In the U.S., the average retirement age for workers is 65 for men, and 63 for women. Many assume that workers who are 60+ are lining up at the retirement door. However, with financial uncertainties and other motivations at play, millions of Baby Boomers continue to stay in the workforce. And in fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 40 percent of adults age 55 or older are either working or looking for work.
Still, that doesn’t mean that the work landscape stays the same for older workers. Many want to have a “bridge” job that eases the transition from working life to retirement. Others are interested in a second career to learn new skills, stay active, or maintain financial security. Whatever the reasons you might have for hunting for a job instead of retiring, there are a number of great jobs out there that work for people in their 60s or older.
For those with accounting experience or strong math and financial skills, bookkeeping can be a good job opportunity. Bookkeepers and accounting clerks produce financial documents for companies or organizations and audit financial records for accuracy. It’s something that can be done on a part-time or freelance basis if you’re looking for a job with a flexible schedule.
What you’ll need: Basic math and bookkeeping skills, and potentially a certificate or some college education in the field. Strong computer skills (especially with spreadsheets and accounting software) are also a major component of this job.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, bookkeepers earn a median salary of $40,240 per year or $19.35 per hour.
Becoming a consultant in your field is a common “bridge” job for those who have years of seniority or experience but no longer want to be a full-time employee. Consultants often work on a contract or project-by-project basis, providing services and management.
What you’ll need: Industry-specific expertise and experience, particularly in business or technical areas.
What it pays: This can vary widely by industry, level of experience, and contract. Payscale.com estimates that business consultants make an average salary of $73,512 per year.
Even if you don’t have a Ph.D., many online schools or community colleges are seeking people with subject matter expertise to teach lower-level courses. Many retirees or other workers seeking part-time jobs find this to be a good fit—you can often teach as many or as few classes as you want.
What you’ll need: Teaching experience and expertise in the subject you’re teaching are key. Good people skills and organizational skills are also helpful.
What it pays: According to PayScale, full-time adjunct professors earn an average salary of $34,319. Part-time adjunct professors typically earn a few thousand dollars per class, per semester.
If you love the idea of working in your community and don’t mind being out in the elements occasionally, you might want to consider becoming a crossing guard. These part-time professionals work in high-traffic areas like school zones, downtown streets, or other places where traffic and pedestrian safety are a concern. They manage traffic flow while ensuring that pedestrians are able to cross safely.
What you’ll need: There are typically no formal educational requirements, but you’d receive on-the-job training. This job also requires some physical stamina, as well as standing for extended periods of time.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, crossing guards earn a median salary of $31,970 per year or $15.37 per hour.
Real Estate Agent
If you have a sales background and want to stay in the game, real estate can be a great, flexible option for older workers. Real estate agents connect potential renters and buyers with sellers and landlords, show sites to clients, assist with financial preparation, and negotiate contracts for buyers and sellers.
What you’ll need: Most states require real estate agents and brokers to be certified, so you should check your own state’s requirements. Real estate agents also need strong sales skills and financial literacy, as well as knowledge of local, state, and federal real estate regulations.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate agents earn a median salary of $61,720 per year or $29.67 per hour.
Whether you’re seeking a second act for your career or a way to stay active and engaged in the work world as you create your own retirement, there are some great job options out there that will let you keep working on your own terms.