR managers usually need a bachelor's degree, although some roles require a master's degree.

Median annual salary: $130,000

Management analysts

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Management analysts gather and organize information, analyze data, develop solutions, and recommend changes to improve efficiency. They work as consultants specializing in various areas and industries and help organizations remain competitive.

Typical education/training: Management analysts typically need a bachelor's degree and relevant work experience. A master's degree in business administration may be preferred.

Median annual salary: $95,290

Massage therapist

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Massage therapists are professionals who treat clients by manipulating soft tissues and joints to promote wellness and treat injuries. 

These therapists use various techniques tailored to their client's needs. They may also provide personalized treatment plans and handle administrative tasks.

Typical education/training: Massage therapists usually complete a postsecondary program that combines education and practical experience. State standards and requirements vary.

Median annual salary: $49,860

Real estate brokers and agents

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Real estate brokers and agents assist clients in buying or selling properties. They also might help with rentals. Brokers earn a license so they can establish their own real estate businesses. Agents work under brokers but perform similar tasks in the field.

Typical education/training: Real estate broker and sales agent positions usually require a high school diploma or equivalent, real estate courses, and a licensing exam. Experience is typically required before becoming a licensed broker.

Median annual salary: $62,190 (brokers), $49,980 (agents)

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Software developers

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Software developers design and build computer applications and systems, enabling users to perform specific tasks. They are involved in the entire process, from demand to delivery.

Typical education/training: Software developers generally require a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related discipline.

Median annual salary: $127,260

Pro tip: With an economic slowdown (and possibly a recession) on the horizon, looking for a new, in-demand career is a great way to prepare yourself financially for the future.

Technical writers

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In a nutshell, technical writers create clear and concise documentation to convey complex and technical information. 

They collaborate with product designers and developers, gather information, and produce user-friendly content such as manuals, guides, and FAQs. 

Typical education/training: Technical writers usually have a bachelor's degree. Knowledge or experience in a technical subject, such as science or engineering, is a big advantage.

Median annual salary: $79,960

Truck drivers

HENADZY/Adobe modern wagon truck standing on road with sunset as backdrop

Truck drivers are responsible for transporting goods. They travel everywhere and specialize in long-haul journeys, delivering the goods people buy. In addition, drivers travel intercity routes that can extend across multiple states.

Typical education/training: Truck drivers usually have a high school diploma and attend a professional driving school. They need a commercial driver’s license, and there is often short-term on-the-job training.

Median annual salary: $49,920

Bottom line

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Changing careers is a big decision, and it can be scary, But it also offers opportunities for personal growth and the potential to help you build wealth.

According to a recent Monster poll, 95% of workers plan to look for a new job in 2024. Make sure you pick a job you want that is in high demand and has a competitive salary. The careers listed here are worth looking into if you need a change.

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Author Details

Will Vitka

Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.