Career Change Statistics

Up-to-date statistics on career change, fulfilment, and the future of work.

Stats on people making a career change

The average career changer has hourly pay 14% lower when starting a job in a new sector, compared to those staying in the same job. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
1.7 million people switched sectors in 2022. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
Younger people are three times more likely to switch sectors than older people. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
People needing to train full time for a year before changing career could face a £40k bill. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
Career changers face an average pay penalty of £3,731 per year. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
7.4 million people started a new job in 2022-23, driven by a 20% post-pandemic spike in job-to-job moves. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
People qualified to degree-level and above are 20% more likely to change to jobs in the same sector than those qualified to level 2 or below. Those with lower qualifications are 30% more likely to switch sectors than more highly qualified people. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
People thought they would need training (31%), financial help (25%), and advice (23%) to retrain in a new career. 23% weren’t sure what help they would need. - 1 Oct 2023, Learning & Work Institute
30% of UK professionals have changed jobs in the past year since the pandemic began. Of these 38% completely changed roles, industry and company, while 20% remained at the same company, but changed roles. - 23 Mar 2021, TopCV
75% of survey participants stated the pandemic had altered their career plans. 49% said recent events had caused them to reflect on what they wanted from their career or employer, prompting them to look for other job opportunities. - 23 Mar 2021, TopCV
34% of those making new career plans were made redundant or furloughed during the pandemic. 18% have had to look for work outside their field or industry until the market recovers. - 23 Mar 2021, TopCV
Of those changing roles in the past year, the most popular areas for their next role were operations and general management (18%), healthcare (15%) and engineering and construction (14%). - 23 Mar 2021, TopCV
67% of those who have started working in a different industry following Covid-19 believe the skills they already had were of use. - 11 May 2020, TotalJobs
The average worker in Britain considers changing career ten times per year, and nearly 20% are currently thinking about retraining. - 1 Sep 2019, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

Stats on people looking for support in a career change

Seven in ten of all adults (70%) say that the government needs to do more to help people build their skills throughout their career. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
Low awareness of careers guidance available is a factor holding back some midlife job changes – with half (51%) of all 45 to 54-year-olds unaware of any careers information or advice services. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
15% of those aged 45 to 54 who expect to change career have have received careers advice. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos

Stats on what the blockers are to making a career change

18% of women (compared to 10% of men) aged 45 to 54 say confidence is holding them back from changing jobs. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
Among those working (aged 45 – 54), the most common reasons for holding back from job changes include age (21%) or that ‘it's considered too late’ (16%). - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
22% of adults worry about having the ability to learn a new job or simply don’t know where to begin. - 31 Mar 2022, Santander
30% of adults say that a fear of change and a lack of confidence are the biggest barriers to changing careers. - 31 Mar 2022, Santander
One in four (25%) are reluctant to start their own business due to a lack of digital skills. - 31 Mar 2022, Santander
17% of UK workers say they cannot change their jobs or start a new career because of their lack of digital skills. - 31 Mar 2022, Santander
80% of people had done little or nothing to achieve change following Covid, as a result of social and economic obstacles. Two in five of those surveyed claimed money concerns were preventing them making changes and 31% cited a lack of opportunity. - 12 Jul 2021, Global Future
Those aged 25-34 are most reluctant to change careers. 31% had a lack of knowledge of other jobs, 41% were worried about starting all over again, 21% were concerned about the cost of retraining. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
Only 16% of survey respondents understand exactly how their skills would be useful in another career. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
32% of people surveyed had no idea where else their current skill set might be useful. 34% were concerned about starting over again, 21% said they lacked knowledge of other sectors, and around 19% expressed an overall lack of confidence in changing careers. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
22% of those interested in switching careers are not confident they have the transferable skills and experience required. - 30 Oct 2020, Now Teach
30% of employees surveyed stated their biggest obstacle to making a change is family or financial commitments. 19%, stated lack of qualifications, 17% stated a lack of confidence, 19% have no idea how to switch careers and 14% are put off by the time it takes to re-train. - 27 Sep 2019, Jobrapido

