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Make Money Using Your Natural Talents

Here are 5 skills you can leverage into part-time work

4. Senior Fitness Trainer

The nitty-gritty: If you're a natural athlete, working out is in your blood. That's why teaching active adult exercise classes might just be your dream job. More fitness clubs and gyms across the country are offering classes catering to the silver-hair set, according to fitness industry experts. Overall, employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Trainers lead group classes and one-on-one sessions that usually run 45 minutes to an hour. Knowledge of human physiology, proper exercise practices and an ability to judge a client's fitness level are crucial. And you might even take a dive into the pool. Low-impact aqua aerobics are popular, as is "accessible" yoga, which adjusts techniques for people with chronic illness and physical disabilities. Hours are generally flexible, but plan on evening workouts, and it's not unusual to have a class load of two dozen sessions a week.

See also: Let Life Reimagined help you jump into new possibilities

Pay: The median is $14.95 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But in larger cities, hourly rates may be $60 to $100 or more.

Qualifications: Certification generally is not required by law, but most fitness clubs require it. Several groups offer some type of credential. These include the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, the American Council on Exercise, the International Sports Sciences Association, the National Exercise Trainers Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, YMCA Silver Sneakers and the Arthritis Foundation.

Programs cost around $200 to $400 and generally consist of a written test and a practical exam. For all credentials, an added certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation is required. Insurance might also be necessary.

5. Seamstress and Tailor

The nitty-gritty: Sewing like a pro is a nifty mixture of sharp hand-eye coordination and artistic flair. The job boils down to dexterity and details. And, truth is, for many people, simply threading a needle is maddening. Old-fashioned sewing has become a fading art even though the demand for someone who can perform the job with panache has been in steady demand. It requires a built-in precision to cut and measure fabric. Altering or repairing clothing and creating custom garments demands an inner focus and patience. Sewers may also tap their talent to make handcrafted items from quilts to placemats, napkins and table runners. You might find work in a dress shop, department store or dry cleaner, but nearly half of all seamstresses and tailors are self-employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pay: The median is $8.31 an hour. The top 10 percent earned more than $17.57, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. PayScale reports annual salaries as high as $45,000.

Qualifications: Informal, on-the-job-training is standard for those working in a shop or store setting. Sewing is a solitary task, but to keep the customers coming back with pants to be hemmed, dresses to be taken in or buttons to be sewn back into place, you'll need to pull out those people-pleasing talents, too.

Next page: Tips for getting started. »

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