13 Great Jobs for Retirees That Pay at Least $20 Per Hour

Even if you’re retired, there are still great jobs out there that pay well — and fit your lifestyle.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Retiring from your career doesn’t mean you have to stop working. As we’re all aware, times are tough. Between inflation and an upswing in prices for everything from gas to groceries, making some extra cash on the side can help supplement your Social Security checks.

In fact, there are lots of great jobs out there for older Americans who want a flexible schedule — and they pay well, too.


fizkes/Adobe grandma assist grandkid in funny scientific research

If there’s one thing seniors have an abundance of, it’s experience. Why not share it with the next generation?

The average going rate for a tutor is between $25 and $80 per hour. SAT and test prep is even more lucrative, with rates starting at $45 per hour.

Fitness instructor

Buzzer Beaters/Adobe muscular black senior man with his arms folded smiling to camera

If you know your way around a gym and are eager to teach, you’re in luck. The average hourly rate for a fitness instructor is $21.

Some of that is going to depend on your qualifications and how long you’ve been doing it, but it’s a great way to stay active and pass your know-how on to others.

Yoga instructor

Photographee.eu/Adobe stretching the muscles

Doing yoga not only keeps you limber, but it can also make you money. If you can teach a class, you could make between $25 and $35 per hour. More money can be made if you sell books and workshops. That’s all part of the hustle.

Pet sitter

Caterina Trimarchi/Adobe middle aged man sitting on sofa knits a violet wool scarf

It doesn’t matter if you’re a dog person or a cat person, pet sitting is big business. You don’t need any special skills other than being an animal lover and your schedule is up to you.

Rates vary, but the top sitters in the U.S. charge $20 per hour. You can also build a pet-sitting business by joining Pet Sitters International’s network of sitters for a membership fee.

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Mail driver

Ljupco Smokovski/Adobe smiling postman delivering letters

As the USPS motto goes, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the mail from being delivered. If you’ve got a commercial driver’s license, a clean record, and can pass the exam, the Postal Service is ready to pony up $26.14 per hour for motor vehicle drivers.

UPS driver

Kurhan/Adobe delivery men with a parcel

Like the U.S. Postal Service, UPS needs hourly, part-time and seasonal drivers to deliver the goods. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you can make $23 per hour as a package delivery driver.

Even if you don’t have a CDL, UPS offers many other part-time, full-time, and seasonal opportunities.

Massage therapist

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe Massage therapist and client

Retirement typically means taking a step back and giving yourself some time to relax. That’s kind of the whole point. Becoming a massage therapist also means you can help others relax and share the good vibes while working on your own terms.

You’ll need a certificate to operate as a licensed massage therapist, but there are courses available online from the U.S. Career Institute.


Ladanifer/Adobe mature plumber applying glue to a sink siphon white plastic pipe

This is definitely one for folks who know what they’re doing, but if you know your way around a pipe wrench and how plumbing works, you can make between $45 and $200 per hour, depending on the job.

The more complex the job, the more you get paid, but your expertise level matters.

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Supachai/Adobe senior carpenter man looking wood plank at carpenter workshop

Handymen (handypeople?) are a go-to for anyone who can’t quite figure out how to get the job done themselves (and there’s no shame in that, speaking from experience). If you’ve got a broad understanding of how to fix things, it can make you plenty of money.

The going rate for independent contractors is between $60 and $70 per hour. If you join up with a company, that can hit $125 per hour. As always, it’ll depend on what projects you can tackle.


InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe middle-aged businessman counting domestic bills on calculator

If you’ve got a head for math, bookkeeping is a great way to make a living. Although nobody enjoys paying taxes, keeping track of them is a solid way to pay the bills.

The average pay for a freelance/self-employed bookkeeper starts at $20 and progresses from there. Your mileage may vary, but CPAs working for a firm can clock in at $200 per hour.


rawpixel.com/Adobe senior man with a digital camera

If you’re a photographer with a keen eye, you can charge as much as you want. It sounds wild, but a good photographer with the right equipment can pave their own way. For example, the average rate for a photographer in Washington, D.C. is close to $35 per hour.

Freelance editor

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Chances are, you’ve spent your life reading, as everyone should. Good news: You can make money editing those words.

The caveat here, of course, is that this is a bit of a crapshoot. The average pay for a freelance editor is $30 per hour and jobs are tough to come by.

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Grant writer

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We saved the toughest for last. Arguably, if you’re still reading, you would have written this differently — and perhaps even objected to the adverb I just used. But it’s not all bluster.

Grant writing can pay about $24 per hour. If you want to make a new career out of it, that’s a significant chunk of change.

Bottom line

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Finding a job isn’t easy. And it’s particularly difficult as you navigate life after you’ve stepped away from your career. But there are many great ways to make some extra cash on the side.

Americans are workers, after all. We know how to do the heavy lifting. And we’re not stopping anytime soon.

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Author Details

Will Vitka Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.

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