Many older adults choose to remain in the workforce or decide to pursue a new career during their senior years instead of taking full retirement. The reasons seniors keep working can vary from financial need to a desire to stay active and retain their job skills. Senior citizens can work a variety of jobs depending on their skills, experience, and interests.
Types of Jobs for Senior Citizens
Job searching is a challenge especially for anyone who has not applied for a new position in recent years. Start by polishing your resume and then consider a new path for employment. Senior citizens jobs are typically more flexible and may offer a part-time role or a work-from-home opportunity. The variety of jobs available can allow seniors to try something different or pursue special interests.
Events Marketing and Promotion Managers
This job includes preparing a promotional campaign and setting up displays for trade show events. It is appealing for seniors who have a flexible schedule since the assignments may vary. The workload can be scaled up around a particular project or client. There may also be more demand around seasonal events such as business conventions and conferences.
Tour Guides or Docents
This role includes helping a local museum or assisting a group of travelers by offering knowledge guidance. Seniors who are well versed in the arts, or who have been longtime residents of their city, bring a unique expertise when conducting tours. In addition to museums, the tour sites could include landmarks, historical sites, wineries, or universities as well as field trips for school age children.
The need for drivers includes "ride-on-demand" companies such as Uber and Lyft which hire drivers that use the vehicles they own for private taxi service. This job is best for seniors who are safety minded and familiar with the roadways in their area. They must also have a vehicle that meets the company's requirements. It allows for a flexible work schedule and drivers can earn up to $35 per hour.
Also consider jobs such as limo drivers, shuttle service, and delivery drivers. Many auto dealers hire drivers to ferry their customers and vehicles. This type of job is best for seniors with a good driving record.
Product Testing and Demonstration
Many businesses look for part-time help to demonstrate and promote products such as new foods and appliances. Product testing is a good fit for seniors who have a people friendly attitude and are eager to educate others. The types of companies include pet stores, grocery stores, and retail businesses. It may require some training to be prepared to answer questions and discuss the features of the product.
Senior caregivers are in demand for both ends of the age spectrum from young children to the elders, and the job could be located in a daycare facility or a home setting. This type of work requires a patient and compassionate attitude. Job duties may include organizing activities and games as well as helping with meals. Senior workers are flexible and experienced with all ages, so they bring a unique set of skills. This type of job may require some training and health care testing.
Teachers and Tutors
This role for seniors can vary from the college level adjunct professor to tutors for school children. Companies such as Sylvan Learning Centers hire those who want to help youngsters build their academic skills. Seniors with prior teaching experience are ideal for this role since there may be state certification requirements. For adventurous seniors, there are many teach abroad programs. For seniors who want to share their skills or hobbies, such as computer training or creative arts, look at offering courses within adult education programs or community colleges.
Many professions are looking for writers to provide content for projects and online media. For example, medically trained seniors such as retired nurses could provide content for professional journals or newsletters. Also consider local publications that need writers as well, such as community newsletters and magazines. Seniors who have a particular expertise or hobby to share should utilize that background and write about those topics. Look for job titles such as content writers, technical writers and freelance writers.
Service-oriented jobs are always looking for bilingual individuals. The type of job could include written and oral assignments such as interpreting for foreign visitors. Call centers and government agencies also need seniors who are bilingual.
Many jobs offer online support for customer service representatives. These companies include insurance firms and financial services as well as retail companies. Seniors who want to work from home are ideal in this role along with their experience in both phone and computer skills that help clients resolve problems.
Catering and Food Sales
Catering food services are always looking for seniors with cooking skills. Seniors offer a flexible work schedule that can adjust to the demand of catering events. Cooking skills are also useful in retail stores such as Williams-Sonoma. This role could include product sales as well as conducting cooking classes and food demonstrations. Bakery shops and chef supply companies also need experienced seniors with kitchen skills.
Senior Citizen Employment Resources
Consider attending a senior job fair or take a class on resume building and interview skills. This is a good way to update your skills as well as make new contacts. Some service organizations and government agencies provide assistance with; career guidance, job training and job placement. Look for assistance from:
- College alumni organizations
- Employment agencies
- Military organization
Job Search Sites for Seniors
These job search sites are designed for seniors and cater to seasoned workers looking for employment.
The AARP Foundation has a Back to Work 50+ program that offers support for senior workers and access to potential employers.
Senior Job Bank
The Senior Job Bank is a 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. Prospective employees can filter their searches by selecting location, job category and company.
Career One Stop
The Career One Stop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, and it features information on salary, benefits, education, and training. Seniors can conduct job searches, explore employment services in specific areas across the country, and find resume and interview advice. The site includes a section with job resources for mature workers.
The Seniors4Hire is a national online career site for seniors offering free membership for job seekers over age 50. They work with employers that want a diverse workforce that includes seniors.
Senior 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.
Qualification for SCSEP
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 SCSEP sponsor organizations that offer unique benefits, variable job placement rates and unique prerequisites for the program.
Jobs for Older Adults
When searching for a new job, there may be resources right in your neighborhood that are overlooked. Start with local contacts by checking with businesses and community centers you are most familiar with such as churches or garden centers. Also, 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 seniors are numerous, and you may just find a new career that you can enjoy for many years to come.