About 1 in 5 seniors over the age of 65 are part of the workforce, a number which is steadily increasing according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In fact, a recent survey from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies revealed that almost 7 in 10 baby boomers plan to continue working past the age of 65!
Some seniors find themselves working for financial reasons, with a percentage needing to work just to make ends meet. Other seniors work in order to reach particular goals beyond the basics, such as saving for travel or paying for special lessons or school for the grandkids.
Many seniors simply enjoy working.
After having said goodbye to a past career, many appreciate having the ability to explore new avenues. Lots of seniors find working at a new job to be personally very fulfilling.
Working Seniors Enjoy Many Benefits Beyond a Paycheck
There’s a lot of evidence that working into one’s later years can bring a host of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of dementia or other serious health problems. This is true as long as the job isn’t overly stressful or physically demanding, and the senior finds the work meaningful on some level.
Keep reading for information and insight into some of the best jobs for elderly seniors.
We’ve kept a special focus on jobs that require minimal physical labor, offer opportunities for social engagement, and offer flexible scheduling options for the senior who has other appointments or obligations during the standard work week.
19 Great Jobs for Seniors and the Elderly
Some seniors find that a lucrative job is important, while others find that the paycheck is secondary. A great job for you is one that will keep you connected, active, energized and fulfilled – within your personal abilities, interests, schedule and desires. Consider some of these great jobs that are popular with many older adults.
1. Animal Shelter Volunteer
Are you an avid animal lover, looking for a way to spend more time doing something you love?
While volunteering may not pay the bills, it’s one of the most meaningful and rewarding ways to spend an afternoon each week!
Animal shelters always need help walking dogs, filling food bowls, washing pet bedding and socializing kittens so they’ll be friendly and adoptable.
2. Artist or Crafter
If you’ve had an artistic eye or talent for craftiness throughout your life, it may be time to take it to another level!
If you live in a touristy area, selling your arts and crafts at local crafts fairs or shops can be a fun way to make some extra money – and add an extra layer of purpose to something you already love.
You can also sign up on Etsy to sell handmade arts and crafts online to customers from across the globe.
3. Bus Driver or Monitor
If you enjoy working with people and have a clean driving record, you may enjoy becoming a bus driver!
You may have to put up with unruly passengers from time to time – especially if you drive a school bus! You also may find yourself driving in heavy traffic or poor weather. If you would find these drawbacks stressful you may want to avoid this job!
If you work for a school district, you won’t work when school is out of session, which could be either a pro or a con, depending on your situation.
To become a bus driver, you generally need a high school level education and a commercial drivers license, which can sometimes be earned as part of your on-the-job training. You will also have to meet certain physical requirements, and have good vision and hearing. You may need to pass a background check, as well.
If you’re not interested in driving, but still enjoy the boisterous energy of a school bus full of kids, you may be suited for a job as a school bus monitor. If keeping kids in line, and ruckus down to a dull roar, appeals to you, this could be a fun, rewarding job that affords you a predictable schedule with weekends, holidays and summers off.
4. Childcare Worker
There’s something really special about interacting with children that can keep you young – or turn you grey before your time, if it’s not your thing! If you love children, taking care of them can be an exceptional way to stay connected with others while performing very meaningful, rewarding work.
Childcare work takes many forms, from working privately for a family in town, to working at a daycare center. You can also sign up for a babysitting social network app, such as Care.com or Bambino, to be connected with clients in your area.
Child care experience, or education in child development, can be helpful. Completing a certification course in child care and CPR from an organization such as Red Cross is fairly quick and easy. Expect to complete a background check before working with children.
5. Companion Caregiver
Companion caregivers, sometimes called personal care aides or home care aides, assist elderly or disabled people wherever they need help in their daily life. This may include light housework, preparing simple meals, or simply spending time visiting, playing cards, or keeping them company.
Many older adults prefer the company, and maturity, of seniors who may be able to empathize, relate or reminisce more easily than younger caregivers can.
Companion caregivers may accompany clients to medical appointments, or assist with personal care, like showering and dressing.
In some cases, this work can be physically demanding when lifting or moving an elderly individual is involved, but other times it isn’t, requiring just basic tasks like cleaning or laundry help. Be sure to communicate clearly with your employer or client about their needs and any physical limitations you may have.
In most cases, no experience is required. If you sign up as a caregiver with a home care agency, they generally provide basic training.
Scheduling varies widely. Some clients need help for just a couple hours at a time, while others need it around the clock.
Caregiving can be an incredibly rewarding job for older adults with patience and empathy. It can also be a great way to help others while enjoying social connection.
The need for couriers has skyrocketed over the past couple years as more and more people use services to deliver groceries, restaurant take out, and other types of packages or documents.
Courier jobs are driving positions that offer frequent opportunities to also get up on your feet. This can keep you more active, but also requires that you’re in decent physical condition.
