There are more seniors working now than ever before – at jobs that span the career spectrum. On the one side, many older workers are staying on the job longer. This means they’ve either delayed their retirement plans altogether – or have returned to their former jobs in a part-time or consultancy role.
On the flip side, other seniors are taking on part-time service industry positions either to make ends meet or simply out of a desire to keep working.
When it comes to retail and hospitality jobs, seniors actually have an advantage on the job market over the entry-level teens and twenty-somethings who would traditionally fill these roles. This is because many employers view them to be more professional and customer-service oriented than their younger competition. Also, after many years on the workforce, seniors are more likely to have honed their job interviewing skills and have much more robust resumes.
Ten of the most popular job options for seniors
Retail Worker (Average hourly wage: $16.50) – These jobs are popular with seniors for their variety of options, flexible schedules, and the social aspect.
Fast food and restaurant help (Average hourly wage: $14.00) – Similarly, flexible schedules and a range of options that makes it likely to find a job close to home. Having a customer-friendly attitude can make seniors popular choices for employers looking to fill these positions.
Consultant (Wide-ranging salary options) – Having retired from a career spent in their field, seniors returning to the workforce often market their experience and insights to other businesses – or even their former employer.
Crossing guard (National salary data wasn’t available) – These part-time positions allow seniors to interact with their neighbours, help protect the lives of children and get outdoors while earning money.
Tourism (Average hourly wage: $17.00) – Seniors often find seasonal work at local attractions, interacting with the public and sharing knowledge about local history and culture.
Part-time Teaching (Wide-ranging salary options) – Retired business leaders and professionals of all stripes often find teaching work instructing the next generation about their industry. Also, seniors often find work as music teachers and tutors of all subjects to local residents.
Informal part-time jobs – Many seniors earn extra money and help out their neighbours at the same time with informal work such as babysitting, gardening, elder care, pet care, and housesitting.
Bookkeeping (Average hourly wage: $24.00) – Business acumen, math skills and access to a computer mean that seniors can find work doing accounting for local organizations and preparing tax returns for their friends, family, and local clients.
Just keep working – People are staying healthier and more active now than ever before. Many workers don’t feel like packing it in just because they’ve turned 65. Therefore, the work that many seniors are doing now is more of the same work they have been doing over the course of their careers.
Volunteering – While it doesn’t pay, many seniors find volunteering for worthwhile causes to be a rewarding way to stay active, meet new people and give back to their community.
I don’t know how common this is, but I have a neighbour who is making a killing on the resale business. She makes the rounds of garage sales, discount stores, and auctions, purchases quality items, and then resells them online for a moderate markup. It makes her some money at the same time as allowing her to indulge in her passion for treasure hunting.