An increasing number of workers age 50 and older are starting new businesses.
A new AARP/Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey of 50-plus employed workers shows that one in 20 plans to start his or her own business. Nearly one in five unemployed workers would like to do the same.
For the most part, we're not talking Silicon Valley start-ups here, but one-person shops that might employ a handful of helpers.
Older entrepreneurs can have a lot of things working in their favor — a strong work ethic, management experience and well-established networks of potential customers. But be forewarned. Running a business usually takes more than a simple passion for what you're doing. You may need to go back to school and get certifications. You'll definitely need a list of pros to help you, from a lawyer to a tax accountant. And, it's always good to try out the job first as an apprentice or moonlight to be sure it's right for you.
With so many people taking the plunge, AARP and the Small Business Administration recently formed a collaboration to promote entrepreneurship as a career option for older Americans. The aim is to link 100,000 Americans over age 50 with small-business development resources, including conferences and mentoring programs.
If being your own boss appeals to you, here are five fields that you might check out. Pay ranges will vary based on factors such as experience and where you live.
The nitty-gritty: Got the knack for fixing things? If you know woodworking and carpentry, painting, stonemasonry, tile or marble work, there's a homeowner near you looking for your help. Landlords, too, often need skilled craftsmen on a part-time basis.
Average pay range: $10.29 to $40.06 an hour and up to $50 for certain custom work, according to payscale.com. Annually, wages can run anywhere from $21,000 to $85,000.
Qualifications: You must be skilled in a range of home improvement tasks, have your own tools, good customer-service manners and initiative. Some states may require you to have a contractor's, electrician's or plumber's certificate, depending on the project. Clients might require you to be licensed, bonded and insured.