You’ve retired from the career you maintained for the bulk of your work life, but that doesn’t mean you want to retire from work completely. What does it mean to be “retired” today anyway? With a U.S. average life expectancy of 77.8 years and an average retirement age of 62, there are a lot of years to fill – and pay for.
Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for seniors out there, whether you just want to contribute, want some extra cash or don’t have a hobby that consumes your time. If you choose to work, you may also benefit from the increased good health of an active mind and body.
Yes, there are still challenges in the job hunt as a senior, and sure, you can become a Walmart greeter (that’s a viable option if it appeals to you), but it’s far from your only choice.
No matter your reasons for wanting (or needing) to work, we've put together a list with examples of some of the best jobs for seniors. To give you ideas of where to search, here’s what we’ll cover in this blog:
- The companies that have pledged to hire older workers
- Fields that may appeal to senior job seekers with examples
- Examples of specific jobs to help you start your job search
- Programs designed to help older workers land their next position
What companies hire older workers?
More than 1,000 companies have signed the AARP Employer Pledge to promote jobs for seniors. Among them are a host of different types of employment for senior citizens, as well as businesses that offer jobs for seniors over 70. They include:
- Ace Hardware
- Charles Schwab
- CVS Caremark
This list shows off the range of industries, but is far from complete. Some of the best job opportunities for seniors will depend on what type of work you want to do. Are you looking for a fun, low responsibility position? Or do you want to keep your hand in the profession you held for the bulk of your working life?
Tap into your network. After all, you’ve had a career (or two) and probably have some connections who can help or give you ideas.
What are some good jobs for older workers?
There’s no hard and fast rule that governs the answer to this question, but there are some careers that more easily lend themselves to the lifestyle you want. As a corollary, the first question to ask yourself is “What is the lifestyle I want?” Do you dream of hitting the road in your RV and stopping to make a little cash from time to time? Are you looking for something fun and social or do you want to switch careers and continue working full-time? Before you begin your search for the perfect job, you must know the answer to those questions.
In this article, we will give you an idea of what jobs for elderly workers are out there and how you can position yourself to get the right one for you. Our list of best jobs for seniors is broken into these categories:
- Part-time / flexible
- Repurposing your skills
- Programs for workers 55 and older
Part-time and flexible jobs for seniors
The main benefit of part-time or flexible jobs is freedom. The right employer will allow you to work a schedule that fits into your lifestyle while others may give you the option of working when you choose to. Here are some common examples of good jobs for seniors wanting to work part-time or with some degree of flexibility.
Retail: These jobs allow a lot of interaction with other workers and customers plus the potential for an employee discount. Roles include cashier, sales associate, warehouse worker and stocker. You may also be able to tell the scheduler when you are available to work. The downside is that you may also spend a lot of time on your feet.
Average hourly pay for these jobs ranges from $9-$15.74 an hour, depending on your role and your location.
Driver: Uber and Lyft, or other on-demand transport services, offer a ton of flexibility in driver roles. You decide when you want to work and how much. All you need is a clean driving record and a reliable car.
The amount you earn depends on location and timing, but according to Ridester, it is difficult to predict how much you will earn.
Delivery Driver: Services such as UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub and Postmates, which mostly deliver food, and Instacart, which delivers groceries, are another option.
Usher or event attendant: If you’re a fan of the arts or sports, this may be the job for you. Many theaters, arenas and event spaces will allow you to sign up for the events you wish to work.
You’ll earn between $10 and $14 an hour, but you will also get to see the performance for free, although you may be standing in the aisle.
Dog walking/pet-sitting: Like pets but don’t want the responsibility for one? Start a pet care business or work for one of the many doggie daycares and pet-sitting businesses already out there.
Dog walkers often get paid per walk with an average hourly rate of about $15.
Handyperson: A good handyperson is hard to find, so if you can complete minor repairs, install small appliances such as microwaves and disposals, patch and paint, or any other of the myriad tasks of homeownership, you may put out a shingle or list your services on an on-demand app such as Porch or Thumbtack.
You can earn anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour — or more if you specialize.
If you like working with children
Childcare: Many parents who don’t live near their own parents may be thrilled to have a grandparent-age nanny or babysitter helping them out.
The average hourly rate to watch one child on a casual basis is $21.50, according to Sittercity.
