As seniors begin to age, one thing that takes precedence over most other priorities is planning for retirement. Sometimes, however, things do not always go according to plan. Instead of settling down and aging in place, some seniors get back into the workforce.
Whether it is to stave off loneliness, find new companions, keep yourself occupied, ensure you stay sharp, pursue a career you've always wanted, or earn some extra spending money or income for retirement, there are numerous jobs out there suited to retirees' different needs.
"Retirement" need not be limited to its usual definition. Today's retirees can call the shots when it comes to how they want to spend their golden years.
Ultimately, you may even find that making this decision is empowering in itself.
More and more senior citizens are going back to work these days. There are a number of mental and physical benefits in having a job as a senior, and an estimated one in four workers will be 55 and older by 2024.
This is due to both its health benefits and the opportunity to earn some extra income. You will keep your mind and memory active, and doing labor may combat any physical issues you are having.
Contrary to the belief that older workers are incompetent, less energetic, and not as capable, companies are beginning to realize the value of hiring more mature individuals to fill in a position.
Senior workers are loyal, have a strong work ethic, are equipped with more experience, and have more positive outlooks while doing a job.
This is also a great opportunity for you to finally try out something new. Working even part-time jobs for seniors can help you mitigate the loneliness that often comes with age. This can improve your quality of life, especially if you find something that you truly enjoy doing.
Also, earning some extra income never hurts. Working seniors can put more into their retirement funds and afford to pay for the lifestyle they have always wanted.
There are many options for both part- and full-time jobs for seniors. Here are ten of the most common positions spanning different industries:
As a pharmacy technician, you will get to experience how the health care and pharmaceutical industry work. You work alongside pharmacists, whether at the hospital or drugstore, as they update patients' files, fill out prescriptions, and the like.
You do not need prior experience and a high school diploma will suffice for this position.
However, if you want to go the extra mile, you can check out some of your local community colleges to see if they have a program for pharmacy technology. This will qualify as postsecondary education, and lots of seniors are looking into becoming pharmacy technicians through this route.
These programs do not require much time commitment either and will result in you having either a full- or part-time job. Many of these community college classes in pharmacy technology now have curricula geared towards individuals aged 50 years and above.
After completing a degree, you will likely have additional on-the-job training to sharpen your skills in the field. Your days will likely be a mix of facing or chatting with customers and doing behind-the-scenes work managing inventory.
Senior citizens who enjoy reading may take a position as library assistants. This is one of the more quiet, peaceful jobs for seniors who are on the bookish side.
Library assistant jobs do not require you to be an expert in any way, and this is one of the jobs for retirees that do not entail many qualifications.
People who apply for this typically just need a GED or high school diploma, and you will receive the remainder of your training in the job site or library.
Clerical experience may help, as you spend most of your time organizing the library's resources. As far as jobs for seniors go, you'll spend the majority of your time seated at a circulation desk, checking in and out materials, filing payments, answering messages, and helping customers.
Some of your work may also include shelving returned books. You will work closely with librarians and library technicians who are more equipped in the field.
This is a great secondary career for seniors who enjoy chatting with customers and who have strong interpersonal skills. You may, however, need to have some experience with computers and software.
Becoming a customer service representative has never been easier, mainly because companies are always looking for men or women to fill in this position. These are great jobs for seniors as they do not require you to spend too much time – if any at all – on your feet. In fact, because of technology and e-commerce, you will likely be able to pursue this career 100% remotely.
It's one of the best jobs for seniors who are more extroverted, enjoy chatting with customers, and see conflict and complaint resolution as a welcomed challenge.
Very few qualifications are needed for this position, as you will be trained along the way. You simply need good communication skills, as most of your time will be spent on the phone or at a desk fielding queries.
You may, however, need some knowledge of social media as this is an increasingly common platform for responding to customers.
Luckily, many companies will likely give you a script to follow for common responses whether via social media, website, or email so you can become an expert in no time.
Have you always been curious about what it's like to work in the travel or hospitality industry? Working as a travel agent is one of the best options for starters.
Qualifications in terms of prior experience are minimal, so it is a great job if you are starting from scratch. You can get an associate degree or certificate degree in tourism, through companies like The Travel Institute.
