- Millions of U.S. workers were searching for new opportunities in 2021 and the trend is continuing into 2022
- Some of the most desirable jobs involve travel and leadership
- Many Americans left their roles to start their own businesses
The Great Resignation of 2021 saw an estimated 38 million workers quit their jobs. That left many in search of new opportunities. While some looked for work in other fields, such as real estate and travel, others went on to pursue dreams of owning their own businesses. They hoped to turn their skills or hobbies into a viable source of income. In fact, 2021 saw a record number of new business applications across the United States. More than 5.4 million entrepreneurs applied for business licenses.
Here, we’ll cover some of the top jobs people are considering as they transition into exciting, new careers.
1. Small Business Owner
Being your own boss is a dream held by many. However, the number of Americans actually pursuing that dream has been steadily rising in recent years. Many have been taking their hobbies, such as baking and crafting, and turning them into home businesses.
Others are taking their specialized skills, including those they’ve earned throughout their career, such as providing technical support or navigating the legal system, and are running their own consulting businesses, either from home or an office. With online technologies bringing us all closer together, it’s easier than ever to simply do it yourself.
2. Real Estate
Real estate is a career that has an alarmingly high earnings potential for those who are good at it. Indeed reports the average real estate agent in the States earns $94,695 per year. Those with more experience have the potential to earn well over $100,000.
On top of that, most agents work independently. That means they get to act primarily as their own boss, even if they are part of a larger real estate firm. So they set their own hours and remain in control of their client listings.
Fighting fires, saving lives, and being hailed as a hero among heroes is a dream come true for many of America’s firefighters. And for those who spent their childhood dreaming of becoming a firefighter, 2021 was the year to make those dreams come true.
As of 2021, there were just over 1,064,000 firefighters in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this profession is expected to see an 8% increase in available jobs between 2022 and 2030.
There’s been a high demand for trade workers over the past few years. While that continues to be true for most trades, there is some hope that the electrical trade may be starting to fill those openings with qualified workers. The BLS indicates a projected 9% growth in this profession by 2030. Those working as electricians earned an average of $56,900 per year as of 2020.
Thankfully, anyone seeking to become an electrician can get by with minimal schooling. This profession requires an apprenticeship program, which includes some in-classroom learning paired with on-the-job learning. The lower barrier of entry entices a lot of would-be electricians to the trade.
5. Flight Attendant
The travel bug is strong in Americans this year. It has left many new job seekers — particularly young ones — looking into the possibility of securing work as a flight attendant. While the average base salary for a flight attendant is moderate when compared with most other professions, at $30,461 per year, it’s the experience that most are after.
Flight attendants have the opportunity to meet plenty of new people while traveling from state to state. They also get to see everything the country has to offer. Those who are lucky may even get to enjoy international travel, getting paid to see the world between flights.
Continuing on the topic of travel, many job seekers are interested in opportunities that enable them to obtain the licensing necessary to become a professional pilot. Commercial pilots earn considerably more than flight attendants, with an average annual salary of $102,870, according to the BLS.
Some pilots earn as much as $200,000 to $300,000 per year, depending on what state and industry they work in. The high earning potential combined with the opportunity to see the world make this career an exciting prospect for many. It does, however, require a lot of extra education and training hours before you can safely fly a plane.
The desire to help others is a noble one. As many people are transitioning out of the traditional nine-to-five way of life, others are keeping their office hours as they adopt a new, more enjoyable career in the name of helping others navigate life’s stresses and mental health crises.
Among the top professions people are entering post-Great-Resignation is that of the therapist. Those interested in becoming a therapist will be pleased to know the average base salary for this career is $74,985 per year. However, not just anyone can set up a couch and start charging clients. You’re required to have the proper education and qualifications to practice.
8. Personal Trainer
The chaotic years 2020 and 2021 brought about a fitness revolution. The massive life changes brought by the pandemic saw many Americans working toward a healthier way of life. In turn, there’s been an influx of people searching for work as personal trainers. In this role, workers can help others set and achieve their fitness goals while getting exercise for themselves throughout the workday.
Personal trainers earn an average of $38,614 per year. However, with the right position and clientele, a personal trainer can earn in excess of $80,000.
Notaries oversee and administer oaths and affidavits. They basically provide an attestation that legal or sworn statements are true, and act as an official witness. The job is generally done out of one’s home. That makes it easy for those who serve as a notary to set their own hours and essentially be their own boss.
While the salary for notaries isn’t particularly high — it averages $35,742 per year — the benefit of being selective with appointments and scheduling is a big benefit for many Americans. A lot of other legal professionals offer notary work as a bit of a side gig, just to earn some extra income.
10. Graphic Designer
Those with an artistic eye and technical savvy are often interested in graphic design work. The beauty of this position is the flexibility it offers. Those with a penchant for the nine-to-five way of life can apply for work at design firms and marketing agencies, while those who prefer to set their own hours can opt to freelance.
While the salary in this career can vary a lot, the average graphic designer in the United States earns $53,217 annually. However, the right opportunities or clients can see some graphic designers making more than $100,000 per year.
Many adults who’ve recently embarked on a career transition are seeking out new and exciting ways to foster their creativity and passion for beauty. That’s left plenty of Americans in search of work as an esthetician. If you weren’t aware, that’s a person who provides beauty services such as manicures, pedicures, skin treatments, and hair removal.
While some estheticians prefer to rent a room in an established spa or salon, others provide services out of their own homes or travel to clients. The overall flexibility (and ability to be your own boss) makes this an attractive option for many Americans.
Carpentry is one of the many trades that is currently understaffed. According to the BLS, the occupation is only projected to grow 2% by the year 2030. But that hasn’t stopped those who love to work with their hands from seeking new opportunities in carpentry.
This is yet another occupation that enables people to work from nearly anywhere, provided they take the right approach. While some do work for home builders and other contractors, those who prefer can build goods on their own time, selling them online or at local markets.
13. House Flipper
The real estate market has been hot the past few years. It’s left a lot of Americans in search of a way to take advantage of it. Some have opted to invest in real estate, often by purchasing older, run-down properties and putting in time, effort and money to make them beautiful again.
In some cases, house flippers are keeping the homes they invest in and renting them out. (Or putting them up on AirBnb and Vrbo.) Often, though, the house will simply be sold for a profit.
14. Software Developer
Technical-minded people in search of new opportunities might find themselves in search of a career that allows them to foster and expand their current skill set in a creative way. That search may lead them to the role of software developer, a position that requires the use of both creativity and technical prowess to develop software such as games, productivity tools and database management programs.
A lot of the hard skills needed for this profession can be self-taught online and retraining doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, which is a huge benefit!