School bus driver or monitor: These jobs require you to stick to a school schedule, but you will only work before school and after school for a few hours. School bus drivers will need a special license. Requirements vary depending on the state.
School bus drivers will earn somewhere between $15 and $22 an hour and monitors will earn approximately $13 to $16 an hour.
Tutor: Have an expertise or even enjoy helping children with their homework? Tutoring may be for you. You can choose how many hours you want to work and with whom. Plus, you can set your own rates. Many online services match tutors to students and allow you to list your availability and skills. Schools and tutoring centers also employ seniors to work with students.
Rates vary greatly depending on whether you work privately or at a center. For example, Recruiter.com lists annual salaries ranging from $22,110 to $91,630 with a median of $50,390.
Teaching assistant: In this role, you may be a general helper in a classroom or work with one or more special education students. Some districts require a minimum of an associate’s degree for teacher assistants, others at least a bachelor’s, but some may hire seniors without those qualifications.
The average hourly pay is $14.
- Coach or referee: Some higher level positions in coaching or refereeing may require certification, but if you just want to get out there and participate in some way in sports, opportunities abound. Many positions fall into the volunteer category, but if money is not a concern, you should have no trouble finding a way to get involved.
If you like helping adults in need
- Home care provider: This job does not require the heavy lifting of home health care. Instead, it focuses on the daily household chores that may be out of reach for people recovering from injury or illness or simply those who cannot physically complete these daily tasks. In this role, you may shop for necessities, do light housekeeping and laundry, cook or run errands.
Remote jobs for seniors
More and more jobs, including good jobs for older workers, don’t require you to show up in a certain location. If you don’t want a commute or have taken the plunge and are a digital nomad, these remote jobs may be for you.
Virtual assistant: Virtual assistants, or VAs, are independent workers who hire out their services as business helpers. They may perform business development, administrative, social media, marketing or any other tasks their employer needs assistance with. This job is completely remote and you can set your own rates and schedule.
The average hourly rate for this job is $32, but beginners may earn as little as $7.21.
Writer or editor: Writing or editing may not be be the easiest freelance career to break into, especially if you don’t have a work sample portfolio, but it can be done. If you do have experience, this is a great way to make a few extra dollars without sacrificing your freedom. You can write or edit pieces that interest you and sell your former career as an area of expertise.
Rates for writers and editors run anywhere from pennies per word to a dollar or more. Some companies pay by the hour.
Customer service representative: There’s no need to leave home for these jobs that require only a dedicated computer line, problem-solving skills and a calm demeanor. Some customer service representatives work on the phone, but others are responsible for chats or text communication. Some companies have sales positions while others hire reps and then contract out to companies needing customer service assistance.
These jobs pay an average of $17 an hour.
Virtual concierge: If you have knowledge about travel or simply are an expert in the restaurants, sites and attractions in your own city, you can parlay that into a work-from-home gig. These professionals do the same work as hotel concierges, but they don’t have to go into work.
Tourism experts in this role earn an average of $14.76 an hour.
Translator: These language specialists work in a multitude of fields from government to publishing and anywhere in between. Fluency in more than one language is a high-demand skill. In addition to being bi- or multilingual, you also need cultural fluency. If you have no experience, a certificate from the American Translators Association will help you get your foot in the door.
Translators earn anywhere from $20 to $60 an hour.
Repurposing your skills
Don’t want the stress and rigidity of a full-time job, but love what you do? The first step toward a more flexible version of your career is to assess your skills. Once there, you can reimagine how to use them in a job for senior citizens that meshes with your new lifestyle.
Of course, if you were a teacher, you can easily slip into any of the child-related jobs listed above. This holds true if you want to tutor and have math or other subject matter expertise. Below are some other examples of skill repurposing that belong on our list of best jobs for seniors.
Numbers jobs for seniors
Bookkeeper: This job for senior citizens can be as flexible as you want it to be. You can find a remote position, go into an office part-time or start your own business doing the books for small companies that don’t have the expertise or time to do it themselves. This may be your step-down position from running a finance department or managing other accounting work in a firm.
Bookkeepers average $22 an hour.
Auditor/accountant/financial services: All of these finance-oriented fields require experience and a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but there are no barriers for seniors who want to continue working. As with bookkeeping, you can work for a company or strike out on your own.
