Best Trades for Older Workers

December 13, 2023 By

older worker

Retirement or nearing retirement doesn’t necessarily translate to slowing down. Now, more than ever, older workers are discovering new passions, earning new skills, and thriving in fulfilling trades. A new career chapter at this stage can be considerably enriching, especially when the selected trades align with your life experiences.

Below are wonderful trades for older workers that are a great way to transition into retirement.

1. Travel Agent

You might not have thought of it before, but your years of travel and life experiences make you perfect for this role. As travel agents, seniors can make use of their richly-lived experiences to craft unforgettable journeys for their clients.

The best part? Planning trips, recommending destinations, and juggling transport arrangements can be carried out from the comfort of your home, offering flexibility and excitement.

  • Median Pay: $50,000/year
  • Requirements: High school diploma and on-the-job training, with certification being an added advantage.
  • Travel Agent Training Programs

2. Veterinary Technician

If your love for animals has never waned, consider the role of a veterinary assistant. As a veterinary technician, you can work alongside veterinarians, gaining the joy of caring for animals while forming unspoken connections. Your steady temperament, honed over the years, can provide a comforting presence to the animals you treat.

3. Medical Transcriptionist

This job is perfect for those who have remarkable focus and good listening skills. In this role, you will convert recorded medical reports into text, enabling professionals to access vital information. The majority of jobs are remote, making it a perfect fit for those seeking a balance between work and leisure.

4. Real Estate Agent

If you’re a senior looking for a new career, consider becoming a real estate agent. In this role, you’ll help people sell their homes and find new ones, which is great for seniors who like to stay active and engaged with their community.

You’ll need great communication skills and the ability to work independently—but that’s true of any job! And with your experience in the industry and your knowledge of the area, you’ll be able to provide excellent service to your clients.

  • Median Pay: $49,980/year
  • Requirements: Obtain state licensure after completing pre-licensing education.

5. Small Engine Mechanic

If fixing things is your forte, why not turn it into a fulfilling role? The small engine mechanic role is ideal for seniors who possess an aptitude for fixing things.

As a small engine mechanic, your days will be spent diagnosing issues and repairing equipment like lawnmowers or motorbikes. Your intimate understanding of machinery and meticulous handiwork could prove invaluable.

  • Median Pay: $44,080/year
  • Requirements: A high school diploma, followed by on-the-job training or a certificate program.

6. Floral Design

Floral design is a trade that can be pursued in old age, and it’s one that can give you something new to work with in your golden years.

Floral designers are responsible for creating beautiful arrangements from a wide variety of flowers and materials. This role requires you to have an eye for color and texture, as well as the ability to work with different kinds of flowers and plants.

You may need some training to get started in this career, but it’s a rewarding one that lets you be creative while providing beautiful designs for people in your community.

A Real World Example

In this modern age of digital careers, it’s easy to overlook the rewards and fulfillment of manual labor. However, we have inspiring real-life examples, such as a Reddit user named ForwardUntilDust, who show us the value and potential of hands-on work.

The Turning Point

ForwardUntilDust, an office worker for several years, found himself dissatisfied with his job, despite its steady income and good benefits. After serving in business-to-business sales for a little over three years, he faced a turning point during the ’08 financial crisis. Owing to the financial blow, he was laid off.

At the time, it may have seemed like a setback. But he considers it one of the best things that happened to him. His 401k had suffered due to the crisis, and it seemed like a daunting time. However, he used this period of uncertainty to rediscover his love for creating tangible things.

Rediscovering Creation

In his quest to figure out what to do next, which took a few years after getting laid off, he stumbled upon a transformative book – “Shop Class as Soulcraft” by Matthew B Crawford. It was an eye-opening read that reconnected him with a world he had forgotten – a world where you use your mind and hands to create.

Motivated by Crawford’s book, he abandoned his community college studies and headed over to a local tech school. There, he enrolled in their welding program. It was here that he found his calling, graduating and soon making decent and, eventually, excellent money.

Exploring Orthotics and Prosthetics

In addition to welding, he got into the field of Orthotics and Prosthetics (O&P). It was a profession where creative minds were needed to make people complete again. His precision and skill could make a real positive impact on people’s lives.

Returning to Welding Inspection

Eventually, he chose to return to welding inspection and has no regrets. Now, at a little over 40, ForwardUntilDust is a pioneer in demonstrating that trades are not lesser jobs; they’re fields that require sharpness of mind and skill. As he put it, “Skills pay the bills.”

His experience serves as an encouraging beacon for those considering a leap into trade careers. Courage, skill, and genuine passion for your craft can lead to fulfilling careers and a financial avenue that can compete with traditional white-collar jobs.

The Bottom Line

Age is just a number, and it’s never too late to explore new career paths or trades. Many promising fields need only 5 months to 2 years of study, making them perfect for older workers yearning for a change. Yet, these dreams rely on finding the right school.

That’s where we come in.

As your trusted source of information and guidance, we strive to help you locate the best schools in your area that match your goals and interests. By connecting you with top-quality educational institutions, we aim to facilitate a smooth transition into the career of your choice.

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