20 Jobs for retirees returning to the workforce

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Retirees are returning to the workforce for a wealth of reasons - to counteract depleting savings, learn a new skill or socialize with others. "They may have a wealth of knowledge they would hate to see going to waste," Nancy Peterson, publisher of Workforce50.com said. Or sometimes, she said, "it's not enough golfing."

Data confirms this. A 2017 survey found 40% of American workers over 65 had previously retired. Meanwhile, a 2016 Pew Research analysis showed the share of Americans over 65 who were employed, full or part-time, rose steadily from 12.8% in 2000 to 18.8% in 2016.

Job searching seniors may have a different dream job checklist than other applicants. A retiree may be in the market for a gig with flexible hours, low physical impact, guaranteed social interaction or degree-free access to a new career field. The Active Times consulted Peterson, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and resume building site Zety to compile this list of 20 post-retirement jobs worth retirees' consideration.


Medical assistant

From 2018 to 2028, medical assistant employment is projected to grow 23%. Medical assistants book appointments with doctors and conduct blood tests, among other administrative and clinical tasks. While most states have no formal educational requirements for medical assistants, completing a one- or two-year program at a local community college may make you a more desirable applicant.

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Veterinary assistant

Would you rather nurse animals back to health than humans? Consider a post-retirement career as a veterinary assistant. Similar to medical assistants, the demand for veterinary assistants is projected to grow 19% by 2028. This work requires no degree, just a love of animals and a willingness to learn on the job. Cat or dog, all animals deserve to be cared for with love.


Personal care aid

If you are in good enough health to lend a hand, consider doing so. Help other aging folks or people with various impairments or illnesses more easily navigate their day-to-day life. A "hard but rewarding job," Peterson said, personal care aids cultivate meaningful relationships and make personal changes in the lives of their clients. Be sure you have good bedside manner before applying for part-time work through home care agencies or assisted living facilities.


Teacher assistant

Beyond the medical and homecare fields, education offers an abundance of in-demand part-time work for retirees, Peterson said. Teacher assistants partner with licensed teachers to provide students with additional instruction or attention. They facilitate learning and serve not just the teachers but students and parents too. Depending on the school at which you wish to work, one to two years of college coursework may be required.



Dust off your textbooks. While school has changed a lot since you were a student, some concepts stay the same. All these years later, a² + b² still equals c². Tutor primary school students in reading comprehension or prepare high schoolers for college entrance exams. Find your strong suit and begin offering your service to friends and family. After some practice, become a certified tutor.


Library assistant

The world could always use another library. Access to knowledge, technology and history is power, and as cities across the nation do away with library fines, people may be feeling more emboldened than ever to seek that power out. Be the person to help others find "their book," the one that will stick with them even after they return it dog-eared to the library.

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Serve or prepare food

Be a barista or baker, a cook or waitress. Turn your passion for food and penchant for social interaction into a fulfilling job. These careers largely require no formal education and could translate into useful off-duty cooking chops too. And while it might sound interesting for a second working life, be warned that food preparation and serving-related occupations are the lowest-paid occupational group with a median annual wage of $23,070 as of May 2018.


Retail sales worker

If you have ever had too much fun scanning your goods at the grocery store self-checkout or ever asked Santa for a toy cash register, retail may be the post-retirement route for you. No education or experience is required. Just remember to apply for positions at your favorite shops to cash in on any employee discounts.



Answering phones, welcoming guests and receiving mail are just a few of a receptionist's day-to-day duties. Receptionist work requires no post-secondary degree while still opening the door to an endless array of industries. Healthcare and social assistance make up nearly half of the 1.1 million receptionist jobs. However, the remaining majority consists of diverse offices, businesses and services.

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Seasonal sports jobs

These jobs, Peterson said, are for the ballpark-five-days-a-week sort of people. Contribute to your favorite minor or major league teams by working seasonally at your local sports venue. Man the concession stand, ticket counter or the guest service desk. Find where you fit in the organization and enjoy days spent at the ballpark.

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Theme park staff

Maybe there's a great theme park you've never heard of somewhere nearby. As a staff member, learn park secrets only insiders know, dress up in costume or smile, wave and greet guests. Work part-time and look on as children and adults alike form some of their happiest memories right before your eyes.


Background actor

Imagine spotting yourself in the background of a film or television scene, behind the likes of Sofía Vergara or Tom Hanks. Go beyond just visiting famous movie locations and join the art-making process. No prior experience or talent is necessary. All you need is your "look." So be you and hope it's what the casting directors are searching for.



The recent rise of rideshare is just one way life has changed in the past decade. But beyond being a cash-earning side job, rideshare meets many demands returning retirees may be in the market for. Peterson rightfully described the work as "autonomous." You craft your schedule, select your clients and socialize how you please. Remember the proper rules of the road, check your city's rideshare laws and get driving.



Whether it's plumbing, carpentry, painting or electrical work, building maintenance skills are highly valuable. Work independently by forming your own building repair business or supplement your savings by doing the occasional odd job on the weekend. If looking for more income, consider taking on a part-time post as a repairman in a single building, hotel or apartment complex.

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A 2018 study found that 30% of Americans age 55 and over did some freelance work that year. Of those freelancers, 67% completely or somewhat agreed with the statement, "freelancing is a good way for me to transition into retirement." As a freelancer, you can turn a hobby, like writing or graphic design, into a money-making operation. Or, you may opt for a more contract-independent version of your previous career.



Bookkeeping offers a fine post-retirement job prospect for those in possession of an accounting degree. Working hours vary depending on the business and may be limited to a week in the middle or end of the month to complete invoicing or bill-paying tasks.



While a bachelor's degree is preferred, the most important requirement for translation work is proficiency in two languages. Whether in Spanish, Arabic or American Sign Language, all translation work is crucial in making services accessible for people of all backgrounds. Interpreters work in schools, hospitals and at conferences. Certificates are available for federal and state court interpreters too.



If in doubt of what path to take your post-retirement career down, set your own. Turn your interests into industries. Your skills are marketable, so open a small craft business or repair company. Passion, perseverance and comfortability in control are just a few of the personality traits of an entrepreneur you may already possess.

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Web developer

Interested in developing a new skill? Learn a coding language. Look to online courses and tutorials for assistance while learning web development building blocks like HTML or CSS. Educational requirements for developers vary across the field. Some spots require a high school diploma while others are looking for a computer science or engineering associate or bachelor's degree. Find a spot to match your skill level.


Museum Guide

Be it in the humanities, astronomy or oceanography, find a place where you can utilize your interest and prior knowledge to get others excited about learning. Education requirements are minimal, but prepare to learn a lot on the job. There is undoubtedly a place for you, the world is home to all sorts of weird museums you won't believe exist.

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