Auditors earn between $27 and $35 an hour, accountants $25 to $31, and financial service providers $69 to $89. All of these dollar amounts depend on your level of expertise, location, and whether you work independently or take a position in a company.
Small business consultant: Entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, but sometimes ideal outstrip knowledge. That’s where you come in as a business consultant. As a seasoned professional, you can offer advice and services to company owners who want their businesses to grow and thrive.
You can set your own consulting rates, but on average this service costs clients $75 an hour.
Office jobs for seniors
Office manager: This may already be your career, and there’s no reason you can’t continue being an office manager. You may also consider running an office if you are highly organized, understand office software and can manage staff.
Human resources assistant: You’ll need a business degree for this, but if you’re looking to ease off your career responsibilities and want a job that doesn’t stress your body, consider HR. You will get to recruit and train new hires as well as current employees.
HR assistants earn $19-$24 an hour.
Data entry: All you need for a data entry job is focus, attention to detail, and basic computer skills. You may not even have to go into the office, either.
You will earn $15-$25 an hour.
Temp work: Have experience working in an office, but don’t want a regular job? A temp agency fits the bill. These HR firms, such as Randstad and Kelly, specialize in filling temporarily vacant positions and vacation fill-in office work. You can say no to any job, plus you can specify remote only work if you so choose. These companies and others offer non-office positions as well.
The pay depends on the type of role you fill.
Medical jobs for seniors
Teledoc: The Covid pandemic saw a surge in online healthcare services taking the place of many in-person services, available at a relatively low price compared to patient visits in a healthcare establishment. This is a great choice for older physicians to step out of the fray while still performing vital medical services.
Online doctor salaries range anywhere from $16 all the way up to $103 per hour.
Telehealth nurse: The same applies for nurses. Online services mean you don’t have to go into a healthcare setting and can work as few or as many hours as you would like.
Telehealth nurses earn about $36 an hour. have the energy to continue working and want to travel, look into doing both at the same time.
Travel nurse: the pandemic has left hospital staffs around the world depleted, so if you have the energy to continue working and want to travel, look into doing both at the same time as a travel nurse.
Experienced nurses earn about $45 an hour, depending on the state in which they work, but high demand due to the pandemic may mean you can earn even more.
Once you have targeted the right senior role for you, avail yourself of Resume.io's advice and tools encompassing all job search situations. Our resources include more than 350 occupation-specific resume examples with writing guides, as well as 180+ cover letter writing guides and cover letter examples. Together with our user-friendly resume builder and cover letter builder, you can easily an application package that will garner you an interview for your desired senior job.
Paralegal: You may not want to go back to college for a law degree, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into a law career. Paralegals assist attorneys with planning, interviewing clients, scheduling, drafting documents and many other tasks.
Some community colleges, universities, and law schools offer paralegal training programs. You may be able to earn certification in less than a year, depending on the program and the time you allot to it. Online courses are also available through accredited universities.
Beginning hourly rates are in the $25 range, but more seasoned workers will earn upwards of $32 an hour.
Pharmacy technician: The minimum requirement for this job is pharmacy technician certificate that will take about two semesters to complete. Some states also require that you pass a certification exam. That’s because pharmacy techs do more than hand prescriptions to customers. They may count or measure medications, mix compounds, contact physicians, and collect and record patient information. Pharma techs work in retail or in a healthcare setting.
Average hourly pay for this occupation is $16.78.
Computer coding or software engineering: Computer coding bootcamps have sprung up all over the country for a reason: coders are in high demand. If you’re detail-oriented, logical, and like computers, you can retrain to become a coder, or software engineer, in less than six months. Some training programs even guarantee you a job.
The average hourly rate for this in-demand job is $46.
Phlebotomist: Have a steady hand and no fear of blood? You can become a phlebotomist in 32 to 80 hours depending on the state in which you seek certification. This is a high growth career with an expected leap in demand of 22% in the next decade.
You can earn $13 to $21 an hour as a phlebotomist.
Medical or law enforcement transcriptionist: If you have any medical training, a good ear, and excellent English language skills, you can become a medical transcriptionist. The minimum requirement is a high school diploma or GED, but an education program may help since you will have to pass a test to become certified by the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI).
If you prefer the law, or have law enforcement experience, law enforcement transcriptionist work may be a better choice for you. No certification is necessary, but if you are new to the field, the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers has a certification program. These are also jobs that can be worked remotely.