Depending on what you’re delivering, you may be responsible for somewhat heavy lifting, so carefully consider what you’re up for physically before deciding where to work.
If you work for a local pharmacy, document delivery service, or restaurant, your deliveries will tend to be smaller and lighter than some of the big, bulky packages that go through Amazon or FedEx.
If you like, you can choose to drive as a self-employed contractor, rather than an employee. Companies such as Amazon Flex, UberEats or Grubhub are set up for part-time contractors. You’ll need to have a smartphone and will be responsible for your own vehicle costs, but you’ll be able to set your own schedule as you see fit.
As with any driving position, you’ll need a good driver’s record, good eyesight, hearing and the ability to drive safely.
7. Gardener / Landscaper
If you’ve got a green thumb you might consider working as a gardener or landscaper. You might enjoy working for a nursery or local landscaping company, or you may opt to work privately for individuals clients around town.
In any case, you’ll need to be in good physical condition for this type of job, but it can be a great way to stay active, keep in shape, and log time outdoors.
As an added benefit, working with plants has a host of mental and physical health benefits for seniors – such as reducing stress and improving strength, flexibility and mobility – so this type of job can pay off many times over.
If you’ve got a smile to share, you might make a great greeter!
Greeters welcome people as they come into stores, churches or various events. They may answer questions, give directions or pass on information. In some cases they may also be tasked to look out for signs of shoplifting or perform basic cleaning tasks.
Becoming a greeter doesn’t take a lot of training, and is not terribly taxing physically or mentally. It can be a nice way for seniors with more limitations to earn some extra money, get out of the house, and spread some joy to others.
If you’re handy with a hammer and able to take care of odd jobs and little projects around the house, chances are that there are plenty of people in your neighborhood and surrounding areas that can use your help!
If you’re in good physical shape, handy work can be a great way to help others, and make a little money at the same time!
If you prefer being your own boss, consider an online service such as TaskRabbit that pairs people who need help with people who need clients. This can be a convenient way to connect with others who need help assembling furniture, performing home repairs, running errands or cleaning up around the house or yard.
10. Limo, Lyft or Uber Driver
Ridesharing jobs, like Lyft or Uber, require a good driving record, good eyesight and a reliable vehicle with insurance coverage. Be sure to discuss your plan to start ridesharing with your insurance agency, as it can affect your policy.
As a Lyft or Uber driver, you get to set your own schedule and availability. You may receive bonuses for rides at certain times of the day, after particular events, or in certain areas of town.
Both Lyft and Uber are based on apps which require a bit of a learning curve to maximize your efficiency and income. They’re based through smartphone apps, so you’ll need to be comfortable with the technology to succeed. Until you learn the ropes, and a few tricks of the trade, ridesharing may not necessarily be very profitable.
However, it can be fun and satisfying to figure out the ins and outs in order to increase your profit margin. (Hint: get a good air freshener and a USB charging cable for your riders to use) It can be fun to figure out how to pick up riders on drives you’re taking anyway!
If you enjoy driving but aren’t interested in learning the tricks to make driving for Uber or Lyft more profitable, you might prefer driving a limo instead. These shifts are usually more straightforward, and scheduled in advance. Some seniors think it’s a blast to drive people around as they celebrate prom night, birthdays, weddings or other special events!
11. Pet Sitter
Love animals? Pet sitting is a popular job for seniors who are looking for a little extra cash, and rewarding work that hardly feels like work at all.
Some seniors opt for a position in a local kennel. The consistent schedule and location really appeals to individuals who don’t want the challenge and inconvenience of finding clients on their own.
However, other seniors relish the opportunity to go into the pet sitting business for themselves. Some find that online pet sitting apps like Rover.com are helpful in locating local clients.
In any case, pet sitting typically requires fairly good mobility to keep up with the physical demands of walking dogs, cleaning cat boxes and playing with pets.
12. Real Estate Agent
Real estate agents have the potential for making good money. This job can keep you active without being overly taxing. You can set your own schedule, and you get to interact and develop relationships with an assortment of interesting people.
However, becoming a real estate agent requires more of a commitment than many of the other jobs listed in this line up. You’ll have to complete your state’s pre-licensing course and pass a somewhat challenging examination to earn your license. In some states background checks are required as well.
Once you’ve become a licensed real estate agent you’ll need to find a real estate broker to sponsor you. You’ll manage your day-to-day scheduling, paperwork, office management, networking and clients yourself.
If the thought of completing this process hasn’t deterred you yet, a new career in real estate may be just the thing you’re looking for! It can be a very interesting, stimulating and rewarding way to earn money, and stay sharp both mentally and physically in your later years.
13. Retail Salesperson
Snagging a job as a cashier or salesperson at one of your favorite stores can be a great way to connect with others who share your interests – not to mention enjoying any employee discount!
Retail sales jobs often have flexible schedules and shorter shifts, and some of the larger companies even offer health insurance or other benefits to part time workers.
