So you’re ready for a career change? You’re not alone. In fact, it’s quite normal. According to a broad assortment of experts, workers change careers anywhere from three to seven times.
Now, remember, a career change and a job change are two different things. The average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). You might change jobs for a number of reasons:
- Better pay
- Career advancement
- Work/life balance
- Schedule change
Whatever the reason, a job change simply means stopping one position and starting another. Often, when you change jobs you keep the same or a similar title but go to a different company. When you change jobs, you use the same skills you’ve acquired at previous roles. The only training you need is for your new place of work.
Job Change Example
For example, let’s say you’re a bookkeeper. Currently, you work for ACME Bookkeeping as a Junior Bookkeeper. However, you don’t enjoy the company culture so you accept a Senior Bookkeeping position at Mr. B’s Bookkeeping (shoutout to my cat, Mr. B!). This is considered a job change. At Mr. B’s, you use the same bookkeeping skills from ACME. The difference is how Mr. B’s operates which will require some training. But, for the most part, you hit the ground running at Mr. B’s because you are still a bookkeeper — you’re just working at a new company.
What is a career change?
Now a career change, on the other hand, is more involved. Career changes mean taking on new work that is different from your previous positions. A career change requires you to learn a new skill, receive certain training, or complete specific certifications. These new skills/training/certifications prepare you to work for roles you don’t have experience in. Most often, people change careers to improve their quality of life or increase job satisfaction.
Let’s revisit our bookkeeper example. After working as a bookkeeper at ACME for years, you realize bookkeeping isn’t something you truly enjoy anymore. You want to pursue a creative career. After a little research, you decide you want to become a writer. It’s something you’ve often dreamed about but unfortunately have zero professional writing experience. So, you enroll in an online writing program and learn how to become a professional writer. Now you’re able to successfully transition from bookkeeper to writer.
This is a career change. You have to learn a whole new skill set so you can make the switch from bookkeeper to writer.
10 Remote Jobs You Can Quickly Learn to Make a Remote Career Change
As a career coach, I work with plenty of job seekers who want to change careers. Often, they hope for a new position that more closely matches their interests and, of course, is remote friendly. Over the years, I’ve helped job seekers make career transitions like teacher to freelance graphic designer, bank teller to home-based transcriptionist, registered nurse to virtual assistant, and so many more.
If they can do it, so can you. However, I know it’s not easy to make career changes. It’s harder still when you’re just starting to contemplate a change. That is, you know you’re ready for a professional transition to telecommuting, but aren’t sure where to start.
So, to offer some real remote work inspiration, I’ve put together a list of 10 easily-learned remote job-ready skills to make a career change quickly. Check them out and get inspired to kick your cubicle to the curb. You won’t have to get a new degree or spend years on your education. Instead, you can finish your training quickly — often in as little as a year or less.
What is transcription? Broadly, transcription is the process of listening to recorded audio and typing out what is being said. This written record is called a transcript and can be used in a lot of ways like medical records, court proceedings, and market research.
What is it like to work in transcription? The most common transcription jobs from home include medical transcription, legal transcription, and general transcription. Often, these positions are contract based. That means you are hired as an independent contractor which offers greater flexibility than employee positions. Professional transcriptionists use special software and equipment, like a foot pedal, to increase their typing speed and accuracy. Most are paid per audio hour and average earnings hover around $28/hour according to ZipRecruiter.
Where can I learn transcription skills? It depends on what type of transcription you want to pursue. For Medical Transcription and Editing training, CareerStep is a great online option.
TranscribeAnywhere is ideal to tackle Legal Transcription, General Transcription, or both! All programs are self-paced, completely virtual, and can be completed in as little as four months.
What is writing? Writing is a broad profession that includes a lot of niches. Some examples include grant writing, technical writing, content marketing, and so much more!
What is it like to work as a writer? Most writers are freelance. That means they find potential clients, pitch their work, and negotiate pay rate. Often, freelance writers are paid per word but can also be paid per piece. For example, a writer might charge $0.05 per word or ask for $150.00 per blog post.
Where can I learn writing skills? SmartBlogger has a highly-rated Content Marketing Certification program. This in-depth training prepares graduates to hit the ground running (or writing) and start earning a living as a writer. My friend, Elna Cain, also has a beginner-friendly online course called Write Your Way to Your First 1k where, you guessed it, she teaches you what it takes to earn your first grand as a paid writer!
What is proofreading and editing? Proofreading and editing are two different career paths that often collide in the remote world. Editors focus on big picture writing issues like flow and structure. Proofreaders are the final set of eyes that check writing for spelling errors, grammatical issues, and typographical mistakes.
What is it like to work as a proofreading pro or editor? Proofreaders and editors can work for large publications or independently with indie writers. They also handle different types of content like romance novels, academic articles, dissertations, ebooks, marketing materials, and so much more!
Where can I learn proofreading and/or editing skills? My top recommendation for general proofreading is ProofreadAnywhere. You’ll learn the ins and outs of proofreading as a beginner and where to find work when you’re done. For editing I highly recommend Edit Republic. This fully online course focuses on editorial skills you can put to work quickly to work remotely.
4. Medical Billing and Coding
What is medical billing and coding? In the U.S., a universal code system is used to identify medical supplies and procedures. These codes are applied to a patient’s chart and are a part of their medical record. Insurance companies use these codes to pay hospitals, doctors, and clinics for the services they provide.
