About to retire? Want to know what your next job could be? Have you considered being a crossing guard? Seriously. You get to tell children what to do and they have to listen. You carry a big red sign that says STOP.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth occupations that will have a large percentage of older workers are real estate appraisers, technical writers (yeah, we still know how to write a sentence), tax preparers (and we can add and subtract), property managers (pick up your stuff off the floor!), building inspectors, crossing guards (I SAID STOP), and clergy (??).
These are jobs that are projected to have openings for those 55 and older through the year 2026. The best pay? Technical writers can earn $71k explaining to the rest of us how to set up a local area network or operate our new espresso machines.
Why are so many boomers moving into these occupations? For many, it’s the money. They are worried they have not saved enough or that social security alone won’t cover their expenses. According to an AARP survey, about 20 percent say they just enjoy working. Almost half the three million jobs added to the economy last year were filled by persons over age 55, so there is a serious demand out there and boomers are heeding the call of the labor market.
I get the demand for jobs in the real estate sector. Doing appraisals, inspection and property management don’t necessarily require life-long skill development and boomers are so judgmental (burn!) anyway. It’s the clergy category that has me stumped. Are boomers really interested in an occupation where the trust factor has sunk like a stone. Less than 20 percent of Americans attend church regularly accord to Gallup polls and organized religion would not seem to be a growth industry. The crossing guard could have a more positive impact on a young mind than a priest (burn again!) but you can’t argue with the statistics.
On the bright side, employers continue to seek out candidates with so called “soft skills” such as positive attitude and dependability. So, we’ve got this.
Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.