If you’re in your fifties, sixties, or seventies and planning to keep working for a while, you’re in good company. Workers age 55 and older are now the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And given today’s continuing low unemployment rate—giving job seekers a big advantage in the labor market—it’s a great time to be looking for work as an older worker.
But staying in the workplace into your seventies doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same career field. Many older workers make career shifts, either by choice or by necessity.
If you’re considering making a career change, here are 5 great options. The list was produced by AARP researchers who analyzed job openings, U.S. Census Bureau data, and information on what skills and experience older workers possess. Each of these fields are in demand (expected to have many job openings in the coming years) and suited to people with transferable skills from other work experience.
1. Computer systems analysts and other computer professionals
If you have IT or other analytic experience, you might find you have skills you can put to work as a computer systems analyst. These are the people who analyze systems and design improvements to make sure computer programs run smoothly and effectively. They are in demand in several states, but most notably in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Not sure you have the right skills or experience? Look into earning a certification to prove your qualifications. Read more about computer systems analysts.
2. Dieticians and nutritionists, or other healthcare diagnosing and treating practitioners
Already have health care experience? You may be able to transition into one of the in-demand healthcare jobs such as a nutritionist. Those are the professionals who plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs at healthcare or other facilities. These professionals are in particular demand in Alaska, Connecticut, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Read more about dieticians and nutritionists.
3. Advertising, marketing, promotions, public relations and sales managers
If you have management experience in any field, you might be able to transition into a marketing or promotional field, where jobs are in high demand—especially in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington. These managers typically plan, direct, or coordinate advertising or promotional activities, produce collateral materials, or otherwise help raise awareness for a product, company or organization. Read about advertising and promotions managers or public relations and fundraising managers.
4. Motor vehicle operators
According to AARP’s analysis, motor vehicle operators—including ambulance drivers, chauffeurs, and taxi drivers—will account for 11 percent of job postings over the next two years, with the heaviest demand in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Many of these jobs don’t require prior experience, though most do require a clean driving record and, sometimes, an occupational license. Read about ambulance drivers.
5. Wholesale sales representatives
These are the people who sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. And whether you have sales experience or not, you may have some of the transferable skills needed for these jobs: negotiation, listening, persuasion, and speaking. Many companies will train you on the product-specific knowledge you need to succeed. Read more about Sales Representatives.