Retirees will be able to learn how to make itineraries, make destination suggestions, and find the best deals. Prior knowledge on how this all works, especially on booking software, will be a huge plus.
Seniors will be able to work with an agency or go freelance and do this in their own time. You may even be able to get commission from your bookings – and possibly use this to travel on your own as well.
It is a flexible position that does not require you to be on any job site, making it ideal for senior citizens who want to try out a new career without too much physical action.
There is relatively more money in this line of work, so you can earn more for your retirement income in the process.
Many people decide to become real estate agents as a secondary career path. Here, you assist clients in buying, renting, and selling properties.
This is a good career for sociable seniors as most of the work is done in your own time, especially if you choose to be self-employed. Appointments will be scheduled according to your preferences or those of your clients.
You may need a good work ethic to become a real estate agent and must be willing to put in some effort into earning your license. There are a number of online pre-licensing classes you can take, and you may be able to get your license in four or six months.
Your days will always look different, whether you are meeting with clients in properties or doing some work at home.
The pay for this job is good and you do not need a college degree for it. Requirements differ per state, so it is important to check out your state's real estate regulatory office for more details.
As a bonus, you will get to meet all kinds of people and expand your network significantly. It is also a rewarding job as you get to witness your clients' milestones, such as the purchase of their first home.
Do you have children of your own who are all grown up? Perhaps you've always been good with kids? If so, why not become a child care worker?
Seniors who want to feel a sense of purpose may enjoy this route. Depending on the type of setting you choose for this line of work, you may or may not need certain qualifications for licenses. Many elderly women choose this as a second career.
Some child care workers have degrees in Early Childhood Education, especially if they are working at a center.
However, if you are doing the work for your neighbors and people that you know, you may simply need a simple background in first-aid and CPR, just in case of any emergencies. You may need to be more active and on your feet to keep up with younger kids.
On the other hand, older children are more independent and will just need a guardian while their parents are busy.
Tasks will also differ depending on your employer, so you must be ready to adapt to a variety of settings and households. Sometimes you may have to do additional chores such as cooking or cleaning, but it is a meaningful job nonetheless for retirees who love kids.
If your vision and sense of direction are still superior, becoming a bus driver is one of the most common jobs seniors take. You can be a local bus driver, delivery driver, or school bus driver if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of a crowd.
Your hours will change according to which of these you choose. This is one of the best part- or full-time jobs for seniors, as you will know what to expect from the get-go.
It is not physically demanding, making it ideal for those in retirement who cannot always be on their feet.
If you choose to join the ranks of school bus drivers, your routine is pretty much set to drive in the morning for pick-ups and in the afternoon for drop-offs. This will give you lots of freedom in between shifts, and you can pick up another part-time job, rest, or spend some time for yourself.
An alternative to this is becoming a driver for an on-demand ride-sharing service such as Lyft or Uber. Hours here are also more flexible as drivers are usually employed as independent contractors.
Many senior citizens drive for these services, and you just need to make sure that your driving record is clean for their screening.
If you've always had writing skills, now may finally be your chance to pursue a freelance writing career. One of the best things about this job is that you can start any way you want to.
You can take on as many assignments as you want, and build your schedule around this. As a senior, you may prefer this as you will have a lot of freedom and can do the work from the comfort of your own home.
You do not exactly need many requirements for a freelancing writing job unless the company you are writing for asks you to do more technical things–such as SEO or writing on a platform you are unfamiliar with.
There are always websites looking for contributors, so you can always find a niche you are comfortable writing about.
Alternatively, you can start your own blog. This may require some knowledge on content management systems. If you have some artistic skills, there are also several freelance opportunities for a graphic designer.
Seniors who are passionate about learning and education can decide to pursue a career in teaching at their local community college.
While you will need a bachelor's degree or an equivalent to apply for most instructor roles, you can inquire in these community colleges about getting a teaching qualification. The Urban Institute notes that this is a very popular career shift for senior women.
You may opt to teach continuing education classes or even take on an adjunct professor job teaching a subject you have prior experience and expertise in.
In some cases, you may even be able to create your own subject or class if it isn't being offered yet. This is another one of the best jobs for seniors who wish to do meaningful work, and schedules may be more customizable and routine-like.
Doing work as a college instructor will keep your mind busy and sharp. Another option for seniors interested in the field of education is tutoring. You can set up private lessons and work closely with students on subjects of your choice.
