Joel Greenwald comes from a family of physicians and married one, too. But after a decade of practicing medicine himself, Greenwald decided to hang up his stethoscope. He transitioned to a career that gave him less stress, greater independence, and more flexibility to raise his three sons: financial planning.
And although it took a few years to build up his clientele, Greenwald now earns enough that he doesn’t miss his former salary.
“I needed to do something that could earn something comparable to what I was making as a physician,” he says. “I didn’t want to go into a new field and take a big pay cut.”
Switching careers can feel less risky if you know your new field offers solid job prospects and a sizable salary. Job opportunities for the following five high-paying occupations are expected to grow at least 30% between 2014 and 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consider these fields if you’re thinking about a career change.
1. Nurse practitioner
As a nurse practitioner, you’d be an advanced nurse — likely at a physician’s office or hospital — and would examine patients, consult with physicians, and sometimes prescribe medication and laboratory tests.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 35% increase in employment for nurse practitioners through 2024. The annual median income for the role was $98,190 in 2015. You need a master’s degree to become one.
» MORE: Compare graduate student loans
2. Physical therapist
Physical therapists work with people with injuries or chronic illnesses, helping with rehabilitation and healing. You could be a generalist or specialize in a certain area, such as orthopedics, geriatrics or sports.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34% increase in employment for physical therapists through 2024. Workers in this profession earned an annual median income of $84,020 in 2015. You need a doctoral degree to become one.
If you like collecting and working with data, conducting research and analyzing results, a career in statistics could be a good fit. Statisticians work in a range of fields, including business, engineering, government and health care.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 34% increase in employment for statisticians through 2024. The annual median income for the role was $80,110 in 2015. Statisticians typically have a master’s degree.
4. Physician assistant
As a physician assistant, you’d work alongside physicians diagnosing patients, prescribing medication or doing research. You could choose to specialize in areas including primary care, surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% increase in employment for physician assistants through 2024. The annual median income for the job was $98,180 in 2015. You need a master’s degree to become one.
5. Personal financial advisor
If you like helping people manage their money, becoming a personal finance advisor could be a fulfilling career move. You can focus on a specific topic — such as investing, retirement planning, taxes or college savings — or counsel clients on a range of money questions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% increase in employment for personal finance advisors through 2024. The annual median income for the field was $89,160 in 2015. You typically need at least a bachelor’s degree plus additional certifications to give investment advice or become a certified financial planner.
Now 18 years into his encore career as a financial advisor, Greenwald has found a way to leverage his years of training and experience as a medical doctor. He runs Greenwald Wealth Management, a firm he founded to focus on helping physicians and dentists manage their money.
“With medicine, you’re helping people with their health,” Greenwald says. “With financial planning, you’re helping people with something almost as important: their money.”
This article was written by NerdWallet and was originally published by USA Today.