59+ Latest Career Change Statistics, Facts & Trends [2024]

October 11, 2023 0 Comments

Contemplating a career change?

You’re not alone!

Millions of people switch careers every year. 

An average employee changes 5-7 careers before retiring.

Almost 60% of employees in the US are planning to switch careers.

Taking the first step towards change can be scary

However, knowing the latest career change trends can give you the reassurance you need.

Make an informed decision with these career change statistics:

Top Career Change Statistics: Editor’s Pick

  1. Employees in the US have an average tenure of 4.1 years with an employer. [1]
  2. Gen Z is expected to have 16-17 jobs in 5-7 careers. [2]
  3. Nearly two-thirds of employees have recently quit or actively want to quit their jobs. [3]
  4. 41% of employees planning to change careers are searching for flexible or remote work. [4]
  5. The median job tenure of Gen X and Boomers is three times higher than that of Millennials and Gen Z. [1]
  6. 1 in 3 Americans have changed jobs in the last two years. [5]
  7. About 37% of US employees lost their jobs or changed companies in 2020. [6]

Why Do People Change Careers?

reasons for job change

96% of workers are looking for a career change in 2023. [7]

From flexibility to salary hikes, employees shift careers for various reasons. Check out these statistics to understand why people change careers.

50% of workers want to switch careers for higher salaries [8]

In today’s dynamic job market, almost 40% of people want to change careers to increase their earning potential.

80% of people feel their current pay isn’t keeping up with inflation. [9]

The average salary hike when changing jobs is 14.8%. [10]

However, if they stay with the same company, they get a raise of 3-5%.

50% of employees want to change careers for remote working options [8]

After the pandemic, many organizations shifted to remote and hybrid work models. 

About 97% of people wanted some form of remote work. [11]

60% of employees claim that they would switch jobs if they didn’t have remote options. [9]

56% of employees want to change careers for a better work-life balance [8]

Work-life balance is the number one reason people change jobs. 

Many employees want more than job fulfillment; they prefer a balanced life

39% of American workers have a side hustle, even if they earn about $100K. [12]

10% of people change careers to focus all their time on their side hustles.

49% of employees quit their jobs for a more fulfilling career [8]

Nearly half the employees quit their jobs because they were looking for something more meaningful and fulfilling.

Employees are no longer willing to settle for jobs that do not align with their values or goals. They seek careers that offer them a sense of purpose, challenge, and growth.

12% of employees feel that their current careers were never a fit for them.

3 to 7 career changes

43% of people are looking for a new career to grow their skills [8]

Almost half of the employees want a career that will allow them to develop their skills and knowledge.

This highlights the importance of lifelong learning in today’s rapidly changing workforce. 

People want careers that will help them stay ahead of the curve and be competitive in the job market.

27% say they lack growth opportunities in their current roles. 

19% of employees see a career change before their retirement as a “second act” [8]

This is a growing trend among people in their 50s and 60s

Some people want to switch careers right before retirement because they are not fulfilled in their current careers.

Why Do Employees Hesitate to Change Careers?

51% of workers are not actively looking for a job change but would consider a switch if the opportunity arose.

What makes these employees hesitate to make a career switch?

Let’s dive into the numbers.

60% of people feel that they don’t have the qualifications to choose a career in STEM [13]

A study conducted in the UK revealed that about 75% of people looking for a career change don’t have the right qualifications.

40% don’t know how to gain the knowledge and skills to build a career in STEM.

80% of people will focus on developing their skills in the next year.

More than 56% of employees said that financial security is stopping them from changing careers [14]

Switching jobs can be a risky financial move, especially if a person doesn’t have a new job lined up before leaving their current one. 

57% of employees hesitate to change careers because of financial security

In addition to losing a paycheck for a while, they might also have to pay for health insurance and other benefits out of pocket.

These factors affect an employee’s decision to change careers.

40% of employees said they are uncertain about what field to enter into next [14]

Nearly half the workers are not sure about which field to shift to. So, they can’t leave their current career, despite being unhappy.

31% of employees are worried that they are too old to change careers [14]

Ageism is still prevalent in the workplace. Older employees have a hard time landing an interview. That’s why they hesitate to shift careers.

Career Change Statistics by Age

Age influences how many times a person changes careers. 

Here are some statistics about that.

Do younger people change jobs more often?

When people are younger, they tend to change careers often

Employees are likely to change jobs almost six times between the ages of 18-24. [15]

It could be because they have the time and energy to experiment until they find a career that suits them.

Employees change careers about 5.7 times in the six years between the ages of 18 and 24.

Between 25 and 34 years old, employees change jobs an average of 2.4 times [15]

As people grow older, the frequency of career changes decreases.

The average decreases to 2.9 jobs between ages 35 and 44.

It further reduces to 1.9 jobs between ages 45 and 52.

Millennial and Gen Z employees change careers more often than older generations [16]

job tenure by generations

Here’s the average time each generation spends in a job: 

  • Gen Z: 2 years and three months
  • Millennials: 2 years and nine months
  • Gen X: 5 years and two months
  • Baby Boomers: 8 years and three months

Career Change Statistics by Demographic

Want to know how gender, race, and other demographics affect career change?

Look into these numbers for more insight.

