Top 37 best paying careers to start at 40

Top 37 best paying careers to start at 40

Top 37 best paying careers to start at 40

37 Careers To Start at 40

While making a career change at 40 may be daunting for some, it is a choice that many women are actively making or considering. In today’s business climate, professionals must remain agile and proactive in their career development. This may mean making a career change at 40, or returning to work after a break.

What to Know When Making a Career Change at 40

“There are many opportunities for women starting second or new careers after 40,” says Dr. Robin Buckley, CPC, a cognitive-behavioral coach, columnist for, and founder of Insights Group Psychological & Coaching Services. “When women hesitate because they are fearful of changing careers or entering the workforce after taking a break, it is important to remember the valuable experience they offer.”

Whether you are starting a new career or building off your professional expertise, you have significant knowledge and skills to offer.

“If you’re considering making a career change or re-entering the workplace after some time away, it’s normal that this change in your life can bring up self-doubt and imposter syndrome,” says Kelli Thompson, leadership and career coach.

Here are some tips to ease your fears and focus on the positive:

-Remember that you have had much of your life to develop attractive skills that are transferrable to any job.

-Start by making a list and keeping a journal of marketable skills you’ve learned and what impact those skills had to people, projects or profits.

They will likely need to make themselves more marketable.”

James Philip, a career expert and author of The Sh!t They Don’t Teach You At BusinessSchool, believes that the best approach for anyone returning to the workforce is to be realistic about expectations. He states that individuals must prepare themselves for the possibility that they may not be able to jump back into the workforce at the same level as before. This is due to the rapidly changing world and corresponding skill requirements. To increase marketability, Philip recommends that individuals assess their skills and update their resume.

It can be difficult to return to the workforce after an extended absence, but it is important to remain realistic. The key is to stay motivated and not give up hope. Switching careers can be difficult for anyone, but it is possible to make the transition successful by remaining positive.

How to Successfully Make a Career Change at 40

1. Marketing

“Marketing can be a very satisfying career choice for mid-life workers,” says Travis Lindemoen, managing director of Nexus IT Group, an IT staffing agency. “This is a career option worth considering if you appreciate being creative, working with inventive teams, and understanding what makes people tick. Over the last five years, the average age of this career route has risen. Marketing executives are, on average, 42 years old.”

2. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a timely and thriving field, according to Adam Wood, co-founder of RevenueGeeks. “Digital marketers use digital platforms such as social media, email, and blogs to promote products and services,” he explains.

While some retraining may be necessary, it is still a good investment according to Wood. With no prerequisites and the ability to work from home, this is a career that is high in demand and will likely be around for a while. There are many online courses and programs available to help you get started in this field. Once you have completed your course, you can decide if you want to become an entrepreneur or work for a digital marketing team.

3. Fitness Training

“The age 40 today is not the same 40 of our parents or grandparents,” said Eddie Bye, founder of Physio Flex Pro. “Most people at this stage of life are in relatively good shape, and you can improve upon that to become a fitness trainer.”

When asked what career he would recommend to someone interested in health and fitness, Bye replied that he believes personal training is a great option. “You’ll not only learn a lot about health and wellness,” he said, “but you’ll also get to help customers achieve their objectives while remaining in shape yourself. And aside from that, seniors will [trust you more than] someone considerably younger.”

4. Blogging

“A successful blog can be a great career for many people,” says Bruce Paulson, founder of Determined Solutions. “I define success as a blog that gets a fair amount of website visitors or blog readers.”

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Blogs can be started for little cost, and then monetized through affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing, a blogger earns a small percentage of a sale when a reader clicks on a product link from the blog and makes a purchase. With enough website traffic, passive income may be possible.

5. Consulting

If you have expertise in a topic and could help others be more successful at what they do, you might want to consider becoming a consultant, says Stan Kimer, president of Total Engagement Consulting.

A person who is 40 or older may want to consider becoming a consultant. Consulting often requires some age and expertise. A person who has some savings and can leave their job may find success in starting their own consultancy. Another option is to work for a firm as a consultant.

6. Event Management

“It doesn’t matter what profession you were in before, you can learn to become an event manager if you have the right skills,” says Christina Green, a career coach and co-founder of My Speech Class. “Organizational and time management skills are important for this role, and many people in their forties have these skills from their previous work experience. This makes a career transition into event management a logical choice.”

7. Web Development

Green also suggests that web development is a great field to get into if you have a mind for computer programming.

“The primary responsibility of a web developer is to create websites that are both attractive and functional. This career necessitates a mix of technical and creative abilities. You can efficiently work on this career if you have any expertise or can invest some time. Next thing, it is a flexible industry in which you can work from home or as a freelancer on a fixed-price job.”

8. Tax Preparation

Adults have many responsibilities that they must tackle every year. One responsibility that many people like to hand off to a professional is doing taxes. Eva Rosenberg, who teaches a course in becoming a tax preparer (known as an enrolled agent, or EA), says that it is an easy field to transition to.

