12 Good Jobs for Retirees

Explore jobs for retirees, from working with kids to traveling the world, while putting money in your pocket.

portrait of Alyssa Colton
by Alyssa Colton

Published May 13, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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12 Good Jobs for Retirees
Feature Image: Eva-Katalin / E+ / Getty Images


Seniors continue to work after retirement for various reasons, including wanting to make more money, pursuing an interest, or wanting to feel useful. Betty Reid Soskin of California proves that you are never too old to work. She recently retired from the National Park Service at the age of 100 after working there for 10 years. The average retirement age in the U.S. is 64, but many seniors are active well into their 70s and 80s — and beyond.

Whether you're a retiree looking for a temporary, seasonal, or a part-time job nearby, you have many options available to you.

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Ready to start your journey?

Tutor

Tutors help in a variety of subjects and for various ages, including tutoring for SATs and other exams. Working one on one with students can be a very rewarding retirement career.

The requirements for tutors vary depending on the subject matter and level you want to tutor. Generally, though, tutors should have some college experience, if not a college degree in the subject you will be tutoring.

You can offer your services by advertising on local community boards and online. You can also apply to one of the many tutoring agencies. If you work for yourself, you can charge more, but this also requires finding your own clients. Tutoring is an ideal part-time job for retirees because you can control how many hours you work.

Median Salary: $36,470, but some tutors make as much as $30 or more per hour

School Staff - Teaching Assistant, Substitute Teacher, Hall Monitor

If you like working with kids, you don't need to get a teaching certification, which can take a lot of time and money. Instead, you can look into the requirements for becoming a teaching assistant or substitute teacher. You will likely need some college experience, but, depending on the state, you may not need any special certifications.

Seniors looking for jobs for hire can also apply for other staff roles at schools, such as building monitors, secretaries, and maintenance workers. Many schools need support staff and welcome the maturity that older people bring. And you don't need to be a teacher to make a difference in a young person's life.

Other opportunities to work in schools include positions as cafeteria workers, secretarial staff, and bus drivers. Bonus: You'll also get school vacations and summers off.

Median Salary: Teaching Assistant: $29,360 per year; Substitute Teacher: $30,100 per year; School Monitor: $25,800 per year (average salary)

Adjunct Professor

Retired professionals with degrees and work experience can also look into teaching as adjunct professors at community colleges and local universities. They can particularly consider teaching technical areas and areas like business, media, health science, and law.

These roles are often posted on job boards. But you can also contact the department chair's office to see if they need someone with your expertise to teach a course. Adjuncts usually contract out by semester, and some teach partially or fully online.

Average Salary: $33,450 per year

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Teacher

Retired seniors often want to travel. If you’re interested in living abroad, consider getting certified in teaching English as a foreign language. While TEFL has been popular with young adults, more and more retirees are finding ways to teach English to people in other countries, online and in person.

Salaries for TEFL teachers can range widely depending on your background, training, and where you go. Keep in mind that many countries where you might be placed have a much lower cost of living. Also, contracts last for a year or even less, so you aren't expected to stay on permanently.

TEFL.org gives an overview of what you can expect to make as a TEFL teacher in various locations and which countries welcome older teachers. Some companies allow you to work remotely as long as you have a laptop, good wi-fi connection, and a quiet place to work.

Average Salary: $19.50 per hour

Seasonal/Temporary Park Ranger

Do you want to explore the Colorado Rockies for a few months? If so, consider looking into a seasonal park ranger position. These positions sometimes require special skills but often don't require special degrees.

Park rangers perform various tasks depending on their location, but there are basically two different types: law enforcement and educational. Law enforcement rangers patrol parks and usually need a law enforcement background and search and rescue skills. Educational and interpretive park rangers often work in and near park centers, helping visitors and offering educational programs.

If you're a history buff, you might find a similar position at a local historical site. These roles make an excellent option for a part-time retirement job.

Average Salary: $39,380 per year

Library Clerk

While not in as high of a demand as other jobs listed, a library clerk is a great fit for retirees looking for part-time work in their communities. Library clerks help with running a library. Tasks include shelving and checking out books and assisting patrons.