Women have 10% shorter tenure than men [1]

On average, women have 12.1 jobs in their lifetime, while men have 12.5 jobs.

Men with higher education have about 11.9 jobs from ages 18 to 54.

Women with a higher education hold an average of 13.1 jobs between the ages of 18-54.

Men without a high school education have about 13.8 jobs between these ages.

Women without a high school education have about 10.0 jobs from ages 18-54.

Employees in the public sector change careers less frequently than those in the private sector [1]

Employees in the public sector stay nearly twice as long in their jobs as those in the private sector.

The average tenure in the public sector is 6.5 years and 3.7 years in the private sector.

Federal employees keep the same job for an average of 8.2 years.

Local government employees’ average tenure is 6.6 years.

State employees’ tenure is 5.6 years.

In the private sector, employees in the manufacturing industry have the longest career, with an average of 5.1 years.

Those in the leisure and hospitality industries have the shortest careers at just 2.3 years on average.

Here’s the average tenure by industry:

IndustryYears
Agriculture3.5
Non-agriculture3.7
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction4.6
Construction4
Manufacturing5.1
Wholesale and retail trade3.3
Transportation and utilities4.3
Information4.2
Financial activities 4.8
Real estate4.6
Professional and business services3.5
Education and health services3.8
Leisure and hospitality2.3
Other services4.1

29% of White employees have been with their organizations for at least 10 years [1]

White employees are 32% more likely to stay at a firm for at least ten years.

26% of Asians, 22% of Hispanics, and 23% of blacks have been with their company for at least a decade.

White employees aged 18-24 change careers 5.9 times on average.

Black employees change jobs an average of 4.8 times.

Latinos change jobs 5.1 times on average.

Which Careers Will Have the Most Jobs in the Future?

top 10 careers and projected growth rate

Check out the top 20 careers and their projected growth rates [17]:

CareersGrowth rate
Wind turbine service technicians45%
Nurse practitioners 45%
Data scientists35%
Information security analysts32%
Statisticians 32%
Medical and health service managers28%
Physician assistants27%
Epidemiologists 27%
Physical therapist assistants 26%
Software developers26%
Occupational therapist assistants24%
Computer and information research scientists23%
Actuaries23%
Operational research analysts23%
Home health and personal care aides22%
Solar photovoltaic installers22%
Veterinary technologists and technicians21%
Taxi drivers21%
Personal care and service workers21%
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers20%

FAQs about Career Change

How do I know if it’s time for a career change?

Here are a few signs that it may be time for a career change: 

  • You are unhappy in your current role.
  • You feel unchallenged or bored at work.
  • You don’t have growth opportunities.
  • Your values and interests have changed.
  • You are looking for a more flexible work-life balance.

How do I make a successful career change?

  • Do your research: Identify positions that fit your skills and interests.
  • Develop a plan: Take courses, workshops, or online tutorials to develop new skills or update your existing skills. 
  • Update your resume and cover letter: Tailor them to the specific jobs you are applying for.
  • Network with people: Attend industry events, join online forums, and reach out to people you admire in your field. 

What resources are available to help me change careers?

  • Career counselors: Career counselors help you identify potential career paths.
  • Online resources: Many online resources can help you research different careers.
  • Government resources: Many governments offer programs and services to help people change careers.

Is it bad to switch careers?

Talented professionals switch jobs every three to five years. 

On average, an employee changes jobs every 4.1 years.

So it’s not bad to switch careers. However, job hopping is often not good for your track record.

Summary

Changing jobs is a big decision that can change the course of your life. Analyze your skills and interests thoroughly before choosing a career. 

Knowing the latest statistics and trends is an important part of research. These career change statistics would’ve given you all the data you need to make an informed decision.

Check out our website for more latest statistics on various topics

Sources:

  1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. EMPLOYEE TENURE IN 2022
  2. The University of Queensland. How many career changes in a lifetime?
  3. HRO Today. 58% of Employed Workers Are Looking to Make Career Change
  4. CNBC. Why 50% of workers want to make a career change: new survey
  5. PBS. Why a third of American workers changed jobs during the Great Resignation
  6. Fortune. A new study highlights that one in three U.S. workers changed or lost jobs in the past year
  7. Forbes. Monster Survey: 96% Of Workers Are On The Job Hunt
  8. Flexjobs.Career Changers Seek Better Work-Life Balance Ahead of Better Pay: FlexJobs Survey
  9. Remote. Co. Report: 80% Say Salary Isn’t Keeping Up With Inflation
  10. Zippia. 26 AVERAGE SALARY INCREASE WHEN CHANGING JOBS STATISTICS [2023]
  11. Flexjobs. Remote Work Statistics & Trends: The Latest in Remote Work
  12. Bankrate. Survey: 39% have a side hustle, and 44% believe they’ll always need one
  13. Computer Weekly. More than 60% of people think they are not qualified for STEM careers
  14. Zippia. 21 CRUCIAL CAREER CHANGE STATISTICS 
  15. Indeed. How Often Do People Change Careers?
  16. Yahoo Finance. Millennials or Gen Z: Who is doing the most job-hopping?
  17.  US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fastest Growing Occupations

Rate this article:

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 30

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.