Medical transcriptionists make between $21 and $26 an hour, while most law enforcement transcriptionists earn between $15 and $30.
Real estate sales: In this commission-based career, you can decide how many clients to take on. It will only take about four to six months to take a course and become licensed. (Also consider other sales careers, especially ones in which you are selling something you are knowledgeable about.) Your income will depend greatly on the real estate market and how much time you put in.
On average, real estate agents earn about $24 an hour.
Seasonal jobs for seniors
Are you a snowbird or someone who just likes to work for a short stretch and then take a break? These are some great jobs for seniors seeking seasonal work options.
Retail: Many brick-and-mortar establishments bulk up their staffs for the holiday gift-buying season. E-tailers also need more staff in the form of package handlers, warehouse workers, and delivery people.
You will earn about $12.50 an hour.
Photographer: This is work you can do year-round, but you may also be able to find studio photography work during graduation picture season or school photo season.
You can expect to be paid about $16 an hour.
Tax preparer: From the beginning of the year through April 15, you could have your hands full as a CPA or tax preparation specialist. Tax preparation companies such as H&R Block, Intuit, and Jackson Hewitt hire seasonal workers. The average hourly rate ranges from $20-$24.
- Resort worker: You could spend all your time in vacation spots if you play your cards right by traveling from ski town to summer vacation spot as a worker in a seasonal resort. Depending on your role (for instance if you are a ski instructor you will earn more than a concession stand employee) you will earn about $10-$18 an hour.
Programs for workers 55 and older
Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP): This program, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, helps train and find employment for unemployed people at least 55 years old.
National Park Service: The Experienced Services Program, for workers 55+, allows people to work on specific, short-term projects focused on natural, cultural, historical and recreational resources.
- Back to Work 50+: This program from the AARP Foundation offers training, coaching and job-searching assistance for seniors in the job hunt.
What about hobbies?
Great question! Yes, your hobbies can turn into money-making enterprises. Most of these can be done completely in your own time and at home.
If you’re crafty, try Etsy or the local art fair. Woodworking, tinkering with cars or electronics, and even gardening can become relaxing ways to stay engaged in the workforce. Scouring garage sales and flea markets for antiques and items to refurbish and resell is like a treasure hunt that reaps rewards.
Older Americans are becoming more and more active, so consider turning your fitness routine into a job. Learn to become a yoga instructor or personal trainer.
Obstacles in your 55+ job search and how to overcome them
If you’re job hunting and more than 55 years old, we don’t have to tell you that there are obstacles in your path. In 2019, Google settled an age discrimination lawsuit filed by more than 200 job seekers over the age of 40 (yes, 40!). At the ripe old age of 22 (in 2007), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed, “Younger people are just smarter.” But are they?
According to the National Institute on Aging, older people may find it more difficult to recall names or multitask. They also may have a small decrease in concentration.
However, older adults may also have a deeper vocabulary that leads to better ability to communicate in general and in the workplace. They also have a wealth of experience to draw from.
Many applicants hide their age on job applications by omitting college graduation years and limiting how much work experience they reveal. But what happens when you get in front of the interviewer?
How do you minimize the downsides and play up what you bring to the job? Here are some tips for finding a great job for seniors without resorting to deception:
Play up your ability to mentor younger workers. Especially if you are staying in a field in which you have experience, your knowledge and leadership abilities can help bring up the next generation of workers.
Don’t be afraid to update your skills. There are tons of free online classes and other resources that can help you understand social media marketing or the latest applications in your field. Try sending an introduction video to show that you’re not stuck in the 1980s.
Let employers know if you’re willing to earn less than your peak salary. Some companies are afraid that older workers cost too much. If you’re not in it for the salary, say that in your cover letter.
- Remember that knowledge and expertise are the main predictors of job performance. Show off what you have with a stellar resume and cover letter to match.
Key takeaways to pursue the best jobs for seniors
Yes, ageism exists in hiring, but great jobs for senior citizens are out there. First, ask yourself these important questions:
- Why do I want to work? What am I hoping to get out of a job?
- Do I want to keep doing what I already do in a different capacity?
- What transferable skills do I have?
- Do I want to go in a completely different direction?
- How much do I want to work?
Then, peruse the categories above to see if you find a match or use your imagination to come up with something entirely different.