While many seniors look forward to retirement once they reach an age between 62 to 65, others either choose to remain in the workforce or search for other jobs for senior citizens. AARP conducted a study on senior employment and found that 80 percent of baby boomers will work beyond the retirement age of 65. Mature individuals who desire to work, whether for financial or non-financial reasons, offer valuable skills and experience to both employers and the economy.
Choosing Jobs for Senior Citizens
Job searching is intimidating for anyone who has not applied for a new position in recent years. Employment resources are available to help senior citizens with this difficult task. Governmental, private, and public organizations provide assistance in the following areas:
- Career guidance
- Job training
- Job placement
- Resume and interview skills
Employment programs can assist seniors with job placement and/or training in both entry-level and professional work. Many of these programs are found online and are easily accessible.
Career One Stop
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, Career One Stop is an employment site that features information on salary, benefits, education, and training. Visitors to the site can conduct job searches, explore employment services in specific areas across the country, and find resume and interview tips and advice. This site also includes a section with job resources for mature workers.
Senior Job Bank
Senior Job Bank is an excellent, free, resource for job seekers over the age of 50. Seniors looking for work use this site, as well as employers from all over the country that are looking to attract talented individuals to their company. Visitors to the site can check out the company list on the Job Seekers page. Prospective employees can filter their searches by selecting location, job category, and company. Job seekers should continue to check this site on a regular basis as new jobs are added daily.
Senior Community Service Employment Program
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is the nation's oldest program for helping senior citizens re-enter the job market. The SCSEP provides training and employment opportunities to low-income senior citizens. Under the program, seniors work 20 hours a week in community service positions and are paid minimum wage or higher. SCSEP workers learn new skills and gain valuable work experience so they can progress to permanent work in the private sector, if desired. Jobs for senior citizens under the SCSEP include fringe benefits, annual physicals, and other supportive services.
To qualify, individuals must be:
- Age 55 or older
- Reside in the county served by the SCSEP office
- Have a family income of no more than 25 percent above the federal poverty level
- Be unemployed
Enrollment priority is given to persons over age 60, veterans, and qualified spouses of veterans. Preference is also given to minorities and eligible individuals who have the greatest economic need. There are several SCSEP sponsor organizations, in addition to state and territorial governments. Each sponsor offers unique benefits, variable job placement rates, and maintains unique prerequisites for the program.
The top two funded sponsors with the greatest job placements include the following:
- AARP: The AARP Foundation maintains the highest job placement rate of all SCSEP national sponsors. Benefits include a one-year free membership to AARP.
- Experience Works: More than one-third of Experience Works' SCSEP participants find permanent jobs, including teachers' aides, emergency dispatchers, care providers, and clerical assistants. The national average for job placement in the program is 30 percent.
Senior Environmental Employee Program (SEE)
The Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program provides opportunities for retired and unemployed older Americans, age 55 and over, to utilize their expertise with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Employment is available in Washington, DC, in laboratories nationwide, as well as in ten regional offices.
Types of SEE jobs for senior citizens include the following:
- Clerical (non-typing), such as receptionist or file clerk
- Clerical (typing), as in secretarial support or an administrative assistant
- Technical, such as physical science technician, writer, editor, or technical researcher
- Professional, such as engineer, scientist, accountant
In addition to the above resources, many senior-friendly companies have joined the AARP National Employer Team. These companies recognize the contributions older workers provide to their workforce. Some of the participating companies include the following:
- Universal Health Services - UHS employs over 30,000 people across the U.S. and is considered one of the country's largest and most respected hospital management companies.
- New York Life - As the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States, New York Life remains committed to supporting a diverse workforce.
- Met Life - Visit the Career Areas page of Met Life's website to find out more about the available job opportunities.
- LaQuinta - As an AARP National Employer Team member, LaQuinta offers a variety of career opportunities for job seekers ages 50 and above.
Finally, check out resources that may be available right in your own city or town. Visit your local chamber of commerce, or check out your senior citizen center for information on possible employment opportunities. The resources for finding jobs for senior citizens are numerous, and you may just find a new career that you can enjoy for many years to come.