Employees reaching their 60th birthday often make a successful lifestyle transition by starting a new career. For these individuals, retirement is not an option because of financial necessity. If a career change is the choice, consider investing time in a career assessment tools and tests. Four industries that actively recruit employees over 60 are health care, retail and customer service, education and consulting.
A shortage of nurses is growing nationwide. The health care profession values experience. Many jobs in health care require less than a four-year college education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 545,000 establishments make up the health care industry; 76 percent are offices of physicians, dentists or other health practitioners. Eight out of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in the health care field. Although hospitals constitute only 2 percent of all health care establishments, they employ 40 percent of all workers. Employees over 60 have a natural empathy with individuals seeking health care.
Retailers are not immune to age discrimination charges, but they are also experiencing a small labor pool for sales staff. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that retail will be in the top 10 areas in job growth in the next decade due to worker shortages. Retail and customer service careers are industries where customer contact is important, and older employees are perceived as being good with people. Individuals over 60 years old are also considered to be more loyal and risky to employers. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median tenure of employees 55 to 64 years old is three and a half times higher than employees 25 to 34.
Demand for teachers in American schools is rising rapidly. Teachers’ organizations predict 150,000 to 250,000 openings in elementary and secondary school by 2010, as public enrollment jumps by nearly two million. The demand for teachers is especially keen in states with growing populations such as California, Texas and North Carolina. Subjects where teachers are needed include math, science, special education and English as a second language.
As for careers for individuals over 60, be patient. When the American economy is robust, employee shortages will be a top concern for employers. When the employee shortage needs to be resolved quickly, individuals over 60 will be more in demand because the number of young employees is not large enough to fill the available jobs in education.
Consulting is a natural career for individuals over 60 because these individuals have accumulated vast amounts of information over the years being in their respective industries. For example: A general manager of a large local television station who retires from the television station can be qualified to consult television stations nationwide on how to create appealing local programming (translating into additional advertising sales). A marketing senior vice president of a corporation seeking another career path can retire and consult smaller companies without a full-time marketing director with their sales and marketing focus.