Golden Opportunities: Second Careers for Retirees
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Golden Opportunities: Second Careers for Retirees
By Cristina Velocci, Salary.com

If you've been thinking about retirement as time spent on the golf course or working on your tan, you might want to think again: recent trends in the labor market indicate that this generation of retirees will work with companies to extend their work life, opting for the office rather than taking off for Florida. The motivation differs on an individual basis–whether that's to stay engaged in society, to look for something more personally fulfilling, to exercise creativity or pursue a lifelong passion, or to simply have something to do.

But one thing remains constant: companies are beginning to view retirees as a pool of untapped resources and as Baby Boomers approach retirement age, their options for second "style" careers abound. Here are some of the opportunities that recent retirees should look for.

Top Jobs for Second Careers

Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant

What they do:

Much as the title implies, the physical therapist assistant reports to a physical therapist and aids patients with rehabilitative activities to improve mobility and alleviate pain. This includes demonstrating and assisting in the instruction of exercises, and testing and evaluating patients.

What it takes:

Associate's degree and licensure as a physical therapist assistant

What they earn:

$19.82/hour


Pharmacy Technician

What they do:

Though they handle and dispense medical prescriptions, pharmacy technicians work directly under the supervision of a registered pharmacist and do not need any specialized degree. As such, they do perform various clerical duties related to the department: receiving, storing, and managing inventory, verifying stock, and entering data into the computer to maintain records.

What it takes:

High School diploma and up to three years of clinical experience in a related field

What they earn:

$14.02/hour


Dental Hygienist

What they do:

Despite reporting to and working under the direct supervision of a dentist, dental hygienists do much of the heavy lifting day-to-day: they clean calcareous deposits, buildup, and stains from teeth and gums using dental instruments, examine gums for sores and other signs of disease, and check lymph nodes to detect swelling or tenderness that could indicate the presence of oral cancer.

What it takes:

Associate's degree or equivalent; 2-4 years experience; must be licensed as a dental hygienist

What they earn:

$30.26/hour


Veterinary Assistant

What they do:

For life-long animal lovers, this vocation promises to be fulfilling–and that you'll work like a dog. The veterinary assistant works under the supervision of a veterinarian, preparing treatment rooms where the animals are examined, restraining animals during exams and treatments, administering injections, checking vitals, cleaning teeth, and applying wound dressings.

What it takes:

High school diploma or equivalent

What they earn:

$12.34/hour


Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA)

What they do:

Much like a licensed physical therapist assistant, the certified occupational therapist assistant aids the occupational therapist with rehabilitative activities. Only, in this case the patients not only have physical but also developmental and emotional impairments. COTAs prepare equipment for treatment and perform clerical duties for the department.

What it takes:

Associate's degree and passing the national examination to become certified

What they earn:

$19.93/hour


Customer Service Representative

What they do:

The customer is always right, and this position focuses on fulfilling that mantra by serving as the clientele's support system. Customer service representatives process orders, prepare correspondence, and fulfill customer needs to ensure their satisfaction.

What it takes:

High School diploma or equivalent and up to three years related experience

What they earn:

$14.32/hour


Home Care Aide

What they do:

Nurturers need only apply: home care aides support patients by providing personal care such as bathing, grooming, feeding, and other aspects of daily living. They often train families of clients in assisting with such activities and report to a registered nurse.

What it takes:

High School diploma or equivalent; up to two years related experience; various certifications according to state; CPR certification

What they earn:

$9.70/hour


Truck Driver

What they do:

If you plan to take the wheel down this career path, be prepared for some heavy lifting: truck drivers operate multi-ton machines, all the while loading, unloading, and transporting cargo to and from specified destinations. They are expected to prepare, receive, and provide the appropriate documentation for delivery or pick-up, maintain radio or telephone contact with the dispatcher to receive instructions and notification of schedule changes, keep logs of travel and cargo, and are often responsible for vehicle maintenance.

What it takes:

License to operate a truck and a proven driving record

What they earn:

$17.81/hour

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