The best jobs for women over 50 depend on your particular skills, experience, and interests. At this stage in your life, you want your work to be interesting and fulfilling, while meeting your financial needs. Whether you’re changing careers or looking for retirement jobs after being a stay-at-home mom, you’re probably wondering, what type of jobs do women 50 and over go into for a new career? The simple answer is, the sky’s the limit! Whatever your skills, experience and interests are, there’s a great job out there for you.
And remember, you’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40 percent of people in their 50s and older are actively looking for work.
Best Jobs for Women Over 50 With No Degree
No college degree? No problem, says Lisa L. Marsh, who was a correctional worker for 27 years before retiring and becoming CEO of her own gluten-free food company, MsPsGFree.Inc. Jobs for women over 50 with no college degree are out there; you just have to reframe your thinking and look at what you can offer, rather than what you think you can’t. “If you are a woman over 50 who has experienced all the bumps and bruises of getting to this age group, you don’t need a degree to either begin a business of your own doing what you love, or working with a friend who has begun a business,” says Marsh.
And try not to focus on finding jobs for women over 50 with no skills. “I have yet to meet a female over 50 with no skills — everyone knows how to do something,” she says. “We are mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, siblings, etc. There is someone out there looking for what you have to offer. In building my business, the best advice, help, and collaboration comes from women like me who have matured and understand what it means to commit to something and see it through.”
Kathy Kristof, editor of SideHusl.com and CBS MoneyWatch columnist, agrees that everyone has skills. “Anyone who has managed to help a fourth-grader with their homework, while making dinner and agreeing to help organize the school fundraiser, has developed a boat-load of skills ranging from culinary to organization to tutoring (not to mention soft-skills like negotiation and patience),” she says. Even if you only have the skills developed as a stay-at-home parent, there are still a wide range of job opportunities out there. “You could launch and manage your own daycare center with the help of a site like Wonderschool,” suggests Kristof.
High-Paying Jobs for Women Over 50
With that positive attitude in place, go ahead and aim high. If you want to return to a high-paying career after a long break raising your kids, you might be worried about the gap in your résumé. Lauren McAdams, career adviser and hiring manager at Resume Companion, recommends choosing the “combination format” for your résumé. “This format draws the recruiter’s attention away from your work history by propelling your professional profile and skills to the top of your résumé, before your work experience. It’s an effective way to re-contextualize your career without appearing deceptive,” she says.
Freelance work also has the potential to pay very well, if you’re willing to put in the hours. Depending on your skills and interests, this could be driving kids to school and soccer practice through sites like HopSkipDrive and RideZum; working from home as a virtual assistant; signing up to be a mock juror, giving lawyers a read on how a reasonable person might react to their case at trial; becoming a chef at private dinner parties; tutoring kids in the subjects you learned to help your own children; or teaching English to non-native speakers. These are all great jobs for seniors, and if you have the time, you could combine more than one of them to secure a very healthy pay packet.
Part-Time Jobs for Women Over 50
Most jobs for older people can be done on a part-time basis, and if you go down the freelance route, you have the huge perk of choosing your own working hours. Even if you want a full-time role, don’t be afraid to take on part-time or temporary work in the first instance, says McAdams. “Think of taking part-time or temporary work as getting your foot in the door,” she advises. “Similar to how internships serve as probation for companies to test recent grads, this short-term work could be your ticket to working at the company for full-time, especially if a position opens up. Since the company has already trained you and you’re familiar with the company culture, you’re a significant investment that few companies would turn down.”
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), a part-time employment program for low-income persons age 55 or over, provides part-time employment opportunities at community and government agencies and pays the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher. Participants may also receive training, which they can use to find other job roles.
Creative Jobs for Women Over 50
Popular jobs for women over 50 who have decades of work experience include freelance writing, which can often be done remotely and is perfect for seniors with limited mobility. “Not only will you have a flexible schedule, but you can use the knowledge and expertise you’ve picked up over the course of a long career to your advantage by writing in a particular niche,” says McAdams. To get started, check out online writing job boards to look for opportunities.
If you’re a creative person, follow your passions — even if you’ve never made money from them. “Work involves too many hours in the day to do something you hate, and there are opportunities in virtually every category, so look at your hobbies and passions and figure out how to get somebody to pay you to do the things you'd want to do anyway,” says Kristof.
