12 Best Jobs for Retirees Returning to Work

You can still earn income after retirement while avoiding stressful 40-hour workweeks with these jobs.
Updated April 11, 2024
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 Just because you're retired doesn't mean you can't work the job you always dreamed of having. Regardless of your career before retirement, there are still options for employment as a retiree.

If you want to retire early but want to keep working in some capacity, choosing a part-time job can provide you with the perfect balance.

The jobs on this list offer more freedom than full-time careers while still offering you professional fulfillment.

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If you don’t want to work full-time but still want to put your expertise to use, consider becoming a professional consultant. There’s a need for consultants in many areas, such as finance, management, and IT.

Consultants can work for a company or provide services to individuals. Professionals offering consulting services usually have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and can make good money.

For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports a median hourly wage of nearly $46 for management analysts.

Substitute teacher (short-term)

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Becoming a short-term substitute teacher is great for retirees who enjoy working with children. This job doesn’t call for extended teaching — you’ll simply fill in for teachers who are out for the day.

Education and professional requirements for substitute teaching vary by state. In Missouri, for example, substitute teachers must have at least 36 college credit hours before getting their substitute teaching certificate.

Most substitute teachers for elementary and secondary schools don’t work during the summer months and make a median hourly wage of $21.

Adjunct professor

ryanking999/Adobe happy senior asian professor teaching calculus in classroom

Adjunct professors work part-time, so it’s a job to consider if you love teaching but don’t want a full-time commitment. They also generally enjoy fewer responsibilities and can work at more than one college.

You will need a master’s degree or Ph.D. to become an adjunct professor. Postsecondary professors bring home a median salary of $80,840. How much you make will depend on the hours you work, the subject you teach, and which college you work with.

Virtual assistant

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As a virtual assistant, you can work from anywhere, which is convenient if you don’t want the daily commute. Working from home is a good way to avoid wasting money in retirement.

You might have many of the same duties as an administrative assistant but with more flexibility, such as the ability to freelance.

The median hourly wage for secretaries and administrative assistants is $21.19. If you choose to freelance as an assistant, you can set your own rates and choose the hours you want to work.

There’s no formal education requirement for this job, but a high school diploma is suggested.

Real estate agent

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Becoming a real estate agent is another excellent option if you want to set your own hours.

You’ll need to obtain a license in your state, and all states require a specified number of hours of pre-licensing classes. But you can work for yourself and have more control over your workday.

The median hourly wage for real estate agents is $25.02. Real estate brokers make more at $29.90 per hour. If you’re interested in getting a broker’s license, you’ll need to have experience as a real estate agent first.

Bus driver

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School bus drivers do more than transport students to and from school. They might also transport children to sports games and events, which means working some evenings and weekends.

You will need a CDL license to work as a bus driver. School bus drivers bring home a median hourly wage of $21.36.

The BLS projects that the need for passenger vehicle drivers will grow at a faster-than-average rate through 2032, so you may not have trouble finding a job.


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Working as a writer or author offers significant flexibility.

Working as a staff writer for a newspaper, magazine, or website will limit your job flexibility and usually requires a bachelor’s degree. Freelance writers and authors can make their own hours.

The median hourly wage for writers and authors is $35.17. Wages can vary drastically, with the lowest 10% of earners making less than $19.04 per hour and top earners making over $77 per hour.


Valerii Honcharuk/Adobe nurse sitting in dental clinic using laptop

A registered nurse has several options for work after retirement. You can choose a less stressful nursing position in an outpatient clinic, school, or in someone’s home.

If you don’t already have an accredited nursing degree and license, you'll need to obtain them before working as a nurse.

The median hourly wage for registered nurses is $39.05.

Tax preparer

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If you have a background in accounting, working as a tax preparer lets you use your skills without requiring 40-hour workweeks. There are many different types of tax preparers.

Some, like CPAs, must have a degree. But an electronic return originator only needs to obtain an electronic filing identification number.

The median hourly pay for tax preparers is $23.20, but the pay rate for a tax preparer depends on the type of preparer you are. When working for yourself, you can set your own rates.

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Customer service representative

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Most customer service representatives are not required to hold a college degree. Some customer service reps work only over the phone or email, while others help customers in person.

If you find retirement lonely and miss socializing with others in the workplace, a job in customer service is an option to consider.

The median hourly pay for customer service representatives is $18.16. How much you make might depend on your state, since some customer service representatives start at minimum wage.

Delivery driver

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Becoming a delivery driver can get you out of the house if you’re going a little stir-crazy.

Aside from a driver’s license issued by your state and a clean driving record, there are no mandatory education or certification requirements. However, some jobs might require a high school diploma.

The median hourly wage for delivery drivers and sales workers is $18.38. Light-truck drivers generally make more, with a median wage of $19.43 per hour. Job growth for delivery drivers is increasing faster than average, making jobs in this field readily available.

Library assistant

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Library assistants can work in more than just public libraries. They might also work in university or school libraries.

A high school diploma is enough to land a job as a library assistant in most cases, though you will probably undergo some training when you begin working.

The median hourly wage for library assistants is $16.96, but the top 10% of earners enjoyed an hourly rate of more than $23.44, with colleges and professional schools paying the most.

Bottom line

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Continuing to work after retirement has many benefits. It can give you something to fill your days and may prevent you from exhausting your retirement savings as quickly.

Whether you plan to retire early, retire later, or are already retired, it's never too late to start working again if you so desire. Part-time jobs can bring in supplementary income and, most of all, fulfillment.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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