Considering a career change at 50? Whether you’re bored in your current role or you’d like a better work-life balance, there are plenty of professions you can retrain for at this age without prior experience or qualifications – and you can even stay in your job whilst retraining.

In this post, we’ll look at some of the best retraining opportunities for over 50s and explore why the trade professions are such a popular choice at this age. If you’re inspired by any of the jobs discussed and you’d like to find out about our retraining courses, get in touch.

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Making a career change at 50

Retraining for a new role in your 50s is becoming increasingly common. According to the most recent ONS report, 50+ employment rates have risen from 55.8% to 72.5% over the last 35 years and those in this age bracket now work in more roles during their lifetimes on average.

Traditionally, it was much harder to find a new job when making a career change at this age. More and more, though, we’re seeing employers value the life experience and transferable skills that adult retrainees can bring to a new role, resulting in a rise in the number of over 50s taking our courses.

Once you’ve decided that a change in direction is the right option, there’s still the challenge of finding a role that’s a good fit for you. The remaining sections of this guide explore a selection of the best jobs for retraining at 50 to give you some inspiration.

What are the best jobs for retraining at 50?

The trade professions are a popular choice for retraining at this age. In particular, a lot of over 50 career changers choose to retrain as:

  • Plumbers
  • Gas Engineers
  • Electricians


Plumbing is a common profession to retrain in at 50. The potential earnings are a big part of why this is the case: according to Indeed, the average salary for a plumber in the UK is £16.51 per hour compared to the overall average of £11.82 per hour. If you retrain as an adult, you’ll likely earn more than average in your first role, and you could take home extra by becoming Gas-Safe registered (more on this below).

Getting into plumbing as an adult is easier than in many other lines of work. The two main entry routes are to become a plumber’s mate or complete a fast-track plumbing course – some choose the first option to build up on-the-job experience, but it’s best to retrain through a course if you want to increase your earning potential and land a job quickly.

To learn more, check out our resources on how to become a plumber and what plumbers actually get up to.

Gas Engineering

When discussing ideas for retraining at 50, gas engineering is one that often comes up. Again, wages are a common incentive here, with many gas engineer salaries amounting to more than £40,000 per year. At Skills Training Group, we often help plumbers to retrain as gas engineers in their 50s due to the increased salary and ability to attract a wider client base.

To go down this route, you first need to take a gas engineering course and become Gas-Safe registered. This process involves training for ACS assessments, which can take as little as 25 weeks with experienced training providers like us. For more inspiration, take a look at our post on what gas engineers do.

If you decided that you’d like to become a gas engineer, read our guide on how to retrain as a gas engineer to find out about the next steps you can take.

Electrical Work

Less popular than plumbing or gas engineering, we still help a fair few over 50s to retrain as electricians. As an electrician in the UK, you’ll tend to earn more than plumbers but less than gas engineers, but this can vary by region and the type of work you get up to. Some electricians who work mainly on commercial testing for landlords earn in excess of £50,000 per year.

If you’re looking to make a career change at 50, specialise in an area that allows you to work without too much physical labour in the long term. Electrical testing is a great route to go down in this case, as you can avoid the constant activity you’d find elsewhere in the electrical trade and carry on working until you’re ready to retire.

Learn more about how to become an electrician here.



This guide has explored the best jobs to retrain for at 50 in the UK, focusing on plumbing, gas engineering, and the electrical trade. Should you decide that one of these professions is right for you, contact us to find out about the next steps you’ll need to take.

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