With millions of job openings available nationwide, employment opportunities for workers without degrees also are starting to grow. Many of those jobs even offer the potential to work from home, a condition that older workers strongly prefer. According to one AARP Research survey of people age 40 and older, 44 percent of respondents said they work from home at least some of the time.
FlexJobs, a website that specializes in remote work opportunities (full access to the website costs $6.95 per month), combed through the job postings on its site to identify fields with the most openings that don't require a degree. Many of these positions could be a match for the skill sets older adults already have.
"Remote jobs that tend not to require a college degree do typically require a decent amount of experience, which is why they're a great fit for someone with a longer career history,” says Brie Reynolds, a career development manager and coach at FlexJobs. “Especially if you've had the experience of working remotely over the last year and you can demonstrate to employers that you excel in a remote environment or have remote-friendly professional skills like communication, self-management and a proactive approach to your work, you're well positioned for these types of remote jobs."
The following jobs are examples from the FlexJobs list. Clicking on the job title will take you to a list of current job openings, either on AARP's free Job Board (not all of the openings are for remote work) or the FlexJobs website. You may click on this link for a search of all work from home jobs available on the AARP Job Board. Average pay is taken from data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Average pay: $19 per hour
If you have an eye for detail and are good with math, you might do well in this position. Accounting clerks examine bank statements, invoices, accounts payable documents and other reports to ensure that all of the numbers are adding up correctly.
Average pay: $27.10 per hour
While job openings in this field could rise as more workers return to the office, the position is also one that offers plenty of opportunities for remote work. The key responsibilities — managing schedules, coordinating meetings, communicating with clients — are ones that can often be done from home.
Average pay: $20.98 per hour
This job requires strong skills with numbers, with many employers placing a higher value on experience than on a college degree. Work at Home Vintage Experts, which specializes in placing older workers in remote jobs, recently had several openings.
Average pay: $28.58 per hour
If you're good at managing professional relationships, this field offers plenty of opportunities to put your skills to use. Client services managers serve as liaisons between a company and their clients, ensuring that communications are clear and projects meet expectations. This field also offers many opportunities for contract assignments.
Average pay: $18.44 per hour
If you have good communication and problem-solving skills, a job as a customer service representative could be the right fit for you. Most companies provide extensive training to prepare workers for the important role of being the person their customers turn to when they need help. Some companies will also provide the technology necessary to respond to requests by phone, email or chat. United Health Group is one of the employers recently seeking remote customer service representatives.