Having top-notch accounting skills is something to be coveted. If you are a retiree who has skills in dealing with money, filing taxes, or similar tasks, consider a career as a tax preparer.
Tax preparers are usually busiest during the tax season of every year, so you will have an idea of when your job will demand the most from you.
This is a seasonal role which is one of the best part-time jobs for seniors as you will be free after you get the bulk of your work done.
These days, you will also have to learn how to use accounting software programs to do your job. This may be the most difficult part of the job to pick up if you are still in the process of improving your skills in technology.
You do not need any sort of accounting certification for these positions, but you will have to pass a competency exam. You will also need to get a Preparer Tax Identification Number through the IRS.
Deciding to apply for a job during your retirement is a big undertaking, regardless of whether you're looking at full- or part-time jobs for seniors. Although you may have retained some knowledge on what it's like to apply for jobs, there are a few things to take note of as a senior worker.
You probably have decades of experience in certain fields. However, jobs for retirees do not require you to list down every single milestone and achievement from when you first entered the workforce.
Shorter resumes are always preferred by workers, so highlight only the most significant aspects of it. It is also advised that you limit your experience to the last decade or so.
It will also help to emphasize your skills, especially those suited to the job you are applying for if you have no background in it.
You can also reflect this on your cover letters, which will be customized and edited depending on the positions you are applying for.
Workers know that the interview is one of the most crucial aspects of securing a job. This is no different if you are applying for jobs for retirees.
Whether it is an assistant job or a managerial role, you must rehearse before your interview. Some employers will directly ask you questions about your age, or even some age-adjacent questions.
Do not be defensive, and instead speak as candidly and openly as possible. Stay optimistic throughout this process–many of the same age-old interview questions are still the same.
Show enthusiasm and prove to your interviewer that your age will be an asset to any of the positions you wish to fill.
Networking is essential no matter what industry you are in. You may have already built an existing network from your previous careers, but it's good to expand your circle especially if you are considering a change in career.
Look into professional associations related to your desired field, and ask around about jobs for retirees from younger professionals in the industry you wish to tap into.
One way to connect with active members of the labor force is to create or update your LinkedIn profile. Here you can display your skills and years of experience, and possibly even find jobs for seniors.
LinkedIn may not have existed when you were applying for jobs back in the day, but this could be vital for networking as a senior. If you have grandkids, now may be a great time to ask them for help.
Older workers can find a new job and start working again at any time on their own terms with little to no experience needed for entry-level positions. Research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the labor group among those aged 60-70 is expected to increase up until 2021.
It is possible for retirees to make extra money as workers from home. This can help supplement their income or save more of what they do bring in.
From tutoring others remotely to renting out spaces in your home, there are a number of ways that you can freelance online and get paid without ever leaving your living room.
A 2016 report from Stanford University shows that a whopping 17% of Americans between 70 and 74 were still working at least 10 hours weekly in 2012, up from about 12%. Researchers found that this was because workers with higher education attainment and incomes are staying longer in the workforce.
65 is considered the start of one's elderly years. As a general rule, you may be able to get discounts or benefits from the government because of being over 65.
You can work and collect Social Security even as an elderly. However, keep in mind that your earnings change if you're still under the retirement age: if your earnings are higher than a certain level then the benefits will be reduced as well.
It's important to know where your retirement money is invested.
If you are enrolled in a 401(k), profit sharing, or other type of defined contribution plan (a plan in which you have an individual account) and leave the company with less than 20 years service time under that employer, it may be possible for your benefits provider to provide for a lump sum distribution of those amounts when leaving the company instead.
Pursuing other jobs may not always be in retirement plans for seniors, but if you find that this is something you need or want to do, don't hesitate to push through with it.
Hunting for jobs—be it full or part-time–is challenging at all stages and ages, and although you may face ageism now as a senior, don't let this get in the way of what you really want to do.
It may take some time, effort, and additional training to get the jobs for seniors you are eyeing, but before you know it, the right positions will open up for you.
You will get the chance to find new hobbies, earn extra pay, keep mentally and physically fit, maintain social connections, and approach retirement on your own terms.
Need more tips for applying to jobs for seniors, or simply need resources about this new chapter of your life? Contact Senior Strong today!