Fun Jobs for Women Over 50
Before you search for fun jobs for retirees, think about your definition of fun. It’s not the same for everyone! If you love kids, a fun job might be driving a school bus. If you thrive on being fit and active, consider becoming a personal trainer. If you get a kick out of meeting new people, think about a passive side hustle such as renting out a room in your house or turning your home into a “location” for special events or movies. If you’re passionate about your home city, you could design city tours, picking up travelers in your minivan or SUV.
Least Stressful Jobs for Women Over 50
If you’re interested in less labor-intensive jobs for women over 50, consider house-sitting or pet-sitting, where you water plants, take in the mail, or feed and walk the pets for people on vacation or away on business. If you have limited mobility, selling products from home may be a good option. Direct sales companies such as Mary Kay, The Pampered Chef, and Avon are always looking for passionate salespeople, and age is no barrier. You can sell products online from your home (all you need is a computer or smartphone and Internet access) or through home or office parties, earning a commission on all sales.
Visit the Direct Selling Association to check out any company you’re considering working for, and make sure you’re aware of any upfront costs that may be required. Some companies require you to purchase some products to sell at the outset, which is generally not expensive, and legitimate companies let you “sell back” unsold products if you decide this type of work isn’t for you.
Ultimately, if you have confidence in your abilities, any type of job can be low-stress, even leadership positions. “There is a collective loudspeaker in the workforce today that conditions women to think that they can’t move forward or lead,” says Autumn Manning, co-founder and CEO of YouEarnedIt, a human capital management company dedicated to building high-performance cultures and engaged workforces. “This is untrue and counter-productive. I advise women who aspire to leadership positions to stop playing the tapes that say you aren’t good enough, or that you don’t have what it takes. Whatever the contents of your own negative soundtrack, it’s time to press ‘stop’!”
Manning recommends finding a mentor (this could be a friend, relative, or local businessperson) to help you navigate the over-50s job world. In fact, she suggests more than one mentor. “Getting advice from a variety of advisors will give you the benefit of different perspectives and more people to offer help when you need it,” she says.
Office Jobs for Women Over 50
Whether you have management experience or are an organized person with great communication skills, office jobs can be the perfect opportunity for seniors, encompassing anything from administrative services managers to general office clerks.
Other administrative-type jobs for women over 50 include administrative assistant, compensations and benefits manager, general office clerk, human resources manager, paralegal, or travel agent. Data entry jobs for women over 50 are also widely available and often possible to do from home — another great option if you have limited mobility.
Volunteer Jobs for Women Over 50
If you don’t need to work for money, jobs where women over 50 thrive are volunteer positions. Take inspiration from senior activists like legendary actress and singer Doris Day, now 96, who followed her passion for animal welfare well into retirement and has founded four animal help and rescue organizations and facilities since 1971.
As well as giving you the chance to work on a project that’s close to your heart, volunteering offers many mental and physical health benefits, promotes positive social and family relationships, and helps to portray seniors as a healthy, crucial part of society.
Check out USA.gov for public service volunteer work, such as working in national parks or assisting election officials in your state. To find volunteer work in your local area, check out websites like VolunteerMatch.org and Idealist.org, or contact your favorite charity or non-profit directly to find out how you can help.
When you find a job you are interested in, don’t be afraid to go for it — even if you have been a stay-at-home mom and don’t have a lot of previous experience in the traditional workforce. “Be proud of what you have accomplished, and don't be shy about tooting your own horn,” says Kristof. “When you make up a résumé, detail what you've done and don't be concerned that it wasn't accomplished in the traditional workforce. If you must, make up a name for your ‘company’ and list your title (CEO) and responsibilities, such as managing a tight budget, negotiating labor agreements, handling all logistics for a staff of four.”
Before you dive into a new career at 50, be on the lookout for retirement benefits when scoping out new jobs. “Some companies will have great benefits and packages for the express purpose of attracting older job-seekers,” says McAdams. Her top tip? Check out the AARP’s Employer Pledge Program, which is a list of employers that value older workers and the unique perspective they can bring to the workplace.