Modelling can be precarious work, which rarely lasts forever. This is true for even the most successful models. One study even showed that the average career of a model lasts for less than 5 years. However, the transition to your new career after modelling doesn’t have to be difficult. As long as you are prepared and hopeful for this new chapter in life, it can be an incredibly rewarding transition.

An end to a modelling career is one of the realities that most models deal with. Unfortunately, it’s not usually something they can control. Therefore, the best way to cope with the transition out of the modelling industry is to prepare early on in your career. Preparedness comes in a variety of forms: financially, emotionally and mentally. Spend some time thinking about your interests and passions outside of modelling. It’s also a good idea to explore the types of careers that may suit you.

What Skills do Models Have?

Models acquire a whole range of transferable and adaptable skills during their careers. These include a strong ability to work under pressure, adapt quickly to change and follow directions well. To be a model often involves working in uncomfortable situations and dealing with unfamiliar people. These are valuable skills and experiences for many employers and in a whole range of careers. Be sure to highlight the strong skillset you have developed over the years you have spent modelling on your CV. Be sure to use our CV template to get you started.

For further information on how to emphasise your transferable skills, check out our dedicated guide.

Retraining After Modelling

Many people who work in the modelling industry began at a young age. Therefore, the end of their career offers them the chance to enter further education that they may have missed out on. Entering education later in life shouldn’t feel embarrassing or knock your confidence. Many people choose to return to university to further their education and earn higher qualifications. In fact, in 2020, 37% of all undergraduate students were mature students (don’t worry, “mature” simply means over the age of 21). There are a variety of options that allow students to earn while studying. These include the Open University which provides online courses, and part-time college or university. If you plan ahead, you can begin a part-time course while still employed as a model. This is a great way to make your transition away from modelling as stress-free and efficient as possible.

Find out more in the undergraduate section of our sister website Developing a Student to explore the types of degrees available and how to apply.

Alternative Careers for Ex-Models

Now we’ll take a look at some of the alternative career options for ex-models. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, we’ve included careers that are related to the modelling industry or well-suited to the skills and experiences of a model.


Many models move toward acting when their modelling careers are coming to a close. It’s a natural extension of modelling working in front of the camera and taking direction. That being said, it’s important to remember that acting is a challenging industry to enter. Actors often face a swift and unexpected end to their careers, much like models.


If fashion is still of huge interest to you, there are many possibilities to work in the industry outside of modelling. After years in front of the lens, models are well-equipped to become excellent photographers. If you are interested in photography, further education and training options are available, including internships, apprenticeships, or an undergraduate degree.


Models have gained the necessary skills and experience to excel in the retail sector. As excellent communicators, you will find it easy to grasp the variety of roles in retail. For those models that still hold a keen interest in fashion, entering retail is a great way to stay involved in the industry.

Finding Alternative Careers for Former Models

For some people exiting a modelling career, it may be the chance they have been waiting for to enter a drastically different field. Take your time exploring careers in diverse industries to see what you feel would be the right match for your interests, goals, and values. If you are still unsure which career is right for you, take a look at our dedicated guide.

Refreshing a Career is packed with help and advice for career changers from all backgrounds. Whether you’re looking to find the career that’s right for you or to refresh your skills in a certain area, we’ve got everything you need to find a job that suits you.