By 2031, nearly 25 percent of the U.S. workforce will be 55 and older, and about 7 percent of that group will be between 65 and 74 years old, according to projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 57 percent of workers across all generations plan to work in retirement either full-time (21 percent) or part-time (36 percent.
As older Americans decide to work longer, they’ll need to determine which jobs are available and where they can continue earning a living.
Why retirees keep working
Most workers who plan to work after retirement cite financial reasons, according to the Transamerica study. Many fear that Social Security will not be there for them in retirement.
Some retirees keep working for reasons other than supplementing their income. They may need the group health insurance benefits because they’re not yet old enough to qualify for Medicare. Others simply enjoy working because it keeps them active, gives them a sense of purpose and helps them stay socially connected.
Renee Ward, founder of Seniors4Hire.org, a career center for people 50 and older, says the pandemic opened legitimate work-at-home job opportunities for older workers who, she notes, are more tech-savvy than they get credit for.
“It’s a myth that the senior crowd is not or cannot be taught to be technologically savvy,” she says. “This group is on Facebook, FaceTime, email, Zoom, dating sites and just about every platform out there.”
Before you begin your job search, decide on the work schedule you want, how much responsibility you’re willing to accept and how much money you want to make.
“Really define what you want to do,” Ward says. “Narrow your focus and be very targeted.”
Here are 15 part-time jobs for retirees. Many offer remote or work-from-home opportunities.
1. Teacher or tutor
Many organizations need class instructors. For enrichment classes that are not for credit, experience is often the key credential required. Try the local college or university, arts center or parks and recreation center.
Or start a teaching program based on your skills and interests. A retired law enforcement worker, for example, might find work teaching personal safety courses or driver’s education.
If you have the skills and experience, you can tutor students in math or English. Connect with your local school district to get started. You can also find opportunities at online tutoring companies like Wyzant.
2. Consultant or freelancer
Many companies hire people with specific skills based on their projects’ needs. Organizations that are downsizing sometimes need freelancers to fill gaps in their staff.
Retirees with vast experience from their years of working are often prime candidates to fill consulting or freelance positions. Upwork is one of the many companies connecting freelancers with people seeking their expertise.
3. Customer service
Many older workers can find “help desk” jobs that require the kind of knowledge they acquired over decades of work. FlexJobs.com, for example, lists numerous companies that hire remote customer service representatives.
4. Do what you did before retirement, just less of it
Many professional positions allow for phased retirement, where you work fewer hours each year over several years.
Alternatively, you could explore switching from a full-time role to a part-time position with a previous employer. Someone who had a career in public relations, for example, might find part-time work with a former client. In short, tap into your network for opportunities. LinkedIn is an excellent resource for that.
5. Researcher for universities, businesses
Information gathering is a skill that is useful in many fields, such as medicine, science, politics and technology. For example, some researchers help scholars find and collect the data they need to complete academic projects.
Maybe you’ve worked as an investigative reporter, done research at a university or collected data for a political organization. You can use your ability to delve for information in various industries. Indeed, a job search company, lists research opportunities by location.
6. Government jobs
Another option available to retirees is working for the federal government.
You can search for seasonal and part-time work at USAjobs.gov. The U.S. government offers many part-time jobs, from clerical work to more specialized roles. Your state, county and city governments may provide additional employment opportunities.
7. Monetize your skills and hobbies
Some people don’t want to do the same work they did before retiring. They are attracted to jobs that involve interacting with others or participating in a hobby they can enjoy.
Think about what you’re good at and try to find a way to make money from it. You may find work doing odd jobs, like putting together bookshelves, hanging pictures or doing minor home repairs. TaskRabbit, an online website, matches handy people with customers seeking help.
Similarly, if you’re good at pottery or making art, you could sell your creations online. Etsy is an online marketplace where creative sellers list their products, from jewelry to personalized gifts.
8. Sell your expertise online
Maybe you’ve traveled the U.S. in an RV and know all the tips and tricks for great RVing. Or perhaps you’re an expert gardener who wants to share your knowledge. To create a source of income, you could make an online course or establish a web presence around your area of expertise and sell ad space or sponsored content.
YouTube, an online video-sharing platform, has become the global destination for broadcasting tips, tutorials, guides, and other valuable content.
9. Pet sitter or house sitter
Caring for other people’s pets while they’re on vacation or away on business can be a great gig for retirees who love animals.
Word of mouth is a good way to get started. Let your family and friends know you’re available to pet-sit or house-sit. Post a flier on a community bulletin board. Or explore working part-time at a business that cares for animals, such as Rover.
If you speak a foreign language, you can seek part-time work as a translator or interpreter. Customer service centers, courts and social service agencies often need people with these skills.
Translators work with the written word, whereas interpreters translate the spoken word. Professional translation companies like Gengo offer flexible schedules for multilingual people. These skills are in high demand by many organizations.
11. Usher, ticket-taker or museum guide
Many performing arts centers and local theaters use part-time workers to show audience members to their seats, collect tickets or sell beverages and snacks.
If you have a background in art history, you might make a good museum guide.
The arts industry offers opportunities for entertaining and flexible part-time jobs for those with people skills.
Airbnb, an online marketplace for short- and long-term homestays, is one of the many companies connecting travelers with locals for unique experiences, such as museum tours.
12. Courier, light deliveries
Retirees can make extra money shopping for and delivering groceries, medicines, gift baskets and other items. Many people use services such as Instacart, DoorDash, Shipt and Uber Connect.
Alternatively, you might know people who don’t drive and are willing to pay someone to grocery shop, run errands or take them to appointments.
13. Direct sales
Companies such as Mary Kay, Avon, Pampered Chef and Amway often recruit retirees because they have flexible schedules and can work from home as sales representatives.
With a phone, computer, internet access and minimal startup costs, you could earn a few hundred bucks a month selling products online or hosting parties.
Select a product you like and make sure the company is reputable. Also, before you sign on, ask whether the company buys back unsold products in case you decide this is not for you.
14. Temp worker
One good way to find jobs is through temporary staffing companies known as temp agencies, which connect their clients with qualified temporary hires.
Temp agencies offer a variety of positions — office jobs, healthcare work, skilled labor positions and much more — and can be a good path to a permanent job if that’s your goal.
Temp work also allows workers and businesses to see if the arrangement is a good fit before committing. Robert Half is among many companies placing skilled talent in temp positions.
15. Medical billing/coding specialist
These jobs are ideal for remote employees. Certified medical billing specialists need a high school diploma, a postsecondary certificate, and computer, clerical and customer service skills.
These workers code patient diagnoses and request payment from insurance companies or other sources. They may also organize patient records and bills and set up payment plans.
ZipRecruiter and other job search websites list available opportunities by location.