Community College Degrees for Midlife Career Changers

Community College Degrees for Midlife Career Changers
Learn about some of the most popular midlife career changers that you can launch with a community college degree.

Looking for a lucrative way to manage your “midlife crisis”? Maybe a career change is an answer. The good news is you don’t have to spend years preparing for a midlife career change today. Thanks to the wealth of options available at your local community college, you can explore a new profession in two years or less. Check out some of the top community college degrees for midlife career changers.


Love crunching numbers? Perhaps now is the time to launch a new career in the accounting industry. Whether you lean toward tax preparation or financial planning, your community college degree in accounting or finance can get you on a rewarding career path. Use your previous professional experience and new training to land a position that fit perfectly with the financial industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average annual salary for accountants to be $61,690.

Interior Designer

Creative types can move away from the office grind by training for a new career in interior design. This field is a good choice for those who are high on taste and just need the education to back up their talents, according to Grindstone. This highly flexible job even allows you to begin working on small projects, perhaps under the watchful eye of a professional designer, while you are completing your education in your newly chosen field. Currently, the average annual salary for an interior designer is around $46,280.

Assisted Living Assistant

Seniors living in assisted living communities often require limited part-time help. Those who work in assisted living centers may assist with meals, bathing, and dispensing medication. A degree or license from your local community college may be sufficient training to move directly into a rewarding career in this industry. MSN Money suggests the job might be particularly positive for those in the middle years since seniors may respond better to these more mature assistants. Nursing assistants, some of the professionals in assisted living centers, earn an average annual salary of $24,010.

Registered Nurse

For those who want to take a career in healthcare to the next level, community colleges offer nursing degrees that prepare you to launch a highly rewarding career in the healthcare field. These professionals work in many settings, caring for patients on many levels. Nurses also provide home care to patients recovering from illness or surgery. The average annual salary for registered nurses today is $64,690.

This video explains why studying nursing at your community college makes good sense.

Pharmacy Technician

Enjoy working with the public in a healthcare setting? According to Yahoo Education, the job of a pharmacy technician is a good choice for you. These professionals work directly with pharmacists dispensing medication, answering questions, and working with doctors’ offices to get prescriptions filled. Many community colleges now offer associate degree programs in this field, making it a good choice for those looking for a career change. The average annual salary for pharmacy technicians is currently around $28,400.

Small Business Owner

Many people enjoy the challenge of opening their own businesses during the middle years of life. However, if you have never had experience running your own business before, a little education might go a long way in preparing you for the task. Community colleges often offer degree programs in business ownership for budding entrepreneurs at any age. These training programs feature the finer points of the business, including accounting principles, marketing, and product management.

Solar Panel Installer

According to Second Act, the U.S. solar industry employs nearly 100,000 workers today. The job of a solar panel installer is diverse, involving both commercial and residential installation of solar photovoltaic panels. Training for the job can be found at some community colleges, with certification for some positions available in just a matter of months. Second Act estimates starting salaries for solar panel installers to range from $30,000 to $40,000 per year.

Veterinary Technician

Positions for veterinary technicians and assistants are some of the fastest growing in the country and will continue to be so for the next few years. This job is perfect for midlife career changers who desire to work with animals daily. Professionals work alongside veterinarians, caring for sick animals and providing preventative care for healthy ones. Veterinary technology is a frequent offering at local community colleges, with most programs taking two years or less to complete. The average annual salary for a veterinary technician is $29,710 per year.

Health Care Administrator

Healthcare administration may be the perfect solution for those who relish a career in the ever-growing healthcare field but don’t wish to work directly with patients. This position helps oversee patients' medical services, organize records, and manage staff. Those who have previously worked in management positions in other industries might find the role of a healthcare administrator to be a comfortable fit. Community colleges offer degree programs in health care administration and technology, allowing you to train fast for your new career.

Biomedical Technician

Those with a science background may want to explore a new career as a biomedical technician. This growing field offers the ability to study issues involving biology and medicine and find solutions to some of those issues. Many biomedical technicians work in laboratories, collecting and analyzing data. While some labs require technicians to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, the program is becoming more common at the community college level.

Midlife is the perfect time for a career change, thanks to the many options available at community colleges today. Take your work experience and combine it with training in a related field to find a new passion for your life! Find more inspiration with our adult-friendly degree programs list as well.

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