As the worst inflation in forty years is taking its toll on families, three-quarters of middle-income Americans say they can’t support their cost of living. As a result, 73% are unhappy with their jobs and 40% actively plan a change seeking better pay, according to a recent study. But starting from scratch, after spending all that time and money on a degree and years of building a career, is by no means easy. And maybe not even necessary.

The team at ELVTR, an online education platform, wanted to find quick and easy re-skilling paths that offer a massive salary bump within the same industry. After analyzing applications of 21,500 Americans looking to enhance their careers, they found five ways workers can secure an up to 50% salary bump without changing professions.

“With inflation at an all-time high, millions of hard-working people find themselves unable to make ends meet in their current role,” Roman Peskin, CEO of ELVTR told me. “Many consider a change of profession in search of higher wages, which would mean their massive student loan debt and years spent establishing themselves in their industries were all for nothing. But changing roles doesn’t require starting over entirely,” he said. These are five career-changing paths that, according to ELVTR research, can provide up to a 50% salary increase:

1. Education: Teacher to Instructional Designer —> 51% salary boost. Businesses are investing heavily in upskilling their employees, with nearly half of organizations increasing their learning and development budgets in 2022. With training a top priority, there is a growing need for instructional designers to develop courses, create learning materials and design activities that support others in advancing their careers. While many teachers are forced out of the profession by stagnant pay, the instructional design field enables educators to fulfill their need to inspire others and enjoy improved pay and better work-life balance.

  • Average salary, according to Glassdoor:
  • Teacher: $68,079
  • Instructional Designer: $102,970

2. Healthcare: Nursing to Healthcare Data Analyst —> 27% salary boost

Data helps healthcare to provide better care and faster diagnoses, but unlocking insight requires bright minds trained to interpret it. Big data investment in healthcare is growing by 29% annually. But there’s only so much talent available. Who better to fill the gap than those that work with this same data already? With coding skills not required, data analysis allows healthcare workers to pivot into an IT role (and secure the raise that comes with it).

  • Average salary, according to Glassdoor:
  • Nurse: $71,404
  • Healthcare data analyst: $91,017

3. Design: Graphic Designer to UX/UI Game Designer —> 18% salary boost

The gaming industry grew 26% during the pandemic and will only continue growing as consumers seek low-cost entertainment amid the recession. Jobs in the industry will remain relatively safe and immune to the recession. Subsequently, budgets will be reserved for high-impact roles, with User Experience/User Interface (UX/UI) design among the most in-demand skills. Here, many graphic designers with industry experience will have transferable skills, such as an understanding of user behavior, that will make transitioning to UX/UI far easier.

  • Average salary, according to Glassdoor:
  • Graphic Designer: $94,359
  • Game UI Designer: $111,070

4. Human resources: HR Coordinator to HR Analyst —> 15% salary boost

Data analysis improves results across all business departments. Human Resources (HR) is no exception. In fact, integrating people analytics will be a key focus for 73% of HR leaders moving forward. Organizations are actively recruiting in this space with HR professionals on top of their wishlists. Those with experience in the field understand what a successful HR operation looks like and, supported by newly acquired analytics skills, can play a greater role in influencing business decisions.

  • Average salary, according to Glassdoor:
  • HR Coordinator: $71,945
  • HR Analyst: $82,564

5. Financial services: Project Manager to Financial Professional —> 8% salary boost

The need for financial statements, tax returns and forecast projections is eternal. But during a recession, monitoring financial health is especially important. Consequently, the financial services sector will grow by 10.8% this year. Those with management skills are particularly well suited to finance roles as they have plenty of experience making tough calls. For those that make the switch, endless progression routes and growth opportunities await.

  • Average salary, according to Glassdoor:
  • Project Manager: $88,907
  • Financial Professional: $95,906

“Our research shows there are plenty of alternative opportunities to consider within the same industry, which can provide a salary bump of up to 50% quickly, easily and stress-free,” Peskin concludes. ELVTR’s research suggests that it might be worthwhile for workers in other professions—in addition to the ones mentioned here—to investigate alternatives to shift from a current role into another position within their field that provides a salary boost.


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