Stats on number of jobs in a lifetime

Out of 3,345 UK adults surveyed, two-fifths (42%) of those working aged 45 to 54 have been in their current main job for 11 years or over. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
In France, Germany, and Spain, the increase in job transitions required due to trends influenced by COVID-19 is 3.9 times higher for women than for men. - 23 Jan 2023, Mckinsey & Company
Six in ten (59%) of 18-34-year-olds agree that portfolio careers will become more popular within the next ten years. - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate
54% of 18-34-year-olds predict that the ability to have a portfolio career will be important to them at some point in their career. - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate

Stats on number of people wanting a career change

A third of 45 to 54-year-olds (midlifers) expect to change career before retirement. - 1 May 2023, Phoenix Insights / Ipos
The average UK worker believes it’s too late to change careers by the age of 45 – because they can’t keep up with technology. 21% would like to retrain and start a new career, but worry they are ‘too old’, while almost 17% feel they lack the digital skills needed to take this step. - 31 Mar 2022, Santander
64% of those furloughed in the hospitality industry plan to move industries and 17% are using their time to re-skill to change careers. In the travel sector, around 55% of furloughed travel sector workers are considering moving and 13% are actively re-skilling. - 21 Apr 2021, NTT DATA UK
13% of survey respondents reported they are actively re-skilling to change careers. - 21 Apr 2021, NTT DATA UK
Sixteen percent of people thinking about a career change reported being interested in the technology sector – closely followed by retail (13%), education (13%), and civil service and government (12%). - 21 Apr 2021, NTT DATA UK
10.8 million UK adults plan to add to their incomes or make a full-time career from a hobby. - 8 Apr 2021, Aviva
More people aged 25-34 want to retrain (14% compared with 10% across all age groups) or follow a completely different career path (14% compared with 9% all ages). - 8 Apr 2021, Aviva
87% of the under-25's want to re-evaluate their careers and change their work plans over the next year. - 8 Apr 2021, Aviva
60% of people want to make some career changes because of Covid-19 compare to 53% in July 2020. - 8 Apr 2021, Aviva
Between July 2020 and February 2021 the proportion of workers intending to follow a completely different career path has increased from 7% to 9%, while those planning to find a role which helps others has risen from 6% to 8%. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
34% of Britons want to change career but have no idea where to start. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
One in four women are setting up their own business, while 61% are dreaming of a complete career change post Covid-19. - 1 Sep 2020, Allbright
70% of UK workers are now more likely to consider working in a different sector, while a quarter expect to change industries within the next year. - 11 May 2020, TotalJobs
Nearly two thirds (62%) of the UK workforce want to change their career path. - 27 Sep 2019, Jobrapido
40% of employees in the UK are planning to change careers in the next two years. - 10 May 2018, First Direct
47% of individuals want to change their careers. - 18 Sep 2015, London School of Business and Finance
21% of people are hoping to change career in the next 12 months, for salary prospects, better work-life balance, and improved job satisfaction. - 18 Sep 2015, London School of Business and Finance

Stats on number of people planning to change jobs

53% of people wanted to change their careers entirely, with 79% wanting to work in a new field. 43% of people were looking to retrain in a new profession, 31% were interested in starting up their own businesses and 21% in transitioning to a freelance career. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
When asked the types of organisation people wanted to work for, 69% said a social enterprise, 67% a non-profit or charity, and 54% wanted to work within sustainability or conservation. Only 13% of people wanted to work in finance or banking, 5% manufacturng and £% law. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
The pandemic has driven major changes in labour market participation in the UK. There has been a shift of about half a million women from working part-time to full-time since the pandemic began. - 23 Nov 2021, Resolution Foundation / LSE
Almost a quarter (24%) of employees surveyed in the UK say they plan to move jobs within the next three to six months. - 5 Nov 2021, Randstad
36% of people in sales and 46% of call centre workers surveyed said they planned on leaving the industry within the next 3-6 months. 84% of those surveyed in the construction industry said they wouldn’t consider leaving the industry. - 5 Nov 2021, Randstad
Almost 7 in every 10 employees (69%) surveyed said they felt confident to move to a new job in the next couple of months. Only 16% of workers describe themselves as worried about trying to get a new job. - 5 Nov 2021, Randstad
39% of those considering a new profession want to make a difference in their new career. - 30 Oct 2020, Now Teach