Median Salary: $34,050 per year

Home Health Aide/Personal Care Assistant

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 33% growth in personal care assistant jobs from 2020-2030, much higher than the average of 8% for all occupations. These roles can be very rewarding, as you help someone in your community with daily tasks.

You can do these jobs in retirement homes, nursing homes, and private homes. Part-time work is often available. Some training may be required, but you don't need any degrees or certifications.

Median Salary: $29,430 per year

Nanny/Child Caregiver

Do you like to work with young kids? Help out a family by taking on a retirement job as a nanny. Even if you don't know any families with young children, sites like Rentagrandma.com can help match you with families in need of caregivers.

Average Salary: $33,720 per year

Driver

If you like to drive, you can pursue a variety of jobs for retirees that involve driving. Retirees can work at a school bus company, a retirement community, or a company in need of a delivery service. You will need training and a special license if you want to drive a bus or commercial van.

You can also join a ride-sharing service, such as Uber or Lyft, which connects you to people in need of a ride through an app on your smartphone. Ride-sharing services offer freedom and flexibility to work when you want to.

Median Salary: Passenger Vehicle Drivers: $37,540 per year; Bus Drivers: $48,620 per year

Customer Service/Retail Associate

Retail and customer service associates are great jobs for seniors who like interacting with people. Ideally, seek out a position in an industry you are interested in and like.

For example, if you like crafts, look for a position at a crafts store. If you have a lot of experience fixing up houses, a home improvement store could benefit from your expertise. These positions can allow you to share your passion and knowledge with others while making money.

These jobs don't usually require special education or training. Also, if you don't want to work year-round, look for openings in late October to early November to get hired for the holiday rush. In tourist areas, try for seasonal jobs when it's peak season.

Median Salary: $29,180 per year

Animal Service Worker/Pet Sitter

Do you love animals? Your post-retirement job might be your chance to surround yourself with animals more. Animal service workers, whether working at a veterinary office, animal shelters, zoos, and other sites, are in demand.

Another option for retirees is to offer services as a pet sitter. Look for online sites where you can sign up. You can also offer pet-sitting services independently by letting people know you're available and posting your availability on community boards and online. Pet sitting might also allow you to travel to other places and stay in people’s homes while they're away.

Median Salary: $28,730 per year

Consultant/Freelancer

Many retirees have successful second careers as consultants or freelance workers in their industry or area of expertise. The internet has also opened up many opportunities to connect with potential clients and freelance jobs.

Consultants are hired in management, business, and marketing. They can also work in nonprofits, fundraising, and operations. As a consultant, you can also offer services as a freelance writer, editor, graphic designer, bookkeeper, and virtual assistant.

As a consultant or freelancer, your ability to make money is determined by how well you market and sell your services and the market demand. This role offers many benefits, including the freedom and flexibility to set your hours and determine your clients and rates. As someone with a lot of experience, don't be shy about selling your expertise.

SCORE is an organization that helps people plan and implement a business at no cost. It consists of people (often retirees themselves) who have worked as consultants or business owners and can offer invaluable guidance in setting up a consulting or freelance business.

Average Salary: $40,450 per year, but pay could reach six figures

Frequently Asked Questions About Retirees

Is 55 too old to get a job?

No. Many employers recognize the value of hiring someone with maturity and experience. If you know how to present yourself and use your network, it is possible to find satisfactory work after 55.

Before you decide to look for a new job or change careers, take the time to do some reflection and research.

Why are seniors returning to college?

Seniors return to college to explore new areas of study or to gain certifications for retirement careers. Many schools offer free or low-cost options for seniors to attend college. But you don't necessarily need to go back to school to find a new job or explore a new career.

How do I find a job after retirement?

Taking stock, doing your research by conducting informational interviews and searching job boards, and tapping into your network can help you find a job after retirement. Log on to job boards using search terms for job positions you're interested in. Also, consider asking people you know about opportunities and referrals.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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