En español | From clergy to construction inspectors, older workers are gravitating to a diverse mix of jobs that offer the appealing combination of good pay and flexible hours, according to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Nearly 40 percent of adults age 55 and older are either working or looking for a job, according to a recent BLS brief. To figure out which career fields were the best matches for this group of workers, the bureau first combed their data to determine which jobs have significant percentages of older adults. From that group of jobs, the bureau then identified the occupations projected to need to hire more workers through 2026.
What they found were an intriguing set of options that offer solid income. In fact, six of the careers had a median wage that was higher than $38,640 — the median wage for all U.S. jobs in 2018 — according to Elka Torpey, the BLS economist who wrote the report. Torpey did note, however, that this wage data doesn't include the earnings of people who are self-employed, which can be common in the jobs on this list.
Money isn't the only factor that attracts older workers to these jobs. For example, crossing guards — a job in which 44 percent of workers are 55 or older — has the appeal of helping to keep kids safe, says Harlan Sims, director of marketing for All City Management Services, a private company that employs over 5,000 crossing guards in 18 states. And those adults working for clergy, where 48 percent of staff are older adults (the largest share on this list), chose that career because they felt a deeper calling.
Listed in order of projected job growth through 2026, in descending order, the following seven jobs offer good opportunities for older workers:
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