The best jobs for seniors

With retirement becoming a thing of the past, know the best jobs out there for you, and how to find them.

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Retirement. It sounds like a great idea, but in fact, fewer people are retiring today than ever before. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11.9% of the workforce was made up of people 55+ in 1994, but that number has steadily grown and is expected to be 24.8% by 2024. A 2016 report from the Pew Research Center found that nearly 9 million people 65+ are employed full- or part-time, an increase since 2000, when 4 million people 65+ were employed.

“The whole notion of retirement has been turned on its head,” says Kerry Hannon, a career and retirement expert and author of What’s Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond. “How can we retire at 65 when we’re living so much longer?” Plus, many people simply have not saved enough to retire.

Where to Look

Online. Some companies actually label themselves as “age-friendly.”; RetirementJobs.com hosts an “Age Friendly Employer Certification” program, where the companies included have met “best-practice” standards (such as management style, flexible scheduling, and healthcare benefits that tend to be senior-friendly). To find out more, click here. Other great job sites specifically geared toward the post-retirement crowd: Retireeworkforce.com, SeniorJobBank.org, and Workforce50.com.

There are also many people who are choosing not to retire or choosing to have a second or third career. And working, in and of itself, isn’t such a bad thing. “Having a job keeps you mentally engaged and keeps money coming, staving off collecting Social Security or dipping into your retirement account,” says Hannon. No matter what your reason behind getting a job, you need to know the best resources out there.

New career. Get in on an industry that’s growing. Some of the biggest growing jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: nursing, retail sales, home health aides, office clerks, food service, customer service and truck driving. While you may have to head back to school in some cases, there’s a high probability that you’ll have a job waiting for you when you are finished. Another option to consider: a direct-sales business, such as Avon or Tupperware. The hours are flexible, there’s a social component of hosting parties and you can make a five- or six-digit salary depending on how much you work. Look at the Direct Selling Association member directory for legitimate companies that might be interesting for you.

Part-time. Working part-time means money’s coming in, but also gives you a more flexible schedule. Jobs to consider:

  • Your old job. “Consider doing your old job, for less,” says Hannon. Employers don’t like to lose people with experience, so find out if you can consult or work on short-term projects at your old company.
  • Freelance. Freelancing—such as bookkeeping or editing—is on the rise, since employers are nervous to make full-time hires in this job market. Check out FlexJobs.com for short-term professional jobs. Pay is based on your profession.
  • Tutor or substitute teacher. The credentials you earned during your working years can qualify you to teach a class at your local community college, cover for sick teachers at elementary schools or help prepare kids to take the SAT, says Hannon. Call local schools or sign up with an online agency such as Wyzant or Champion Learning Center. You can earn $10 an hour and up.
  • University work. “College towns are virtually recession-proof and are teeming with part-time job opportunities, especially on campus with jobs such as part-time research positions,” says Hannon. Log on to a university’s website to look for current openings. Pay is $8.50 and up.
  • Handyman/Household services. If you enjoy tinkering, you can make $10-$20 an hour to fix things, so long as you have your own tools. If you are a talented seamstress, consider doing alterations (check local tailor rates to price accordingly). Start with friends or neighbors and ask them to pass your name along.
  • Pet sit. Love animals? “Pet sitting ($25 to $45 a day) and dog walking ($10-$22 an hour) can actually be very profitable,” says Hannon. Check out Rover.com and Pet Sit International.
  • Seasonal work. At the holidays, department stores often hire extra staff. In the spring, accounting offices, amusement parks, and nurseries hire extra hands.
  • Sporting events/coaching. “Practically every major and minor league team host job fairs each spring for everything from ticket collectors to game announcers,” says Hannon. Pay range is $8-$11.50 an hour (plus the perk of getting to see the games for free!) If you’re interested in coaching (between $3,000 to $5,000 a season) or being an umpire (up to $50 a game), get in touch with local high schools, youth teams or amateur leagues.