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Highest-paying jobs for career changers

By Ana Isabel Alonsagay

Few things feel as stressful as feeling “stuck” or directionless in your current career. Though such emotions are often linked to those newly-graduated or starting their professional lives, feeling lost career-wise is a phase that knows no age – whether you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, or even 40’s to 50’s

Pursuing a career change is thus a daunting, but common trend, with Australian workers estimated to have an average of six career transitions throughout their lifetime. Taking the leap can be as scary as it is exciting, particularly for those opting for a mid-life transition. 

It’s thus important to examine what you lack in your current role, the transferable skills you possess, any critical training you may need, and the available network of industry contacts you have on hand. Addressing these areas can help make for a smoother career switch – but what are your options for rewarding, worthwhile professional change?

In this article, we dive into best, high-paying jobs for career changers, and how Upskilled’s online training can help in your transition.  

What are the best jobs for a career change? 

The best-suited jobs for career changers depend on the individual’s specific professional goals and desires moving forward. In general, however, those looking to make a switch often yearn for greater financial stability, fulfillment, and career progression than what their current role provides them. 

This fortunately offers one with a broad range of career options suited to varying employment needs and interests. Careers in health, technology, and finance are currently the highest-paid in Australia, with workers finding plenty of fulfillment and opportunities for professional development.  

We explore some of these top earning jobs below and how they achieve what most look for in a career change. 

What are some of the highest paying jobs in Australia?  

  1. Managing Directors.
  2. Psychiatrists.
  3. Financial investment manager.
  4. IT manager.

1. Managing Directors. 

The average managing director in Australia earns a base salary of $162,586 AUD per year, with highest-earning 10% yielding as much as $296,000 AUD a year (according to Payscale statistics). Tasked with driving their business towards growth, success, and profits, managing directors are responsible for the operations of their company; managing staff, resources, workflow procedures, and financial budgets. 

With opportunities to exercise one’s leadership, communication, and decision-making skills, the role of a managing director is a highly fulfilling one, with the potential to open one’s doors to exciting new industries and business ventures.  

2. Psychiatrists. 

Psychiatrists earn an average of $125,476 AUD per year, with the highest-earning 10% receiving an average of $313,000 AUD a year (Source: PayScale). Those in this role meet with and diagnose patients for any present mental health disorders or psychological problems. They then help their patient manage, heal or alleviate any present issues through treatment or medication. 

As a role focused on directly helping, career changers will find plenty of rewarding opportunities in this occupation, with great potential for high salaries. Since you’ll be dealing with all types of people from various backgrounds and experiences, no two days are the same – making for a challenging, yet highly dynamic and exciting profession.  

3. Financial investment manager. 

Investment managers earn an average salary of $129,944 AUD, with the highest-earning 10% yielding around $206,000 AUD a year. These professionals are dedicated to handling the finances invested by individual investors or businesses; assessing and implementing the best investment strategies in order to maximize their financial returns. 

As a role requiring plenty of sharp decision-making and relationship-building, it’s an often rewarding one for those with the right skills and experience. Investment managers are constantly building their knowledge of the market, on top of new strategies and investing instruments. It’s a fast-paced role with plenty of challenges for those seeking an exciting change of career. 

4. IT manager.

In an era overcome by new technologies, the role of IT manager is a highly critical, in-demand one – landing Australia’s list of top 20 highest paid professions in 2020. According to Payscale, such professionals earn an average of $103,975 AUD per year, with plenty of opportunity to earn more as experience grows. 

IT managers oversee the technological infrastructure of their business and those who manage it, helping establish access rules and protocols; selecting proper anti-virus tools and software; restricting browser activity; and implementing upgrades or enhancements to existing IT equipment when necessary.

As a field of constant change and development, those in the role often find fulfillment through the consistent challenges and new opportunities it provides. Experience as an IT manager also offers one transferable IT skills to specialise in other high-paying areas of tech – such as cybersecurity or cloud computing. 

How to find the highest paying jobs 

Australia’s highest-paying jobs are often highlighted on business or career-focused websites (i.e. Michael Page, Australian Financial Review, Business Insider), as well as government sites such as the ATO. To seek out specific available roles yourself, online job boards such as SEEK or Indeed allow users to filter out their options by salary.

Simply fill out the industry, job title, and location you’re after, and set your salary range to $100,000 or higher – pulling up all the available roles offering Australia’s highest salaries (thousands of these jobs are typically advertised nationwide). 

Of course, applying for these jobs will require the proper skills, training and experience. Building on your resume through further study and work placements is often recommended. 

What jobs pay over 100k without a degree? 

  1. Ethical hacker.
  2. Construction manager.
  3. Cloud computing specialist.

1. Ethical hacker.

If you’ve got a knack for computer networks, the role of an ethical hacker offers plenty of ever-developing challenges and opportunities across various areas of IT. Working in cybersecurity, ethical hackers are responsible for penetrating a business’ digital systems, ensuring all safeguards and security protocols are up to standard.

According to Payscale, the average ethical hacker earns about $101,152 AUD in Australia. 

2. Construction manager.

Construction managers are responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing building projects at a residential, commercial, or industrial scale; this includes management of staff and associated contractors. 

Employers value their skillset and past work experience – thus apprenticeships in carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and bricklaying are often recommended. Certificate and diploma courses are also available to help one polish their skills and industry knowledge.

According to Payscale, the average construction manager in Australia earns about $109,843 AUD per year.

3. Cloud computing specialist.

With 42% of Australian businesses now on the cloud – a number only set to rise as its technology gains more mainstream prevalence – cloud computing professionals are growing ever-more in-demand as users report greater productivity, profits, and staff retention upon use. 

As a cloud computing specialist, you’ll be tasked with helping businesses migrate their digital resources to the cloud; implementing the best tools and strategies for minimal disruption and maximum efficiency. Employers focus on one’s cloud computing certifications, project portfolio, and references when assessing their candidate pool.

According to Payscale, Australian cloud computing specialists earn as much as $133,863 AUD per year (on average). 

Which jobs are the happiest? 

Though high incomes may be the ultimate goal for many, a job that brings greater fulfillment and happiness may be the top priority for other career-changers. 

According to recent studies, Australia’s consultancy field holds the highest level of worker happiness and satisfaction. Though a largely time-consuming job, the industry offers plenty of flexibility and autonomy – helping individuals refine their management, business, and organisational skills. 

As a field focused on directly helping others, career-changers will find plenty of rewarding opportunities to meet, collaborate, and build professional relationships with people. It’s also the perfect sector for those with excellent soft skills, as the practice requires a high level of empathy, inquisitiveness, and active listening. 

Those of high-level, executive positions also report great levels of career satisfaction; likely due to the varying challenges and leadership opportunities these roles have to offer. Carrying high levels of responsibility, such positions also grant these individuals with plenty of purpose and drive – with many often placing great value in their work.

If you value roles that consistently challenge your skills, offer plenty of development opportunities and high potential for career progression; the science and technology field not only report some of the country’s highest earnings, but also some of its happiest workers. Those seeking exciting career paths that value diversity, innovation, and creative ideas can dive into the vast range of roles this sector has to offer (including those previously mentioned!), and as a field of constant invention – there’s plenty sure to come. 

Snag the high-paying job you want with the right skills and training!

As mentioned – proper skills, experience, and qualifications can help you stand out in the job market, helping you switch careers with success and confidence. Upskilled offers a wide range of courses across Australia’s most in-demand industries, from rewarding roles in community services to the challenging specialties of the IT sector.

Switch careers to one of Australia’s highest-paying jobs, and build the skills you need with Upskilled today. 

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