As an EA, you can start building your practice while you keep your current job. You don’t have to get any college degrees — just get enough education to understand taxation well enough to pass those Special Enrollment Examinations. I teach people to do that in about 6-10 months.

EAs can work from home, so overhead is low. You will need a computer, a good printer/scanner, an Internet connection, certain secure cloud storage for your clients to upload documents, some professional tax software, and perhaps a few reams of paper.

The potential earnings for an EA are significant. Those who primarily prepare tax returns can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 annually. Others who provide representation for IRS audits or large tax balances due typically charge fees starting at $3,000 per case. Many EAs earn between $100,000 and $1 million annually.

9. Business Analyst

“Business analysts play a vital role in helping businesses seize opportunities in the digital space,” says Becky Hall, a business analyst at LuckLuckGo. “This is a career that’s worth starting at 40 because it has a high median income of $87,000 and can be learned online.”

Furthermore, she states that this field “is constantly evolving and would present you with a fresh challenge that helps to improve your skills and their application. Business analysts are also more likely to succeed if they have vast experience working in different roles in various organizations.”

10. Real Estate

While some careers may offer greater flexibility than others, real estate is a field where professionals can largely control their own schedules and earnings potential. Vincent Chan, chief financial officer for Christina, a Los Angeles-based real estate development company and private equity firm, notes that the real estate industry is also relatively easy to break into. Whether an individual is interested in working as a developer, property manager, Realtor, or Airbnb host, there are opportunities available in the field.

Chan notes that the amount of effort one puts into their work is directly linked to the results achieved, unlike many other mid-life career changes where this is not the case. Chan points to many wealthy American billionaires who made their fortunes in real estate development as an example.

The most successful real estate agents in cities like Los Angeles, Miami, and New York City have the ability to earn high commission rates even when the market is slow.

11. Real Estate Agent

“With the right personality and sales skills, real estate can be a very lucrative career choice,” says James Philip, Managing Director at Employment BOOST and author of The Sh!t They Don’t Teach You At Business School. “It’s also a career that you never have to retire from too, so there is flexibility.”

12. Patient Care Technician

This is a growing field, according to Andi Simon, corporate anthropologist and author of Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business. The profession is in high demand and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), patient care technicians can expect 17% job growth through 2024, making it a great career choice for women over 40.

13. Proofreader

In general, proofreaders make about $22 per hour according to Indeed. This makes proofreading a potential option for those who want a work-from-home job with a flexible schedule. To get started, try listing your services on Upwork and building your proofreading portfolio.

14. Amazon FBA Seller

Whether you’re selling handmade goods or reselling products you buy on wholesale, starting your own online retail shop on either Amazon or Etsy can be a great second career for any savvy saleswoman. Sign up for Amazon’s FBA program where you send your products to an Amazon warehouse and they manage shipping and fulfillment for you for a small fee to make it a hassle-free career to start.

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15. Esthetician

If you’re interested in a career in beauty or skincare, becoming an aesthetician could be a great option for you. Many states have requirements for schooling and licensing, so be sure to check your state’s guidelines. As an aesthetician, you’ll be able to perform many different skincare treatments, from facials to microdermabrasion.

16. Marketing Manager

As Thompson states, there are many different types of services that marketing managers can provide organizations, such as marketing campaign management, creative services, and customer experience. Additionally, many marketing roles, especially those with a focus on digital and online marketing, are in high demand. Another perk of many marketing roles is that they provide flexible schedules and work-from-home access. Lastly, they tend to pay well, with the median marketing manager salary running around $136,000.

17. Financial Consultant or Certified Financial Planner

“As a financial consultant or CFP, you can be your own boss or work in a firm providing support for clients,” says Simon. “You can specialize in helping women achieve their financial literacy and wellbeing.”

18. Software Developer

“Software developers create applications and software that run on a computer or other devices,” explains Brie Reynolds, career development manager and coach at FlexJobs and “Career changers interested in this role can find plenty of training options available, and many don’t require going back to school for a new degree. Plus, there’s high demand for professionals with these skills.”

19. Project and Program Managers

According to Thompson, many corporate job boards feature roles that would be well-suited for women with strong project management, analytical, and communication skills. These roles often involve implementing new processes and programs within an organization, and they typically have a median salary of $64,000 (with technical project managers earning a median salary of $106,000 per year).

20. Massage Therapist

After completing the necessary schooling, massage therapists can work from home after acquiring the appropriate license. The work environment is usually calm and relaxed, providing a reprieve from more stressful jobs in busier settings. Massage therapists can serve clients independently or join a spa. This occupation affords ample opportunity to build relationships with clients and avoid sitting at a desk all day.

21. Quality Assurance Analyst

Quality assurance analysts play an important role in ensuring that applications and software run smoothly. The demand for software and applications has increased, leading to increased demand for quality assurance analysts. Those interested in this field should have previous experience in a technology-related job, be tech-savvy, and have outstanding attention to detail.

