If you’re part of the Baby Boomer generation, you’ve probably been around the block, career-wise. You may be retiring from your long-term career, or find yourself looking for a change of pace for the next phase of your work life. As you hit a certain age, people may expect you to slow down and retire, but if you’re not ready for that (either financially or personally), there are lots of great part-time jobs for seniors. These opportunities can help you redefine what “retirement age” really means.
Part-time jobs can be ideal for working seniors. The schedule is flexible, and you can build skills and experience without committing to a full-time gig. It’s especially ideal for retirees looking to add extra income without going back to the full-time grind, allowing you to balance work with outside interests, social time, and personal needs.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best part-time opportunities out there for Boomers.
Seasonal Retail Associate
This is the classic part-time job. Stores frequently hire part-time associates to pitch in during particularly busy seasons, like the holidays. And it’s not just Christmas shopping; you may also see opportunities in spring and summer at home improvement stores or garden centers. If you have a green thumb and a pleasant customer-service mindset, then that can be a good option for you. Seasonal retail associates typically help with the day-to-day operations of the store: stocking shelves, assisting customers, acting as cashier, taking inventory, and other in-store tasks as needed.
What you’ll need: Retail experience helps, but isn’t always necessary; most stores will provide on-site training. Strong customer service skills are a must, and good organization and math skills are very helpful as well.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, retail sales associates make a median salary of $11.01 per hour. This can vary depending on experience level.
It may be time to get in on the “gig economy” trend if you’re looking for a part-time job with flexibility and control over your own hours. If you’ve got a valid driver’s license and a car in good shape, you may be able to drive for companies like Uber and Lyft. Drivers have total control over when they’re on the clock, so it’s a flexible option for your preferred schedule. And if you’re interested in night owl work, you can make solid money with late-night fares—especially if you live near a city or other area with a strong nightlife scene.
What you’ll need: A valid driver’s license, a car that can pass a rigorous vehicle inspection, and a clean driving record. Most companies require their drivers pass a comprehensive background screening as well.
What it pays: The median national hourly rate for rideshare drivers is $19.04, but drivers can make $30-40 an hour, plus tips, depending on how many fares they’re picking up. It can also vary according to your location.
These educational professionals work in the classroom alongside teachers, helping students and teachers with day-to-day activities. Unlike standard teaching, teacher assistants (also known as paraprofessionals) may work on a part-time basis, coming into the classroom for a few hours per day or a few days per week. These professionals can be found in schools at every level: daycare, elementary, middle, and high schools. Their tasks can include managing classroom behavior or activities; helping teachers grade student work or plan lessons; preparing classroom equipment or technology; tutoring students who need extra help; taking attendance; assisting students who have special needs; or monitoring students during activities or lunch.
What you’ll need: Teacher assistants typically don’t need a four-year degree, but an associate’s degree or background in education certainly helps. Strong organizational skills, good communication skills (both written and verbal), teaching skills, and kid-friendliness are all assets in this field. Most states also require some form of certification for paraprofessionals, including passing a standardized exam, so be sure to confirm what your state or school district requires.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, paraprofessionals earn a median salary of $25,410 per year. This can vary according to location, and paraprofessionals who are multilingual, or who specialize in areas like special needs or special education, tend to be in high demand.
If you’ve got a background in education or subject matter expertise, then becoming a substitute teacher can be a good part-time option. Substitute teachers step in when the regular teacher is out and maintain order and progress in a particular classroom. Substitute teachers may be short-term (covering a teacher’s sick day) or long-term (covering, say, a teacher’s maternity leave or other longer absence), and assignments are typically accepted at the discretion of the sub. So if you’re looking for a job with flexible daytime hours (and summers off), it may be a great choice.
Substitute teacher duties typically include teaching lessons or managing activities as outlined by the full-time teacher; developing lesson plans for longer-term assignments; managing student behavior in the classroom and ensuring schedules stay on track; or participating in other school activities as needed, like cafeteria monitoring, bus monitoring, before- or after-school care, etc.
What you’ll need: Requirements can really vary by state, town, school district, and even school, so it’s essential to be familiar with the needs and rules of your target school/location. Some states require substitute teachers to hold specific teacher certification and a four-year degree, while others simply require a high school diploma. Skill-wise, you’ll need strong teaching skills, good organizational/management skills, and a good amount of flexibility.
What it pays: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for substitute teachers is $30,900, or $14.86 per hour. This can vary depending on the substitute teacher’s experience, as well as the state and type of school.
Usually when we think of interns, we think of eager young students or recent grads, trying to get a foothold in the industry where they want to build their careers. But there’s actually a growing trend where older employees are turning to internships to either change careers, or get back into the workplace. These “relaunch” internships are a way for companies to engage with a huge potential pool of employees, and a chance for people of any age to build skills and experience, or transition to a new job.
According to U.S. News and World Report, these internships can be especially well-suited for post-retirees or other employees who may not need full benefits or are willing to accept a junior-level salary compared to what they may have been making before.
What you’ll need: It helps to have some knowledge of the company or field you’re entering, but an internship is all about building experience from the ground up, so it’s important to have a strong base of skills like organization and communication. A willingness to learn and adapt is essential, and you should also be willing to accept junior employee status.
What it pays: Internships can vary widely by industry, ranging from unpaid internships to stipends or entry-level salaries.
Baby Boomers and Seniors have always been the trendsetters, so it makes sense that would continue in the employment world even after they’ve passed into the traditional retirement zone. Your career path is yours to seize at any age, so if you’re looking for non-full-time opportunities, there’s likely something to meet your financial needs, scheduling needs, and interests.
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