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5 Up-and-Coming Part-Time Jobs

Employers are expected to do more hiring for these positions

spinner image woman standing by a library desk holding a book
Working at a library can be a good fit for older workers who are shifting to part-time employment.
Steve Debenport/Getty Images

Part-time jobs can be an appealing way to make some money and have more time for yourself, a combination that’s often a good fit for older adults. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, 27 percent of workers 55 and older were employed part time in 2016. That number increased to 40 percent for workers 65 and older.

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Which part-time positions are employers going to be hiring for over the next few years? The following five jobs are in occupations that have relatively high levels of part-time workers and are expected to need more over the next eight years, according to the BLS. Some of these are slots that older workers can “get into without a lot of additional training or experience needed, and that are flexible enough to allow this generation of workers to enjoy at least a part-time retirement,” says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs.

1. Library technicians and assistants

Projected employment growth from 2016-2026: 9 percent

Libraries continue to be vital resources for schools, universities, corporations and other institutions. Working at a library can be a good fit for older workers who are shifting to part-time employment.

“Libraries really value the work experience and life experience these workers bring to the job,” says Jim Neal, president of the American Library Association. Neal says working as a library assistant or technician can be an ideal fit for people with a background in clerical work. And the responsibilities offer plenty of variety — from helping patrons find books to assisting librarians with the planning of book talks and other events. The median wage in 2016 was $13.67 per hour. Library assistants typically only must have a high school diploma, but technicians might need a postsecondary credential.

2. Food prep and serving

Projected employment growth from 2016-2026: 14 percent

As the nation’s appetite for dining out continues to grow, so will the opportunities for older workers to pick up part-time work. Jobs range from working behind the scenes at fancy restaurants to preparing meals for corporate cafeterias or fast-casual restaurants. The hours are very flexible, and many employers appear partial to older workers. Most of the training happens on the job, so no previous experience is required. In 2016, food service workers earned a median wage of $9.44 per hour.

3. Amusement and recreation attendants

Projected employment growth from 2016-2026: 9 percent

This job usually is less about the roller-coaster kind of amusement — though some of these positions offer that — and more about your local community centers. Recreation attendants help schedule the use of these facilities for sporting events, maintain the equipment and sometimes even help out at the concession stand. There’s no formal education credential required, and the median hourly wage in 2016 was $9.69.

4. Crossing guards

Projected employment growth from 2016-2026: 9 percent

Seeing to it that children get to school without incident makes crossing guards valuable members of the community. “It certainly is a very important job, making sure those prized assets are safe on their way to and from school,” says Harlan Sims, director of marketing for All City Management Services, a private company that employs over 5,000 crossing guards in 18 states. “The jobs usually require two to four hours a day, but they’re split shifts,” Sims says. That means crossing guards typically work an hour or two in the morning, then one or two more in the afternoon, a mix that works better for retirees more than most other people looking for part-time jobs. The median annual income for crossing guards was $26,700 per year or $12.84 per hour in 2016. A high school diploma is typically the only credential required for this job, although most crossing guards will undergo several hours of training in the classroom and in the field.

5. Ushers and ticket takers

Projected employment growth from 2016-2026: 7 percent

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If you ever wanted to be in show business, sports or some other part of the entertainment industry, this part-time job could be a great fit. Workers in these jobs make certain that guests enjoy every part of their night out — from taking tickets as patrons enter to helping them find restrooms or the coat check. In 2016, the median hourly wage for these jobs — which typically don’t require more than a high school diploma or any previous experience in the field — was $9.58.

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