What is it like to work as a medical billing and coding professional? This is a healthcare career that is very remote friendly! Most virtual medical coders work for hospitals or large agencies to help accurately assign codes. Typically, medical billers and coders are hired as remote employees which come with benefits like health insurance and paid time off.
Where can I learn medical billing and coding skills? CareerStep provides training for medical billing and coding professionals. In less than a year, you are prepared to be a competitive entry level candidate in your career. Plus, CareerStep partners with remote-friendly companies that readily hire new grads.
What is bookkeeping? Bookkeeping is different from accounting. Bookkeepers do not require a formal degree or certification. That’s because bookkeepers keep records of transactions without providing financial advice.
What is it like to work as a bookkeeper? Bookkeepers routinely record incoming and outgoing payments within a corporation. They run reports and monitor the flow of money. Sometimes they make sure bills are paid on time or help collect payments. Many small businesses and self-employed persons use a bookkeeper to help them stay on top of business finances. Remote bookkeepers can contract with an agency or source their own clients as a freelancer.
Where can I learn bookkeeping skills? Since you don’t need a formal degree to become a bookkeeper, a program like Bookkeeper Launch is a quick way to grab in-demand bookkeeping skills. You learn up-to-date bookkeeping skills, efficient systems, and how to find high-quality clients.
6. Project Manager
What is project management? This high-growth role plans, organizes, and runs projects. Project managers work at small businesses to large corporations. They help company projects run smoothly so that they are completed on time and within budget.
What is it like to work as a project manager? Project managers are responsible for a variety of tasks. They estimate budgets, run meetings, manage risks, and navigate team dynamics. Most are natural problem solvers and use these skills daily to prioritize tasks, build relationships, and deliver results.
Where can I learn project management skills? Grow with Google offers a Google Project Management: program via Coursera. This online course does not require prior experience. You’ll learn job-ready skills in about six months designed to prepare you for work right out the gate. Graduates even get to connect with employers actively hiring entry-level project managers.
7. IT Support
What is IT support? IT support is part customer service and part technical troubleshooting. Support professionals diagnose tech issues and walk users through solutions. Computer hardware, software, and internet applications are just some of the products IT support pros work with.
What is it like to work as an IT support professional? It really depends on the industry you work within. Some popular industries that actively hire IT support professionals include technology, retail, finance, education, government agencies, startups, energy, and many more. One day you might help fix a computer issue. The next day you could help debug a software problem. Each day will bring new tasks and challenges as you help users resolve issues that arise when tech fails.
Where can I learn IT support skills? The Google IT Support via Grow with Google and Coursera is the perfect online training program to gain entry level skills. Again, you don’t need previous experience or come from a tech background. This program teaches you troubleshooting along with customer care so you can work a remote help desk like a pro.
8. Data Analytics
What is a data analyst? A data analyst is someone who collects and organizes data. This data is then used to uncover trends and patterns so businesses can make predictions. The goal is to provide data driven recommendations.
What is it like to work as a data analyst? A data analyst will create visualizations to share with others. You routinely compile data in a meaningful way so you can find patterns. Some days you might create spreadsheets. The next you could hold a meeting to share predictions with stockholders. Regularly, you will compile and analyze data to draw conclusions.
Where can I learn data analytics skills? You can obtain a Google Data Analytics Certificate online through Coursera. Students do not need previous experience to get started. You should, however, know and understand high school mathematics and be genuinely curious about how things work.
9. UX Design
What is a UX designer? UX (user experience) designers help make products user friendly. Their ultimate goal is to make technology more enjoyable for people to use. To do this, they conduct usability tests and make improvements based on results.
What is it like to work as a UX designer? You will develop user personas and create journey maps to help you empathize with users. Usability studies or tests can also help with this. From there you create prototypes that implement positive changes. Then wash. Rinse. Repeat!
Where can I learn UX design skills? Sign up for a Google UX Design course at Coursera. You will learn the foundational concepts of UX design and prepare for entry level work. This program even helps you build a professional brand including a portfolio and online presence.
10. Android Development
What is an Android developer? An Android developer is someone who builds Android mobile applications. They also maintain these apps or help troubleshoot known problems. If you have a Samsung phone or device, you’re already familiar with Android apps!
What is it like to work as an Android developer? It really depends on the nature of your work! Some developers work alone while others collaborate on team projects. While every day will bring new challenges, you will work to build, maintain, and troubleshoot Android apps. This can include writing code to bring new features to life or detail a plan to create an app in the future.
Where can I learn Android developer skills? The Android Basics in Kotlin certification is delivered by Google to prepare graduates to take the Associate Android Developer Certification exam. You can complete the course on your own terms to get a Google credential to display on your resume.
Remote-Friendly Career Changes
There you have it: 10 quickly learned skills you can use to make a remote-friendly career change. Remember, a career change almost always requires you to learn a new skill. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to do today thanks to online, self-paced learning options.
Plus, when you focus on job-specific skills you can get to work faster in your new career (and without the expense of enrolling in a traditional degree-seeking university!).
Have questions? Confused about career changes? Let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.
PS This post contains affiliate links. Check out my disclosure statement to learn more.