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9 Part-Time Jobs Where Hiring Is Heating Up

Employers are looking for experienced workers to help offices reopen

A cashier takes payment from a customer

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En español | While unemployment remains relatively high due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs that employers are increasingly eager to hire. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 943,000 people were hired in July. The unemployment rate for workers age 55 and older in July was 4.4 percent, slightly lower than the previous month (4.9 percent). The overall unemployment rate for July was 5.4 percent.

There's good news for older adults in the recent hiring boom. Many of the fields that showed the most growth in hiring over the past few months are also areas that provide ample opportunity for part-time work. AARP combed recent jobs reports to find job growth in fields in which older workers thrive in part-time positions. The following list identifies nine such positions. Clicking on the job title will take you to the current list of job openings nationwide for that position on the AARP Job Board. Data on median hourly pay is provided by the BLS, and the portion of part-time workers over age 55 is provided by PayScale, a compensation-tracking firm.

1. Office manager

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 30 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $17

With more companies starting to welcome their employees back to the workplace this summer, job opportunities in business offices are starting to spike. More than 72,000 people were hired for office jobs in June, for an increase of more than 1.2 million workers since a year ago.

Experienced office managers are in particular demand right now, as employers and workers learn how to navigate hybrid workplaces (some people working remotely while others are required to be in the office).

2. Retail sales worker

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 15 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $10

With so many people staying home to practice social distancing for much of the past year, the demand for new clothes — and the workers who help sell them — plummeted. Now that people are getting out more, they also are shopping for clothes that fit their post-lockdown physiques. Clothing stores hired more than 28,000 workers in June alone.

While the hourly wages aren't as high as for some of the other jobs on this list, retail sales work does offer very flexible hours, with opportunities to work nights and weekends. And many stores also offer employees a discount on purchases, which can help those earnings stretch further.

3. Tutor

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 15 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $18

Schools already are gearing up for the return of more students to classrooms this fall. In June, more than 269,000 people were hired in education-related jobs. That number includes the 39,000 who found jobs in private education, including some tutors.

Part of the appeal of tutoring is that you can focus on whichever skill best suits your expertise, whether you're great at writing or savvy with numbers. Tutoring also can offer some opportunities to work from home.

4. Administrative assistant

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 22 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $14

This is another occupation that is benefiting from more workers returning to the office. Because there is so much uncertainty in the job market right now, many employers are using temporary contractors to fill the need for support staff in their offices. More than 33,000 temporary staffers were hired in June.

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5. Nanny

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 11 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $15

The need for child day care workers remains high, with more than 25,000 people hired in June for jobs in these occupations. Working as a nanny can be demanding work, but most workers employed in this profession find that it offers great emotional fulfillment.

6. Paralegal

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 20 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $17

The COVID-19 pandemic has created increased demand for legal services as people reach out to lawyers to help them tackle unexpected challenges such as bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures and possible medical malpractice suits. More than 6,000 people were hired in legal services in June.

7. Cashier

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 14 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $10

This is another job benefiting from customers returning to stores. Among the 67,000 people hired for retail jobs overall in June, many were cashiers, an occupation that usually employs more than 3 million people a year nationwide.

8. Secretary

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 33 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $12

Secretaries are needed as workers return to offices because they help keep things running smoothly. It may not be the best choice if you're looking for a long-term opportunity — the number of positions for secretaries is expected to decline 9 percent by 2028, according to the BLS — but it's a promising part-time gig for the present.

9. Security guard

  • Portion of part-time workers over age 55: 28 percent
  • Average hourly wage: $12

These workers will play an essential role in helping employees and others adapt to the new rules of returning to the office, from screening visitors to taking temperatures. But there also are a wide range of non-office opportunities available in this profession, such as monitoring stores and patrolling warehouses. Just keep in mind the physical demands of the field including walking and standing, as well as potentially working early and late shifts.

Kenneth Terrell covers employment, age discrimination, work and jobs, careers and the federal government for AARP. He previously worked for the Education Writers Association and U.S. News & World Report, where he reported on government and politics, business, education, science and technology, and lifestyle news.

Editor’s note: This article originally was published on July 9, 2021. It has been updated with more recent unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.