Stats on why people make a career change

49% of people said the pandemic has made them want a clearer sense of purpose and 38% has said it has made them want to have a social impact in their job. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
61% of people surveyed said the pandemic has affected their future career aspirations. 73% said it had made them reevaluate their path and 67% said it had changed what was important to them in their career decisions. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
The leading drivers of career change are not related to COVID-19: 57% of respondents wanted more choice and to try something new; 38% stated wellbeing and needing more work/life balance; and 34% stated salary and looking to earn more money. - 26 Aug 2020, Find Courses

Stats on a good workplace culture

When deciding whether to apply for a job seekers rated the importance of a company being purpose driven, as 8.5/10. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
89% of respondents wanted a career with a clear sense of purpose. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
A flexible work culture is a key consideration for young workers when choosing a job. Over half (53%) of 18-34-year-olds will not join companies that are inflexible about the way their people choose to work. - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate
Workplace stress in the UK workforce is caused by workload (40%), poor management (21%) or challenging targets (12%). - 1 Apr 2021, Investors in People
41% of social care workers have considered leaving their current job due to stress, whereas 77% of law enforcement workers have never considered quitting for this reason. - 1 Apr 2021, Investors in People
35% of UK employees have considered leaving their current job due to stress. - 1 Apr 2021, Investors in People
59% of UK employees said that work has impacted their mental health at some point in their careers. - 1 Apr 2021, Investors in People
36% of UK workers say their workplace supports mental wellbeing. - 1 Apr 2021, Investors in People
30% of organisations said that embedding a purpose-led culture was a top priority for 2021. - 21 Jan 2021, Inspiring Workplaces & Roundel
71% of employees feel their manager is considerate of their wellbeing, compared to 63% of employers. - 1 Nov 2016, CIPD

Stats on wanting greater work flexibility

69% of employees say flexible working will pay a bigger role in future decisions about their job or career choices. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
76% of people said the worst thing about remote working was the lack of connection with colleagues. 44% of people struggled with the lack of separation between work and life. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
26% of respondents found the best part of working remotely was being able to tailor theur schedules to when they were most productive - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
74% of professionals said that a flexible working location is the primary barometer they use when assessing a new role. - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
60% of professionals said that flexible working hours was the most important factor in assessing a new role - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
A 4-day working week was most important to 40% of professionals in assessing a new role - 1 Oct 2022, Escape the City
Companies offering hybrid or remote working are less likely to be affected by resignations, with almost 1 in 3 (28%) workers admitting that flexible working policies are encouraging them to stay in their current job. - 31 Jan 2022, HR Director
29% of UK workers are considering moving to a new job in 2022. The legal (44%), IT & telecoms (42%), and sales, media & marketing (40%) industries are most likely to be affected by a mass migration of staff. - 31 Jan 2022, HR Director
32% of UK workers have delayed resigning in the past 12 months due to uncertainty over how the pandemic will affect the jobs market or because they want to lose their current flexible working structure (25%). - 31 Jan 2022, HR Director
One in five (16%) of UK workers wanting to leave their current work, say it’s because their employer forces them to come to the office or workplace when they can work remotely. - 31 Jan 2022, HR Director
Younger workers see the benefits of freelance work to give them the flexibility to experiment with different career routes (57%) and to have a family or pursue their interests (50%). - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate
Over a third (36%) of 18-34-year-olds made a career change to work more flexibly during the pandemic. - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate
One in four businesses will allow all of their staff to work from home, at least some of the time after the pandemic. - 29 Jul 2021, YouGov
Only 19% of businesses plan to make employees come in five days a week after the pandemic. - 29 Jul 2021, YouGov
Almost half (48%) of 1,400 UK workers surveyed found working from home as a positive move and less stressful than being based wholly at another location. This was due to the lack of commuting (57%), spending more time with family (29%) and not having to worry about what to wear (42%). - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
During the pandemic, just one in five (19%) people questioned said they found working from home more stressful. This was due to them struggling to switch off (43%), missing their colleagues (36%), or didn’t have a suitable space to work (27%). - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
The most popular change which people would like to introduce to their career is the ability to work from home, with 10% of people surveyed requesting this. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
91% of organisations are now offering more flexibility in how, when and where work gets done - 21 Jan 2021, Inspiring Workplaces & Roundel
60% of organisations are working remotely. - 21 Jan 2021, Inspiring Workplaces & Roundel
The move to remote working led 40% of organisations to have better engagement, 51% of organisation's employees to feel more empowered and 39% of organisations were more innovative. - 21 Jan 2021, Inspiring Workplaces & Roundel
Four in ten people who had never worked from home before Covid-19 want to continue to do so after the crisis is over. 91% want to be able to do so at least some of the time once the pandemic is over. - 22 Oct 2020, YouGov
84% of UK full-time workers are planning on working remotely in some form for the rest of 2020. 41% would be likely to resign if they were forced to return to the office against their will. 44% of UK full-time workers plan to work a full five day working-week from home, with 55% planning a more hybrid role with one to four days in the office. - 1 Aug 2020, OWL Labs
43% of dads are considering reducing their hours or taking jobs closer to home, so they can spend more time with their family and take on additional parenting. - 1 May 2020, Slater Gordon
Before lockdown only one in ten employees were regularly allowed to work from home. 44% complain about the traditional and inflexible setting still imposed by their employer. 48% plan to request some remote working once the restrictions on movement are reduced. One third of Brits plan to ask for more flexible hours, allowing staff to work when and where they want. - 1 May 2020, Slater Gordon
Over nine in ten UK workers are not working the usual nine to five week. 42% already work flexibly in some form or another, e.g. job sharing or compressed hours. - 24 Aug 2019, YouGov
78% of UK workers report positive quality of life benefits from flexible working. - 1 Jun 2019, CIPD

