3. Personal and Home-Care Aide
The nitty-gritty: You typically help elderly, ill or disabled people with everyday activities ranging from bathing and getting dressed to running errands. Other duties might include light housekeeping, companionship, grocery shopping, meal preparation and medication monitoring.
The hours: If you're working at someone's home, the client may require only three or four hours a day for two or three days a week. These jobs are often booked through a home-care agency. You might opt for a part-time position in an assisted-living facility or hospice. A word of caution: Some positions require lifting patients and lots of time on your feet. If you have physical limitations, ask about the requirements.
Pay range: There tends to be a lot of turnover, so job openings are plentiful, especially helping the elderly in-home as well as at assisted-living and hospice facilities. Expect $7.91 to $13.34 per hour. Wages can be higher depending on experience and certification.
Qualifications: Some employers may require a certified nurse assistant (CNA) certification. CPR training and a driver's license are helpful, too. Good bedside manner is a must.
The nitty-gritty: If you tackle this as a self-employed fix-it-up service, figure on a smorgasbord of odd jobs that range from tightening loose door handles to repairing running toilets. It can be a toss-up of woodworking, plumbing, electrical and even painting projects. There are more structured opportunities in this arena with building owners who hire part-time workers to perform basic maintenance. This is one job, even on a part-time basis, that requires a certain level of fitness and stamina.
The hours: If it's your own business, you can call the shots, even working weekends only. Part-time schedules for building maintenance will depend on the owners' needs. Some might prefer to have a handyman on call for emergencies, while others might like to have you on site and available to residents during specific hours.
Pay range: $10 to $20 an hour, and up to $50 for certain custom work.
Qualifications: Be competent in various aspects of home improvement, have your own tools, be self-motivated and have good customer-service skills. Be on a first-name basis with the manager of your hardware store.
5. Medical Assistant
The nitty-gritty: Administrative tasks in doctors' offices are usually the bulk of the workload. In essence, you're performing front-office duties, such as checking in patients, verifying insurance information, answering telephones, scheduling appointments and typing. You may also be the one who maintains supplies. Some assistants help physicians with procedures and prepare medical records. If you have the training, you may perform direct patient care such as conducting an EKG, specimen collection, wound care, medication administration and checking vital signs.
The hours: Varies by practitioner, but generally weekdays. Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
See also: Growing job fields
Median pay: $14.12 per hour; upward depending on location and experience.
Qualifications: Some employers permit you to learn on the job, but a certificate from a nationally recognized medical assistant program is preferred. Related experience can sometimes serve in lieu of formal training and/or certification. Knowledge of medical terminology is useful. The sight of blood shouldn't make you squeamish.
Kerry Hannon, AARP jobs expert, is the author of What's Next? Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond and Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … and Pays the Bills. Follow her on Twitter @kerryhannon.
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