People in the United States are working longer in life than ever before. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, 40 percent of people over the age of 55 are employed, and those numbers will likely grow in the coming years. In fact, even among so-called “retired” people, 79 percent of them still intend to find some supplemental income, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Today, 40 is no longer the age when most people start think about retiring. It’s the age to start thinking, “Am I in a job I want to keep doing for another few decades and maybe more?”
Of course, not all careers are ideally suited for older adults. Here are 20 jobs that would make any 40-plus-year-old feel financially secure and personally satisfied. But for the flip-side, don’t miss 20 Worst Jobs if You’re Over 40.
Don’t get us wrong, teaching is very demanding and difficult work. But if you love it, it’s a career that rewards devotion. New statistics indicate that less teachers are leaving their jobs—83 percent stay after five years—and an Urban Institute survey found that workers in their 60s and beyond found teaching one of the most personally enjoyable professions.
That may be hard to believe, but it’s true. The average age of a personal trainer, according to one study, is 39.8. “When people hire a personal trainer, I have it on good authority that they often don’t take serious the younger trainers,” one trainer explained on his blog. “People in their 40s—and above—often look at a 20 something personal trainer and say, ‘What can you teach me?’ or ‘How can I relate to this person?’” And for more insights into this gig, check out the 14 Secrets Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You.
From the hours to the responsibilities, you won’t find a more flexible career path anywhere. And the job growth is through the roof—expected to grow 18 percent in the next ten years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It turns out knowing a second language isn’t just good for traveling. The job market for interpreters and translators, in the healthcare field and otherwise, is expected to increased by 46.1 percent by 2022, making it the nation’s fifth-fastest-growing occupation. If you want to pick up a second tongue, just master The Secret Trick For Learning A New Language Quickly.
It can be a demanding career, requiring a lot of time on your feet and lots of concentration. But it’s a career in which the median age is in the late 30s, and it’s not uncommon for people to enter cosmetology school as late as their 50s. If you find yourself in this profession, you might want to master the 15 Best Haircuts for Looking Instantly Younger.
With an average annual salary of $58,000, this can be a fulfilling and lifelong career for somebody with the right skill set. You’ll need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food and nutrition, or a related area, and it’s important to be very detail-oriented and fascinated with the always-evolving science of nutrition. Start by memorizing the 50 Foods That Make You Look Younger.
It’s a field that—at least for the post-40 set—didn’t really exist when you first went on the job market after college, but it’s become one of the most sought-after and lucrative professions, with an average salary of $116,000, nearly three times the national median income. Oh, and the average age is 42; only 20 percent of the cybersecurity workforce under age 35.
If a high-stress job is something you want to avoid, especially as you get older, this could be the perfect match for you. And you certainly won’t feel like the grandpa or grandma of your work colleagues—the average age for a massage therapist is 46 years old.
It’s a job field with growing opportunities—an estimated 27 percent increase in employment by 2022—and best of all, a job with a high rate of satisfaction for those who stick it out. Social work supervisors ranked seventh on Forbes’ list of most meaningful occupations.
If you love helping animals, this career offers an opportunity for you to embrace that passion in an age-friendly environment. Trust us, most dogs aren’t judgmental about whether their vet techs are young enough. And it doesn’t take four to five years at a university to get a degree. You can become qualified for an entry-level position with just a two-year program.
In rankings of careers with the most job satisfaction, this gig consistently lands in the top three. And the average age has been rising over the years, slowly moving up, rather than down; most marketing managers are at least 42 years-old.
This is definitely a career that favors older workers. Think about it, would you rather meet with a therapist who looks like he just got out of college, or someone who looks like Sigmund Freud? Also, a whopping 46 percent of counselors and therapists told the Urban Institute that they were very satisfied with their jobs.
This job could require anything from challenging insurance coverage rejections to helping patients connect with the right doctors. And some universities offer fast-tracked certificate programs for older adults.
You can work from the comfort of your home, avoiding stressful commutes and overlong work days, and many companies that employ online tutors also offer benefits like dental and health insurance.
Human resources manager
Being sent to HR might sound like a nightmare, but it isn’t if they’re offering you a job. The salary is impressive—a median of $85,000—and the average age is 44. Just 20 percent of the HR workforce under the age of 34.
Everything from big retail chains to mom-and-pop grocery and hardware stores regularly hire older workers. In fact, retail positions are the most common careers for workers over 65, according to an Urban Institute analysis. They gravitate to these jobs because of the flexible hours and friendly work environments.
Administrative or executive assistant
With a median age of 46, this is a perfect job for anybody with a talent for multitasking. Despite what some may believe, this position isn’t just a glorified secretary. USA Today called it “the new power job,” with bigger salaries and more opportunities for advancement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of 5.6 million new jobs in this field by 2024.
Yes, really. It’s not for everyone, of course. But it’s unlikely you’ll meet a priest or pastor who’s worried about being replaced by a younger competitor. What’s more, a survey of older adults found that clergy is the most enjoyable career path, with a whopping 66.8 percent claiming they love their jobs.
Esteemed career site Glassdoor ranked financial manager in their top 12 list in terms of employee job satisfaction and salary potential. (You can expect to make in the low six figures in this field.) Also, it’s the type of job where experience counts more than perky youthfulness.
Granted, this is a fancy way of saying “self-employed.” But there’s a freedom that comes with being your own boss, and setting your own hours. Whether as an office clerk, accountant, or anything else where you’re technically paid from job to job, the flexibility is perfect for older adults, and the earning potential, depending on how hard you hustle, is through the roof.
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