Stats on how people make a career change

There has been a 58% increase in applications of horticultural work-based training programmes as people consider post-pandemic career options - 14 Dec 2021, Capel Manor
A significant number of horticulture apprentice applicants were career changers with 25-34 year olds accounting for 39% of applicants and 35-44 year olds for 17%. Around half (49%) were women. - 14 Dec 2021, Capel Manor
12% of UK adults say they plan to turn a hobby into a second source of income, while 8% hope that a hobby will become a career. This is equivalent to 10.8 million UK adults, who plan to add to their incomes or make a full-time career from what started out as a hobby. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva

Stats on people wanting a career change due to Covid-19

44% of 18-34-year-olds do not want to work the way they did before the pandemic. Over half (54%) of those surveyed consider the shift to more freelance working as a good thing for graduates, school leavers and new entrants into the world of work. - 3 Nov 2021, Sonovate
Over three-quarters of Britons have re-evaluated their lives during Covid. More than a third of the 2,000 people surveyed for Global Future said they had thought about changing jobs, while a separate third had looked at moving house. One in 10 people said they had looked at moving abroad. Less than one in 10 had considered breaking up with their partner or starting a new relationship. - 12 Jul 2021, Global Future
Three fifths (60%) of UK workers intended to make changes to their careers, in response to the Covid situation. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
One in ten (11%) of those aged 25-34 are seeking a change because the pandemic has fundamentally altered their current jobs. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
46% of workers across all industries are considering new roles as a result of the pandemic. - 27 Aug 2020, KPMG & Financial Services Skills Commission
44% of financial services workers surveyed are considering a career change in light of the pandemic. 13% won’t return to the sector due to long hours and commutes. - 27 Aug 2020, KPMG & Financial Services Skills Commission
41% of survey respondents aged 25-34 and 43% of those aged 55+ are more likely to decide to change careers due to COVID-19 than other age groups. - 26 Aug 2020, Find Courses
COVID-19 has prompted 35% of survey respondents to decide to make a career change. - 26 Aug 2020, Find Courses
Reasons for considering moving roles due to the pandemic are: a lack of jobs in the industry respondents currently work in (25%), current jobs only ever taken on as temporary work (13%) and having plans already in motion for changing careers pre-pandemic (31%). - 12 Jun 2020, Adecco Group
29% of the UK’s workforce is considering a significant career change after the coronavirus crisis has subsided. 16% are already in the process of retraining for a new career while in lockdown. - 12 Jun 2020, Adecco Group
41% of Brits are considering quitting their jobs for more fulfilling work when the pandemic is over. One in five of those is looking for a career change, into the medical front line. - 1 May 2020, Slater Gordon

