There has been lots of talk lately that companies are increasingly looking to hire older workers. But, which types of employers are actually doing the hiring and what kinds of jobs are they filling?
One way to answer those questions is by taking a close look at AARP’s recently released list of the 50 best employers for workers over 50. They are firms and organizations with programs to help retain, retrain and recruit older workers.
Of the 50 winning companies, the word health or hospital jumps off the page, appearing 23 times. “University” (or an education-related term) appears nine times. Six of the employers are nonprofits. Five companies are in technology, engineering and consulting. The financial services industry accounts for four mentions.
To find particular types of jobs with great prospects for people over 50, Workhoppers.com reviewed employment statistics and trends, looking for ones that don’t require years of education, do have vacancies and are in fast-growing fields. Here are eight of them:
Medical assistant. The job outlook is projected to be good through 2018. You do not need formal training to become a medical assistant, but certification is available.
Patient advocate. This type of professional steers patients and their families through the medical system by handling the necessary paperwork, such as insurance claims, and staying current on the latest laws and rules.
Personal care aide/home health aide. You don’t necessarily need special training to become one; aides often learn on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects personal care aides and home health aides to be the first and second fastest growing careers between now and 2020, due to the expected increase in the number of elderly Americans. LINK http://www.bumc.bu.edu/gms/files/2012/02/Top-30-fastest.pdf
Bookkeeper/secretary. This type of work can be done in nearly any industry, but the U.S. government forecasts 41 percent growth for medical secretaries from 2010 to 2020.
Tax preparer. You don’t need to be an accountant to be a professional tax preparer. Continuing education courses can provide necessary training. This is a great job for those who want to work only part of the year — from January through April.
Contract worker. Firms are looking to contract out work to people with specialized expertise in fields ranging from sales to design. At online marketplaces, such as Workhoppers.com, LINK you can post your skills and get matched up with employers who have project work.
College instructor or vocational instructor. This is a way to turn what you’ve learned through your career and then teach it to others.
Convention meeting and event planner. The government projects 44 percent growth by 2020 in this field and you don’t need a special degree to get hired. It helps if you’re a great multitasker and have lots of patience, though.
Linda Singer is co-founder at Workhoppers.com, an online matching site to find temporary or flexible work in all the specialty areas noted above.