22. IT Managers and Analysts

Thompson points out that an increasingly large number of women are joining technology-based professions. She attributes this to the fact that businesses are coming to value technical skills more highly. For women who are interested in this trend, many colleges offer financial aid specifically for female students studying STEM subjects. Additionally, many technology companies allow their employees greater freedom regarding work location. Another positive aspect of these careers is that they tend to be high-paying; the median salary for an IT manager is $139,000 annually.

23. Online Teaching Job

According to Simon, an online teaching job might be an area that can give you the flexibility to live wherever you want yet still have a teaching job. The range of subjects is quite broad, from teaching coding for girls, to Spanish and ACL teachers.

24. Virtual Administrative Assistant

“There is an increasing demand for executive and administrative assistants who are able to work remotely,” says Reynolds. “This is a good career field for anyone with excellent organizational skills who enjoys supporting individuals and teams. This person would also need to be skilled in using technology to communicate and collaborate.”

25. Retail/Restaurant Management

“Retail and restaurants is an industry you can quickly apply soft skills to and achieve competitive pay,” says Philip. “It’s also an industry that’s constantly in need of hard workers.”

26. Transcriptionist

If you’re a quick and efficient typer, making a career change at 40 to a transcriptionist could be a good, flexible option. You can find transcriptionist jobs on, one of the largest transcription services, or The best part: You can pick and choose which jobs you want while also managing your own schedule.

27. Professional Organizer

A career as a professional organizer may be appealing to women aged 40 or older who have a knack for organizing. This line of work allows individuals to help clients declutter their homes and put in place organizational systems that will be beneficial long term. Professional organizers can be thought of as the next Marie Kondo.

28. Life Coach

“Coaching, life coaching and counseling jobs are available both in-person and remotely,” says Simon. “These types of positions can offer a great deal of personal growth and gratification for both the individual coach and her clients.”

29. Ice Cream Truck Owner

Tammy Hauser, age 57, from Sarasota, FL, had to pause her trolley tour business amid the pandemic. To make an alternative income, she got quarantine creative and renovated a vintage ice cream truck she found on Facebook Marketplace. She coined it The ChillMobile and now runs a business serving up ice cream and frozen treats at neighborhood events. According to Tammy, annual revenue is expected to be more than $100,000 this year!

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Owning an ice cream truck business can be a great way to make extra money, whether you are still working or planning for retirement. You can operate the truck on nights or weekends, and it can provide a great workout without needing to go to the gym.

30. Statistician

Is mathematics your area of interest? According to Simon, statisticians are the fastest-growing job category and can offer excellent growth potential. Furthermore, all the big data require people who can interpret and explain the insights emerging from the information.

31. Sales Agent

Sales organizations are currently facing a significant staffing shortage, according to Philip. He also notes that sales is always in demand, making it a good field for those who need to make up for lost time or earn a higher salary.

32. Uber or Lyft Driver

Making a career change later in life does not have to be a massive undertaking. For those who are not ready for a complete lifestyle change, driving for Uber or Lyft can be a great intermediate option. You can set your own hours, and there is very little startup cost. As long as your vehicle meets certain requirements, you can be up and running in just a few days. Plus, the earning potential is limitless—depending on your location, some drivers report up to six-figure annual salaries.

33. Therapist

Due to the proliferation of remote communication tools, the field of therapy is no longer limited to in-person work. According to Reynolds, therapy is one of the fastest-growing remote career fields, largely due to increased demand for mental health resources over the last several years. There are a variety of therapy training options available that allow people to transition into this field without undertaking years of additional training.

34. Personal Trainer

If you’re interested in health and fitness, a great career change to make at 40 is to get certified as a personal trainer. You’ll learn about health and wellness, and you’ll help clients work toward their goals while staying in shape yourself. You can manage your own schedule, which means flexible work hours that you can scale up or down depending on your needs.

There is a growing market for social media content creators on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. As a social media manager, you would be responsible for creating and curating content for your clients. The average salary for a social media manager is $55,000 per year, but freelance opportunities are also available.

35. Hair Stylist

According to, the median salary for hairstylists and hairdressers is $27,000 per year. The demand for these professionals is expected to grow by 8% over the next seven years. In most cases, hair stylists operate as small business owners, renting out a booth at an existing shop or salon. This makes it easier to build up a client base. To become a hair stylist, you will need to pass a state license exam and meet all state requirements. Guidelines vary by state, so be sure to research the requirements in your state.

36. Entrepreneur

“Many women are finding that the pandemic has given them the time and energy resources to start a business or side hustle that they’d always wanted to,” says Thompson. “It’s never too late to start your business or launch your idea, and many women in their 40s and beyond have developed the courage and confidence to embark on this journey.”

The benefits of entrepreneurship according to this individual are the ability to set one’s own hours, pricing, and clientele. They report never having missed a family event due to work obligations, something that was not possible when working a corporate job.

37. Yoga Instructor

There are many ways to get certified as a yoga instructor, which takes a few months. This is a career change that does not require a lot of time or effort, whether you want to open your own studio or join an existing practice. According to, the average hourly wage for a yoga instructor is $25 per hour, but it ranges from $15 per hour all the way up to $49 per hour. Bonus: Your work environment will be very peaceful!


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