For a growing number of Americans, turning 65 no longer automatically means retirement. As of May 2022, 21.9% of Americans 65 and older were working, compared with 19.5% in May 2020, according to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney.
If you want to keep up the 9 to 5 into your golden years, there’s a wide range of options for you to explore. This is especially true if you’re a skilled senior interested in full-time employment.
Tips When Finding a Job as a Senior
There are pros and cons and working after retirement. If returning to the daily grind is right for you and your financial situation, then there are a few things you’ll want to keep top of mind:
• Weigh the pros and cons of working for a company versus freelancing or consulting.
• Think about whether you’d prefer to work from home or go into an office or to a job site.
• Read the job listing carefully, paying close attention to the requirements listed.
• Remove graduation dates from your resume unless they’re fairly recent.
• Include a couple of your key accomplishments in a cover letter.
• During an interview, be sure to strategically share key career highlights from the past 10 to 15 years, and spotlight the ways in which you’ve kept your skills up to date.
• Move ahead with confidence!
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12 Jobs for Skilled Seniors That Pay Well
Working can help provide seniors with a degree of financial security as well as other benefits, such as connecting with coworkers and creating a sense of purpose. Let’s take a closer look at jobs for skilled seniors that suit a variety of skills and interests.
If you have the appropriate credentials, teaching can be a rewarding job. Don’t fret if you don’t have the right credentials — you might still be able to land a position. Many high schools, career centers, and community colleges may be open to hiring experienced people to teach general interest or professional development courses. Educational organizations may also be seeking teaching assistants or tutors, both of which can be excellent jobs for skilled seniors.
#2: Government Worker
Government jobs can offer competitive salaries along with good benefits, often including a nice pension. Even after you stop working at a federal government job, you may be eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
Depending on your background, education, and work experience, you may be qualified for roles with the National Institutes of Health, which participates in jobs fairs specifically for workers aged 55 and up; the Peace Corps; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and more.
#3: Tax Preparer
Interested in becoming a tax preparer? If you have an accounting background, then this type of work may be a natural fit. That said, you don’t need to be a certified accountant — you just need to obtain a Preparer Tax Identification Number from the IRS and pass a competency exam.
💡 Quick Tip: Check your credit report at least once a year to ensure there are no errors that can damage your credit score.
#4: Real Estate Agent
You can earn a good income helping people buy and/or sell their home or property. But there’s another selling point to being a real estate agent: the ability to set your own schedule, as long as you can still satisfy your clients. In fact, this flexibility can be useful if you’re deciding whether you want to work part time or full time. Before you start working, you’ll need to get a license, and requirements vary by state.
#5: Bank Teller
You typically only need a high school diploma or the equivalent to qualify for a bank teller’s job, and you may be required to undergo a short period of on-the-job training. In this position, you’d handle the standard transactions at the financial institution. So if you’re comfortable handling a steady flow of cash and enjoy working with customers, this could be a job to consider.
#6: Medical Biller
A medical biller works for a healthcare organization such as a hospital or doctor’s office and is responsible for appropriately billing insurance companies, managing the status of claims, and addressing problems that arise. This is one of those jobs for skilled seniors that require organization and the ability to follow through — in this case, with both patients and the insurance companies.
Recommended: How to Negotiate Medical Bills
#7: Virtual Assistant
Plenty of small businesses in the United States need help with daily administration tasks. Depending on your skills, virtual tasks could include making phone calls, managing emails, scheduling appointments, maintaining calendars, offering bookkeeping services, handling social media, and so forth. Although many virtual assistant jobs are part time, if you wanted more work, you could have multiple clients to whom you provide your services.
#8: Telework Nurse or Doctor
Telehealth services have greatly expanded since the start of the pandemic, and demand for remote healthcare providers remains high. If you’re a recently retired nurse or doctor, and are still licensed, you may want to explore a telehealth position. It could allow you to continue providing care but from the comfort of home (or a home office).
Forty-seven percent of Americans live in an area with a shortage of mental health care professionals, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. If you’re a retired counselor or therapist and are interested in working again, re-entering the field could allow you to provide much-needed services.
#10: HVAC Technicians
From installation to maintenance to repairs, HVAC pros can find themselves in great demand all year long. If you have this kind of experience, or are handy and able to incorporate HVAC into your skill sets, then this type of work can be a steady source of income.
Recommended: What Is the Cost to Replace an HVAC System?
Busy attorneys need plenty of help researching information, creating documentation, and contacting clients. If you have the education and experience — and you’re highly organized and able to multitask — then a paralegal job may be right for you.
#12: Grant Writer
Grant writing is a specialized type of writing where you’d write proposals to help nonprofits and other agencies to obtain funding for their programs. To succeed at grant writing, it’s important to research the requirements and deadlines of the funding, write compelling proposals to receive the grant dollars, follow up with the proposals, and write reports about them.
💡 Quick Tip: Income, expenses, and life circumstances can change. Consider reviewing your budget a few times a year and making any adjustments if needed.
Your golden years are what you make of them — and for some, that can mean re-entering the workforce or pursuing a new, rewarding career path. Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs for skilled seniors that suit different skills and interests and provide a source of extra income.
Can seniors still work full time and receive Social Security benefits?
According to the Social Security Administration, the answer is “yes.” If you’ve already reached your full retirement age, then you can work and earn as much as possible without a reduction in benefits. If you aren’t yet at full retirement age, then you can earn up to $21,240 in 2023 without a reduction. For income earned beyond that annual limit, your benefits would be lowered by $1 for each $2 earned.
What types of job skills are in high demand?
Management and leadership skills are appreciated by many employees, and these are skills seniors may well have developed over the years. It’s important to be able to effectively communicate, both verbally and in writing, and to work well with others. For many jobs, sales and marketing abilities are key, while in others the ability to research and analyze are crucial. Note that these are general categories. Specific skills will depend upon the job you’re applying for.
What type of work-life balance should working seniors expect?
Maintaining a work-life balance is especially important for working seniors. As you consider re-entering the workforce, you’ll want to consider your physical and mental health as well as your finances, and ensure that whatever job you take on will fit in your lifestyle. As an older adult, you may discover that you don’t have quite as much stamina as you once did. On the other hand, having children out of the home and on their own may open up more time than you expected.
Photo credit: iStock/Vesnaandjic
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