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5 Popular Job Types for Seniors and Retired People

In the last five years, the number of workers over the age of 65 has increased 24%, totaling 6.7 million. That’s expected to keep climbing as the baby boomer generation continues to age and the economy slowly gets back on its feet. Already, younger generations are anticipating postponing retirement or working during it-in 2008 about 63% of respondents reported this, but when the question was asked this year, 74% expected to work into retirement. So what type of employment are retirees looking for? Often they are exploring a continuation of their working careers, but sometimes they’re seeking a change. While in some cases younger employees seem to have the upper hand, seniors “can be a good resource, bringing 30 or 40 years of work experience to the table and not looking to squeeze every last dollar out of a position. That can be very appealing to an organization,” says vice president Bill Coleman.

Health care positions are one area where seniors are welcomed. It can be comforting to some clients of in-home care to have someone closer to their age than, say, a college student, helping them around the house. Employment opportunities in medical facilities include medical assistant, physical therapist aide or medical billing specialist-these jobs don’t require specific degrees and often offer flexible part-time hours.

Retail positions, like cashier, greeter, floor supervisor and more, are a great option for seniors. They are generally low-impact and with open schedules. Coleman says customers seem to respond positively to older employees in customer service positions.

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Transportation Security Agency frequently employ older citizens. There is very little experience required to begin a position at these government jobs, and they are well suited to the needs of seniors because they require dependable employees and flexible availability.

Computer jobs may sound intimidating to the older generation, but specialized positions such as data entry don’t require as much technological knowledge as one might think. Training for competence is of course required, but this too opens up doors, as seniors might consider enrolling in continuing education programs at community colleges to get the necessary computer skills.

Finally, temp agencies offer the unique advantage of changing hats (metaphorically) whenever a position ends or if it is not a good fit. If desired, these temporary opportunities sometimes continue into full-time employment, but the multitude of experiences you can gain from changing jobs frequently can be enriching all on its own.

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