Stats on age of people making a career change

Those in the 25-34 age group are most likely to want to retrain (14%) compared to 10% across all age groups) or follow a completely different career path (14% vs 9% all ages) - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
People aged under 25 are most likely to want to make changes to their work plans in the next 12 months as a result of the pandemic, with 87% re-evaluating their careers. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
Over one in ten (11%) of those aged 50 or older are interested in changing career in the next five years. - 30 Oct 2020, Now Teach
40% of 18 to 24 year olds and 25% of those aged 45 to 54 years are considering a change in role post pandemic. - 12 Jun 2020, Adecco Group
People below the age of 35 years are more likely to change jobs. From 2017 to 2018, 51% of 16-to-20-year-old job changers switched jobs from a part-time job to another part-time job. - 29 Apr 2019, ONS
42% of the over-45's plan to change careers in the next two years. - 10 May 2018, First Direct

Random - Smiley stats

Seven out of 10 (68%) UK adults report they have learned new practical skills or improved on existing abilities as a result of time spent during lockdown. The majority of people (69%) who have learned a new skill or started a new hobby during lockdown have kept up with it. - 1 Apr 2021, Aviva
Employees have six office romances, 812 arguments at work and will brew 7,989 rounds of tea or coffee for themselves or their colleagues. - 2 Oct 2018, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)

Stats on jobs available post Covid-19

Two thirds (65%) of Britain’s working population expect the job market to be worse in 2021 than it was in 2020. - 3 Feb 2021, City and Guilds & Burning Glass Technologies
Employers that embrace the flexible working revolution post the Covid-19 pandemic could boost applications from women for top jobs by as much as 20%. - 17 Nov 2020, Zurich
Between October 9th and 16th the total number of online job adverts was at 66% of the average of 2019. - 22 Oct 2020, ONS

Stats on being happy or fulfilled at work

80% of organisations reported that the events of 2020 negatively impacted employee mental health - 21 Jan 2021, Inspiring Workplaces & Roundel
89% of respondents who are very happy or somewhat happy in their current job roles, are considering changing careers. - 26 Aug 2020, Find Courses
A ten-point increase in work meaningfulness reduces absenteeism by about one day per year and raises the intended retirement age by 2.5 years. - 1 Apr 2020, IZA Institute
Over half (54%) of British workers’ overall happiness depends on how they feel at work. - 20 Feb 2020, YouGov
44% of British workers say it's very important to have a job that feels purposeful and another 43% say it’s somewhat important. - 20 Feb 2020, YouGov
26% of British workers believe their job lacks meaning. - 20 Feb 2020, YouGov
54% of UK workers are either ‘often’ or 'always' enthusiastic about their job. - 1 Jun 2019, CIPD
29% of employees are most likely to say that work makes them feel cheerful most or all of the time. Only 9% say work makes them feel excited most or all of the time. - 1 Nov 2016, CIPD
23% of British people in employment regret their current choice of career. For younger workers this rises to 30% of 25 to 34-year-old's regretting their current career choice. - 18 Sep 2015, Independent / London School of Business and Finance
Only 49% of British workers say they’d be proud to tell someone about what they do for work, when meeting for the first time. - 12 Aug 2015, YouGov
37% of working British adults say their job isn't making a meaningful contribution to the world. - 12 Aug 2015, YouGov
33% of working British adults do not find their jobs personally fulfilling. - 12 Aug 2015, YouGov

Stats on job uncertainty due to Covid-19

Professional network The Dots, which focuses on the creative industries and advertises positions at magazines, museums, fashion brands and social media companies, has seen a 143% increase in applications for every role it posts. - 5 Dec 2020, Guardian
Nearly 5 million workers over the age of 50 (36%) are worried about their job as a result of Covid. - 30 Oct 2020, Now Teach

Stats on wanting a better work life balance

69% of workers want to see a greater focus on work life balance when work returns to ‘normal’. - 11 May 2020, TotalJobs
24% of UK workers find it difficult to relax in their personal time because of their job and 26% report that work affects personal commitments. - 1 Jun 2019, CIPD
51% of UK employees want more flexible work options. - 1 Jan 2017, Mercer
49% of UK employees want their employer to focus more on health and wellness. - 1 Jan 2017, Mercer
33% of employees say they come home from work exhausted, either often (24%) or always (9%). - 1 Nov 2016, CIPD

Stats on when people change jobs

On average, around 9% of people changed jobs each year between 2000 and 2018. - 29 Apr 2019, ONS