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The Best Employers and Jobs for Workers Over 50

AARP and government projections suggest opportunities in health and education

By Linda Singer | October 24, 2013
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Based in Montreal, Canada, Linda Singer is the co-founder of Workhoppers.com, a website where talented people find flexible work and companies get local help on demand. She writes frequently on topics related to the contingent workforce.

There has been lots of talk lately about the increasing number of companies looking to hire older workers. But which employers are actually doing the hiring and what kinds of jobs are they filling?  

Who's on AARP's Best Employers List

One way to answer those questions is by taking a close look at AARP’s 2013 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.

(MORE: 4 Ways to Quietly Test Drive a New Career)

8 Jobs Are for People Over 50

To size up great job prospects for the 50+ crowd, Workhoppers.com recently reviewed employment statistics and trends, looking for openings in fast-growing fields that don’t require years of education. Here are eight solid leads:

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. (For more details, read the Next Avenue article, "Working in Retirement: How to Be a Patient Advocate.")

Personal care aide/home health aide You don’t necessarily need special training to become an aid; they often learn on the job. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts these will be the first and second fastest-growing careers between now and 2020, due to the expected increase in the number of elderly Americans.

(MORE: Best Ways to Prepare Now to Land a Job in 2014)

Bookkeeper/secretary  A staple of virtually every industry, but U.S. government forecasts 41 percent growth for medical secretaries by 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 expertise in fields ranging from sales to design. At online marketplaces, such as Workhoppers.com, you can post your skills and get matched up with interested employers.

College or vocational instructor A chance to teach others what you’ve learned throughout your career.

Convention meeting and event planner The government projects 44 percent growth by 2020 in this field. You don’t need a special degree to get hired, but it helps if you’re a great multitasker and have lots of patience.
 
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.
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