Best Careers for New Divorcees

Wanting or needing to switch careers post-divorce is normal. There are a number of reasons for doing so: loss of a 2-person income, necessity to return to the workforce, desire to recreate oneself, opportunity to downsize, and much more. Of course, switching careers is easier said than done. For those who are looking to make a switch but prefer to avoid the cost of extended training, here are the top 5 careers to consider.

Registered Nurse

It is the second most in-demand job in Minnesota (following retail salesperson) with a median salary of $78,000. In order to become an RN, you will need to get an associate degree, which should take between 2-4 years depending on your speed and flexibility.

This career switch is best if you will be receiving temporary spousal maintenance or child support, as either one will give you a financial cushion to be able to spend approximately 2 years studying.

Potential reasons for choosing an RN career include (1) needing to return to the workforce after many years of absence, (2) wanting the return to be a meaningful career and not just a job, or (3) needing a higher paying job due to increased cost-of-living.

Software Developer

It is the 17th most in-demand job in Minnesota with a median wage of $90,000. While this position requires at least a bachelor’s degree, an individual with any B.A. but without a software background can enter this field by completing a 12 to 24-week Coding Boot Camp at the University of Minnesota.

This career switch is best if you have sufficient savings or family members willing to help you out financially during the 12 to 24-week boot camp.

Potential reasons for choosing a software developer career include (1) wanting to recreate yourself into a new person, (2) needing a more flexible career to raise children, or (3) wanting a job where you can work remotely in case you impulsively decide to relocate far away from your ex.

Truck Driver

It is the fourth most in-demand job in Minnesota. It requires a high school degree or an equivalent. The median wage is $46,000.

This career switch is best if you do not have children, want a quick entry into a new industry, and do not have a pressing need to earn a substantial salary.

Potential reasons for choosing a truck driving career include (1) wanting to spend more time alone and on the road, (2) no longer needing to support a family, or (3) preferring a more modest and less stressful lifestyle.


It is the 52nd most in-demand job in Minnesota. An electrician can expect to earn a median wage of $71,000 with a postsecondary nondegree award and an apprenticeship. Electricians are one of few careers that still receive pension plans.

This career switch is best if you are not obligated to pay child support or alimony and are comfortable with living a modest lifestyle while receiving the certificate and completing the apprenticeship.

Potential reasons for choosing an electrician career include (1) wanting a new challenge, (2) needing hands-on training due to being out of the workplace for a while, or (3) needing to restart preparing for retirement because of savings lost during the divorce.

Loan Officers

It is the 68th most in-demand job in Minnesota. It requires a high school degree or an equivalent and moderate on-the job training. Loan officers earn a median wage of $71,000.

This career switch is best if you are not the sole custodian of your children as the position often requires extensive hours.

Potential reasons for choosing a loan officer career include (1) needing to earn a higher salary to afford paying child support and increased cost-of-living, (2) not having sufficient resources to afford training or education prior to employment, or (3) wanting to become financially literate through the job in order to better secure your future.

Regardless of what career you decide to enter, having current computer usage skills is essential. AVIVO, formerly known as RESOURCE, offers a short-term training program to help individuals gain the basic computer and professional skills to be competitive in the changing work place.

You can find more information on Minnesota job availability, required training, and median wag at Minnesota Employment and Economic Development.

This blog post was made possible by the generous contributions of Jan Lowe, MS, of Rehabilitation Counselors, Inc. Jan has over 40 years of experience as a vocational specialist. She provides vocational assessments and individualized consultations to people of all ages who are looking to start a new career or return to the workplace.

Jan is the co-author of CAREERCODE: Know your code. Find your fit. and co-founder of CAREERCODE LLC, an organization “created to help everyone discover a more meaningful life. [CAREERCODE] positively affects relationships and general outlook on life by providing individuals a strong sense of self and guiding them toward opportunities.”

If you are wondering what career would best suit your personality, take the CAREERCODE quiz or buy the CAREERCODE book. Make the next chapter in your life the best chapter yet!


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