The 10 Best Part-Time Jobs for Seniors

Image shows five older people at a coffee shop. Text reads:

Image by Ellen Lindner © The Balance 2019

Retirement doesn’t look like it used to. Longer life spans, fewer employers offering pension benefits, and volatile stock markets have left many would-be retirees working longer or forgetting about retirement altogether.

One in five workers over the age of 60 say they don’t think they’ll ever be able to retire, according to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey. Half say they’ll have to wait until at least 70 to stop working. It’s no surprise that 8 percent of workers aged 55 or older reported taking on a second job during the previous year.

Whether you have to work, want to supplement your income, or just hope to stay active in retirement, part-time work can be the answer. But not all part-time jobs are created equal. Some are better for most older workers than others. Let’s face it: no matter how fit you are, you’d probably prefer to leave the physically challenging stuff to younger workers who aren’t as worried about throwing out their backs, etc.

The good news is that there are part-time jobs to suit every preference, professional background, and skill set. Whether you want to get out of the house, work in the great outdoors, or earn extra cash from the comfort of your home office, one of these gigs is sure to be for you:

Top 10 Part-Time Jobs for Seniors

1. Consultant

If you love your career, but want to spend a little less time doing it, consulting might be perfect for you. Turn your expertise, network, and experience to good advantage and work part-time for your old employer or for other companies in your field.

Median Pay: Variable. To set your rate, start by dividing your old compensation by hours worked. Don’t forget to factor in your health and retirement benefits and paid time off when making your calculations.

You might find that working as a consultant pays more on an hourly basis than being an employee.

2. Tutor

Retired teachers have the educational background and experience to help students learn tough subjects, bringing up their grades and preparing for exams like the SAT, among other milestones. In addition to tutoring, there are other flexible work options available for former teachers.

Median Pay: $17.45/hour

3. Athletic Coach

Want to share your love of sports with a new generation of budding athletes and stay active at the same time? Coaching might be for you. Pay generally isn’t high — a few thousand per season — but if you need a little extra cash and want to work outdoors, a gig as an athletic coach might be perfect for you.

Median Pay: $15/hour

4. Tax Preparer

If you have an accounting background and prefer to front-load your work into the first part of the year, tax preparation could be the part-time job you’re seeking. Tax preparers typically work long hours through tax season, which runs through April 15 or so. Then, their schedules lighten up for the rest of the year.

Median Pay: $12.35/hour

5. Bookkeeper

Bookkeepers need to be comfortable using accounting software programs like QuickBooks as well as Microsoft Excel. They must also possess a keen eye for detail and the interpersonal skills to communicate requirements to clients/employees.

Median Pay: $16.64/hour

6. Medical Biller/Coder

Medical billers and coders translate healthcare services into diagnostic codes for use in medical billing. They also prepare, send, and track medical bills to patients and insurance companies. Note that this job requires certification, with some employers preferring candidates with an associate degree.

Median Pay: $15.50-$17.50/hour

7. Customer Service Representative

Customer service jobs are always hiring, and many of them will let you work from home. If you’re good at communicating on the phone or via chat software and don’t mind talking people down when they’re not at their best, this role might let you work part-time from your home office.

Median Pay: $13/hour

8. Virtual Assistant

If you were an administrative assistant in your full-time working life, and you’re comfortable with technology, a virtual assistant role can help you translate your skills into a new part-time job. Virtual assistant jobs don’t necessarily require a degree, but they do require solid writing skills and comfort with software programs like Microsoft Office. You’ll also need to be organized, detail-oriented, and good at working under tight, constantly changing deadlines.

Median Pay: $15.60/hour

9. Pet Sitter/Dog Walker

If you’re a dog owner and used to work full-time, you remember how hard it was to make sure your fur-person got his daily exercise… and avoided accidents. Dog walkers take the day shift, so that workers don’t have to race home when the workday is over. If cats are more your speed, or you’re an equal-opportunity animal lover, pet sitting while clients go on vacation is a great way to put a little extra money in your pocket. Apps like Rover and Wag make it simple to get started.

Median Pay: $13.23/hour

10. Blogger

Perhaps the ultimate work-from-home job, blogging has no educational requirements or specific training — you just need a way with words and enough comfort with technology to learn how to use various content management systems.

If you’re a subject matter expert, you can break into the job by building up clips in online publications in your field. Just don’t get too used to writing for free. The sooner you can translate your experience into money, the sooner you can earn a living wage via blogging.

Median Pay: $15.73/hour