31 Good Jobs for Older People: How to Make Money, Stay Active, and Thrive at Work as a Senior
By Laura Slauson | Published February 14, 2018 | Last updated June 22, 2020
Believe it or not, plenty of jobs for older people are available. And yes, you can work after retirement—for all kinds of good reasons. For example, maybe you want to earn extra money, help others, meet new people, or explore a career you’ve always dreamed about but never had the chance to really try out before. Or maybe you’ve heard that, as you grow older, having a job can provide a surprising number of benefits for your physical and mental health.
The fact is, many of today’s seniors are redefining what it means to be retired—by continuing to work. They’re discovering that their options for making money are as diverse as their many possible reasons for being part of the workforce. And, of course, there’s much more to choose from than just full-time employment. For instance, some seniors start businesses after retirement. Others find part-time jobs.
For seniors over 65, this fact often remains a strong motivating factor: Working past your retirement age can make a big difference when it comes to funding your future elderly years.
This article lists multiple jobs for senior citizens based on various kinds of motivations. (For example, are you looking for a full-time job as someone over 60 who needs to pay bills after a layoff? Are you researching part-time jobs for a 55-year-old woman in your circle of friends who wants some extra spending money? Regardless of your specific motive, you’ll find plenty of ideas here.) Plus, you’ll learn how having a job can help you stay happy and healthy. And you’ll explore useful tips on finding a good job and getting hired as an older person.
- Seniors at work: A growing trend
- 31 good jobs for older people based on different motivations
- 8 benefits of working as a senior
- Age discrimination and your job search
- Looking for jobs as an older person: Practical tips
Seniors at Work: A Growing Trend
Retirement used to mean the end of your working life. But having a job during one’s senior years is now becoming increasingly common. That means more and more older people are figuring out how to make money after retirement. Just take a look at these numbers:
- By 2024, one in four workers will be older than 55, according to Reuters. That’s double what it was in 1994.
- Close to half of the new jobs created in 2018 were filled by 55-and-older workers, making seniors the age group with the biggest job growth that year.
- Almost one in three workers expect to be 67 or older when they retire.
In addition, many employers now actively look to hire seniors. More and more of them are starting to recognize that experienced and mature workers often have strengths that some younger workers lack. For example, many older workers exhibit strengths like:
- Loyalty: A Department of Labor study found that newly hired older workers are more likely to remain in a position over the long term than workers who are hired at younger ages.
- A strong work ethic: When asked to name the advantages of hiring older workers, 70 percent of surveyed HR managers cited this quality, according to an AARP report about the value of experience.
- A good attitude: Out of all age groups, workers over the age of 55 demonstrate the highest levels of positive engagement on the job. That’s according to the AARP report.
31 Good Jobs for Older People
Seniors can get many kinds of jobs. Aside, perhaps, from some extremely physically demanding occupations, almost any job that can be done by a younger person can be done by someone older. It really just depends on the individual, since everyone ages differently.
In other words, the best jobs for older workers vary according to each person’s goals, capabilities, health, and other factors. For example, the criteria used in finding good jobs for women over 50 who still have children at home will naturally be different than the criteria used in finding work for people in their 80s who just want a reason to get out and socialize a few times a week.
Thankfully, there are a wide range of potential jobs for seniors to match all kinds of different motivations and capabilities. The following jobs are arranged by what may be driving you to seek employment. Check out one or more of these categories to see a few practical and inspiring examples:
- You want to stay involved in a prior career
- You want to get out and about in your community
- You want social contact
- You want to help people
- You want to make money and receive good benefits
- You want to work in a job that isn’t physically challenging
- You want to stay active (and you are in good shape physically)
- You want to explore a career related to a favorite hobby or lifelong passion
- You want to become an entrepreneur
Unless otherwise noted, the average hourly wages for each occupation are based on May 2019 estimates from the Occupational Employment Statistics program.
You Want to Stay Involved in a Prior Career
Many seniors want to continue working in their professional fields without having to commit to full-time jobs. By selling their skills and sharing their knowledge on a contract basis, they can keep working while enjoying more freedom and flexibility.
Has your work history helped you acquire a comprehensive resume of accomplishments and a wealth of knowledge in your field? Chances are, the answer is yes. Your skills are valuable, so why not benefit from sharing your expertise?
Companies typically hire consultants for help with specific issues or for guidance during transitions. The pay can be great—especially if you have the kind of expertise that businesses are looking for. Plus, you generally get some flexibility when it comes to determining your hours and working conditions.
- Median hourly wage: $34.13 for business consultants (according to PayScale)
2. Writer and subject matter expert
Another way to share your knowledge is by writing about it. In this age of information, many people are looking for authoritative content online or in print. So if you’re an expert on a particular subject, get your name out there! Begin by starting a blog, publishing articles on platforms such as LinkedIn, or approaching publications related to your area of expertise.
- Average hourly wage: $35.51
Why not teach others about your field? Community colleges and community centers often hire temporary instructors to teach classes for professional development or general interest. So check out your local college, community center, or seniors’ center to see what’s already being offered and inquire about the possibility of creating new classes based on your particular areas of expertise.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to be an academic scholar or professor. Your knowledge and experience could be enough to qualify you to teach self-enrichment classes in a college’s continuing education department. For example, if your former career was in the food industry, you could offer to teach a cooking class.
- Average hourly wage: $22.17 for self-enrichment teachers
You Want to Get Out and About in Your Community
Do you have a good driving record? Driving-related positions often make sense for healthy seniors who want to stay on the go.
4. On-demand driver
Services such as Uber and Lyft need independent drivers to take passengers from place to place. Because you set your own hours, on-demand driving is one of the most flexible part-time jobs for seniors. In fact, according to a survey by Benenson Strategy Group, about 23 percent of Uber’s drivers are over 50. Plus, two-thirds of Uber contractors have no previous job history as drivers. So these services offer suitable jobs for older people with no experience but clean driving records. (If you’re thinking about getting a new vehicle, check out some of the best cars for seniors.)
- Average hourly wage: Varies by location and time of day. For example, one study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that Uber drivers collect $24.77 an hour, on average. Just keep in mind that you’ll be an independent contractor. That means you’re responsible for the cost of vehicle maintenance, insurance, gas, and Social Security and Medicare taxes. You’ll also probably have to pay a booking fee and commission. So by the time these costs are factored in, the take-home pay for Uber drivers works out to an average of $9.21 an hour, according to the EPI study.
However, you can claim fuel expenses on your tax returns. People who drive their vehicles for work can choose to take deductions by mileage or by deducting car maintenance expenses. (If you choose to deduct maintenance expenses, you can write off a percentage of car payments for leased vehicles as well as a percentage of repair costs.) But it’s often a better deal to choose mileage deductions. (According to the IRS, the mileage rate for 2020 is 57.5 cents per mile for business travel.) The IRS can be very picky about vehicle-related deductions, so keep good records.
Deliver food, packages, or other goods from restaurants, stores, or warehouses to the local people who ordered them. (The increased use of…
This article was sourced from Great Senior Living.