The employees have spoken. See the Best Places to Work 2023!

Career Paths

What You Should Know About the Best Careers to Start at 30

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated June 29, 2021

Guide Overview

Is 30 too old to start a career?Best careers for 30 year olds

Guide Overview

An introduction to the best careers to start at 30 years old

While starting a career at 30 may not be the traditional route for the majority of workers, it can give you the opportunity to choose between many rewarding careers. There are several great occupations in industries such as healthcare, education, and IT you can choose from successfully. Learning about these options can start your preparation for transitioning to a new profession in the future. Consider this article for a list of the best careers to start at 30 years old.

Is 30 too old to start a career?

No, there are many practical reasons why embarking on your career at 30 could actually benefit you, such as:

  • You’re likely to have gained several educational qualifications. For some entry-level positions in fields such as web development, a high school diploma can be enough. Typically, people in their twenties have completed their high school and first college degree. Even though you may have got your bachelor’s degree for a profession that no longer interests you, you still have the qualification. A high school diploma and a bachelor’s degree in one discipline can be transferable qualifications that suit a wide variety of career paths. Starting a career at 30 could give you an edge over applicants who do not have the educational credentials you have.
  • You’re likely to have already gained transferable skills. At 30, you’re likely to have worked in a profession or several professions for about 10 years. If you did not go to college, you’re likely to have been in the workforce for about 12 years. While you may not know it, you could have learned transferable skills that are essential for many careers, such as computer skills.
  • You’re likely to know what you want professionally. As a professional starting a career at 30, you’re likely to know exactly what you want from a profession. For example, you may want a high salary, a prestigious job, a chance to make positive difference in your community, or the opportunity to work in the natural environment.
  • You still have plenty of time for career development. When you start a career at 30, you still have several decades ahead of you in which you can gradually climb up the ladder because the average retirement age is 65.
  • You’re likely to be more engaged in a career you want. Making a commitment to a profession you enjoy can give your job performance a major boost. In other words, when workers enjoy their job duties and are committed to a particular career, their engagement with the job is likely to increase.
  • You’re likely to be more productive. Employee engagement increases productivity, so dedicated professionals who like their jobs are likely to perform better than their disengaged colleagues. This is great news if you choose the right profession at 30 because you’re likely to progress much more quickly in it than you did in your previous one, which you did not enjoy. Additionally, choosing a career that works for you at 30 could give you the impetus you need to outperform people who have been in it for longer than you have and are not as motivated as you are.

Learn more: List of Goals to Set for Yourself

Best careers for 30 year olds

Consider the following top professions you can start at 30 to find the one that suits you best:

Best careers in education to start at 30

You can choose the following careers in the education industry:

Kindergarten and elementary school teacher 

For an individual with a bachelor’s degree who has soft skills in empathy, dependability, leadership, and organization, teaching young children can be a rewarding opportunity. You need a certification or a license from your state to start working in the public school system, but you’re unlikely to have to work during your summers.

School counselor

As a school counselor, you will work with children, providing career guidance, academic support, and assistance in making college applications. For job seekers with soft skills in empathy, time-management, kindness, and communication as well as a masters degree in psychology or a related field, this can be a fulfilling profession with a faster than average job growth. In addition to the educational requirements, you’re likely to need a state license to start working.

Teacher assistant

A teacher assistant job can be a suitable option for people with soft skills in empathy, dependability, and communication who enjoy spending time with children. You can get this job with at least two years of college, and it involves helping certified teachers perform their job duties. This is a profession that could work for you if you’re studying part-time toward your college degree, and the work experience could help you to decide whether you want to be a licensed teacher when you graduate.

Learn more: Switching Jobs Internally — How to Apply & How to Manage the Transition

Best careers in healthcare to start at 30

Consider the following healthcare careers:

Registered nurse 

A registered nurse performs an invaluable role in the care delivery process, monitoring patients, dispensing treatment, and working with other healthcare professionals. This profession is suitable for people with soft skills in compassion, reliability, empathy, and communication. There is an increasing demand for nurses, and there are several ways in which you can become one including getting a diploma from an approved program, obtaining an associate degree, or getting a bachelor’s degree. If this profession interests you, consider getting the diploma, working in the industry, and then deciding on whether you want to pursue a degree to facilitate career development.


A psychologist studies interpersonal relations and individual responses to environmental stimuli. These professionals can work independently in a research setting or with patients. While you need at least master’s degree in psychology and a license to start working, the life experience you have already gained can be valuable in this profession. You can also work in this occupation past retirement age. If this profession interests you and you have suitable soft skills in empathy and communication, this could be a rewarding career path.

Learn more: How to Choose a Career Path

Best jobs in IT to start at 30

Computer programmer

A computer programmer writes code using programming languages like JavaScript and tests it. When the code is complete, it can be used in applications that run on laptops and phones. Usually, you need a bachelor’s degree for this job, but you could get hired with a relevant associate’s degree and work experience. Key soft skills for this profession include attention to detail, accuracy, and organization. Hard skills include coding with a programming language.

Web developer

A web developer builds websites that operate on the internet by designing interfaces, navigation, and functions; testing designs; and deploying completed websites. While educational requirements vary based on the individual preferences of employers, you can embark on this career with a high school diploma. Due to ecommerce and the popularity of mobile devices, there is an increasing demand for these professionals. Being organized, accurate, and detail oriented are important soft skills for this career. Knowing how to use programming languages, like HTML, is an example of the hard skills needed for a web developer job.

Learn more: How to Write a Proposal Letter: Tips and Sample

Best careers in agriculture to start at 30


These agricultural managers operate areas that produce vegetable crops, dairy products, or livestock. While farmers do work in offices while performing certain job duties, they usually work outdoors. This job needs a high level of physical fitness. There are great opportunities in this sector for professionals who can use or develop farming innovations, such as vertical farms. Key values that can make this job satisfying include appreciating the natural environment and contributing to a community by providing essential products for survival. Interests in working outdoors and performing manual labor can also identify suitable candidates for this job.

Agricultural and food science technician

This professional helps scientists investigate and test crops and other food items. You can get hired for this occupation with a high school diploma. As this career usually offers on-the-job training, you can improve your skills and consider pursuing further education while working.

Best job in business to start at 30


An entrepreneur operates a startup business, and this career can be challenging, time-consuming, and rewarding. There are specific personality traits such as being disciplined, being a problem-solver, being a self-starter, being a leader, and being motivated that are very important to the likelihood of succeeding in this career. There are no essential educational qualifications needed for this job. However, unless you’re willing to fund your company yourself, you need a business plan that is strong and realistic enough to motivate venture capitalists to obtain an equity stake in the startup through investment.

As discussed, there are many great careers you can opt for at 30. Use what you have learned to further research the careers that interest you.

Looking for a new job? Start here


Related Career Guides