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50 Jobs for a Second Career

Whether you’re looking for a specific job or a popular field, this list will help you find an encore career

Skydiving businessman for 50 jobs for people over 50


Jumping to a second career can be exciting.

The number of workers age 50 and over is soaring ­ — from 20 percent of the workforce in 1996 to 31 percent today. So is the number of new jobs.




See also: 2013 Best Employers

Now that you've wrapped up one career, do you wonder what's next?

They Want You

Fastest-Growing Jobs (Projected by 2018)

2008 Median Wages

Required Training

Home health aide: 460,900 new jobs
$20,460 short-term on-the-job training
Personal and home care aide: 375,800 jobs $19,180 short-term on-the-job training
Computer software engineer: 175,100 jobs
$85,430 bachelor’s degree
Medical assistant: 163,900 jobs $28,300 moderate-term on-the-job training
Network systems and data communications analyst: 155,800 jobs $71,100 bachelor’s degree
Dental assistant: 105,600 jobs $32,380 moderate-term on-the-job training
Self-enrichment education teacher: 81,300 jobs $35,720 work experience
in a related occupation
Compliance officer (except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation): 80,800 jobs $48,890 long-term on-the-job training
Dental hygienist: 62,900 jobs $66,570 associate degree
Veterinary technologist and technician: 28,500 jobs $28,900 associate degree
Physical therapist assistant: 21,200 jobs $46,140 associate degree
Physical therapist aide: 16,700 jobs $23,760 short-term on-the-job training
Skin care specialist: 14,700 jobs $28,730 postsecondary vocational award
Biomedical engineer: 11,600 jobs $77,400 bachelor’s degree
Financial examiner: 11,100 jobs $70,930 bachelor’s degree

You Want Them

Most Desired Fields

Percentage of Those Interested in an Encore Career

Advocacy 36%
Work with children/youth

Conservation 31%
Teaching 31%
Community safety 24%
Local or global poverty alleviation 24%
Work with older
Health care: hospital, hospice, nurse 17%

Start Tomorrow

Lucrative jobs with no college required

Average Salary

Loan officer $61,928
Medical appliance
Stationary engineer or boiler operator $55,373
Postal service mail
Line installer and repairer $47,759
Quality control inspector $46,378
Floral designer $45,234
Hazardous materials removal worker $45,220

Already Doing It

Most common occupations for people ages 55+ in 2010

Number of people with occupation

Secretary, administrative assistant 877,000
Driver/sales worker, truck driver 682,000
Retail salesperson 650,000
Registered nurse 636,000
Elementary, middle-school teacher 631,000
of retail sales workers
Counselor, social worker, religious worker 602,000
Janitor, building cleaner 588,000
Chief executive 532,000
Architecture and engineering occupations 517,000

Keep Your Tee Time

Part-time jobs employing more than 1.5 million

Average Hourly Wage

Bookkeeping, accounting, auditing clerk $16.08
Customer service $14.56
Office clerk $12.57
Laborer, material mover $11.11
Janitor $10.56
Stock clerk $10.08
Retail salesperson $9.74
Waitress or waiter $8.50 plus tips

More About Today's Workforce