Most retail sales jobs will require that you’re on your feet for most or all of your shift, so be sure to invest in supportive footwear, which can make a big difference in pain and stamina levels by the end of the day.
14. Tax Preparer
If you like working with numbers, and don’t find filing your own taxes to be too stressful, tax preparation may be a good avenue to pursue. It offers a decent paycheck, flexible scheduling and the chance to interact with a variety of interesting people.
Tax preparers tend to work seasonally. They are in high demand between January and April, and may have much less opportunity to work the other parts of the year. Many retirees find it nice to have the summer months off, although those who prefer a year-round gig might not.
Tax preparers have to deal with clients who may be stressed or nervous about their tax situation, and some clients are very appreciative of their tax preparer’s help.
Tax preparers must be very attentive to detail. One small mistake could translate to big problems, so there is definitely a potential for stress in this line of work. Many people find tax preparation to be both challenging and rewarding on many levels.
Tax preparers must complete a competency exam and register with the IRS. There are also continuing education requirements and an annual fee of just under $65 to keep your license active. Computer skills are a must.
15. Teacher’s Aide
For seniors who love kids – and have enough energy, stamina and mobility to keep up with them – becoming a teacher’s aide can be a super rewarding way to keep connected and on your toes.
Teacher’s aide positions aren’t overly demanding physically. Much of your day will be spent grading papers or completing other such tasks. Other times you may be on your feet supervising children in the cafeteria or on the playground, and you’ll need the ability to get around and after them.
One of the best parts of a teacher’s aide job for many are the opportunities to interact with students, providing special assistance to those who may need a little extra help.
Teacher’s aides enjoy weekends, holidays and summers off, which is nice for seniors who like to spend these times with their grandkids!
In some cases, a high school diploma and a background check is enough to get you into a teacher’s aide position. Once there, you will be provided with on-the-job training.
If you have a college education, training in child development, prior experience working with children, and/or fluency in Spanish or another second language you may be an especially valuable candidate for a teacher’s aide position.
16. Tour Guide
A tour guide can be a fun and interesting job option for retirees who enjoy a bit of storytelling, showmanship and knowledge of history or local attractions!
Some tour guide gigs require a lot of standing or walking while others may better lend themselves to sitting.
Schedules can vary quite a bit, but tend to include weekends and evenings. Summers, holidays and school breaks are also popular times for tourist attractions, so this may present a conflict if you want to keep these times free for getting together with family.
Becoming a docent for a local museum is another option for those who enjoy sharing knowledge with guests.
17. Writer / Author
Have you always wanted to write your life story, share tips on your hobby or write about the places you travel?
Becoming a writer or author works well for some individuals as they reach their older years. They may have decades of accumulated wisdom and perspective, and more time to devote to the pursuit, with the kids grown and first career wrapped up.
Writing is very flexible as far as scheduling is concerned. It can be rewarding, but it can also be tricky to make money without equal parts hard work and luck.
Experts recommend starting a blog on a topic of interest and expertise, which will allow you to hone your writing skills and your voice. There are many sites, such as ProBlogger, which can assist you to get started blogging.
From there, you may want to sell ad space on your blog to make money. You may also decide to start pitching article ideas to media outlets or consolidating your thoughts into a full length book.
Writing can be an excellent way to express yourself in meaningful ways, and make money doing so!
18. Youth Coach or Referee
If you love sports and kids, you may want to consider coaching or refereeing for your favorite sport. Youth coaches and referees may enjoy short shifts, interacting with kids and getting outdoors (depending on the sport – and the weather).
On the down side, these jobs don’t generally pay a lot of money, and in some cases it can be stressful interacting with emotionally-charged parents who may disagree with your call.
All in all, coaching and refereeing can be a good way to stay engaged socially in a meaningful and rewarding way, and stay mentally and physically active.
19. Grocery Store Stocker or Bagger
For seniors who just want some light activity and conversation, working as a local grocery store aisle stocker or bagger is a simple, easy job that allows for plenty of movement and activity. The only downside is that this job can meet a lot of time on one’s feet.
Also make sure the manager knows that you may only be capable of lifting and stocking lightweight items.
What Makes a Good Job for a Senior?
What makes a good job for a senior? The answer is as varied as each individual. The job should not be overly strenuous or stressful, and it should work around your other scheduling needs. Additionally, you should find your job meaningful in some way. Perhaps it enables you to:
- Help others
- Stay connected socially
- Keep active
- Be productive
- Keep your mental and physical skills and abilities sharp
- Pursue an interest you never could when you were too busy with your career or raising a family
When these criteria are met, older adults can enjoy a wide range of mental and physical health benefits from working, far more than simply collecting a paycheck.
Thanks for joining us as we explore the best jobs for elderly people! We hope that you have found it helpful!
What job have you found works well in your later years? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!