Women in their fifties may find midlife is the perfect time for a career change or a new job if they have been out of the market. Employment for women is strong: 72% of women aged 50 to 54 were employed as of February 2022. Unemployment remains low in this age sector as well, all good signs for women in the workplace.
If you are looking for a change in your fifties, several fields are wide open from real estate to hospitality.
- Getting hired as an older person can be difficult, especially with gaps in your resume, but specific careers lend themselves well to this demographic.
- Some of the best jobs for women over age 50 are in real estate, education, and the financial sector.
- Healthcare jobs with so-called soft skills are in-demand careers for 50-year-olds.
- The nursing profession is one of the fastest-growing career paths.
- Most careers call for higher education or certification.
1. Real Estate Agent
The median age of a real estate agent is 54, and more than 60% of people pursuing real estate as a full- or part-time career are women. Real estate licenses are relatively inexpensive to acquire, as budget-friendly real estate courses can be completed online, and licensing exam fees typically cost less than $500.
New licensees have a wide range of brokerage firms to choose from, depending on their work styles. Salaries vary since real estate agents earn more in high-population areas and deal exclusively with high-net-worth clients.
2. Financial Advisor
Americans of all ages want to know how best to grow their wealth over the long term, and that is where financial advisors fill a need. Women interested in this fast-growing career must have degrees in finance and significant finance experience, which comes with age.
Sales and customer service experience also helps financial advisors gain and retain clients. About one-fifth of financial advisors are self-employed. This option is a significant benefit for women who wish to work from a home office and have flexible hours.
The nursing profession continues to grow at a pace much faster than all other professions, making this female-dominated career a viable and potentially lucrative option for women over age 50.
Prospective nurses of all ages can earn their registered nurse (RN) licenses through a local community college or hospital-run programs and be on the job earning competitive wages in approximately two to three years. The profession also offers women numerous opportunities for promotions and salary increases when they earn advanced certifications and degrees, such as a Bachelor or Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
By 2026, employment of nurse practitioners is expected to grow five times faster than the average of all other occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
4. Occupational Therapist
The occupational therapy field is another female-dominated health profession, experiencing lightning-fast growth as baby boomers and disabled persons are living longer healthier lives and in need of therapy to improve their quality of life.
Occupational therapists must have a master’s degree in the field, but women over age 50 interested in entering the even-faster-growing field of occupational therapy assistance can become job ready with an associate's degree in occupational therapy from an accredited community college.
5. Personal Trainer
The diversity of people seeking fitness training, including baby boomers, makes it possible for women over age 50 to pursue careers as personal trainers. Older women with backgrounds in sports and fitness can get jobs quickly with a personal trainer’s certificate.
Still, some people also pursue fitness training credentials to get fit and make a living sharing their journey to fitness with others. Personal trainers can be entrepreneurs and work with their clients or corporations, such as fitness centers, health care institutions, and wellness companies.
6. Curriculum Developer
Women with significant experience in education or corporate training can pursue careers as curriculum developers. The proliferation of online learning makes it possible for curriculum developers to work for corporations as employees or pursue their careers as freelancers. Curriculum developers typically have master’s degrees and gain clients and jobs on the strength of their portfolios.
7. Freelance Writer
Freelance writers can choose their clients and work as much or little as they wish to control their earnings. Freelance writers have a selection of specialization options, such as writing search engine optimized content, marketing collateral, newspaper and magazine articles, and educational materials. Women over age 50 who enjoy writing can take advantage of the numerous perks of being a freelance writer, including earning income while traveling.
Former licensed teachers and college professors have the best chance of success as tutors. Some tutors make money by signing up with online tutoring services and helping students online. Others work with private clients one-on-one in their homes.
Tutors with extensive knowledge of in-demand subjects, such as mathematics, the sciences, and foreign languages, as well as standardized test preparation expertise, have the best chances of earning competitive wages.
The need for counselors and therapists increases as more public and community institutions offer these services to community members. Women over age 50 interested in careers as counselors or therapists should earn master’s degrees in their area of specialization, such as substance abuse, marriage and family, and children. They also need to pass a licensing exam to have a career in this profession.
10. Personal Chef
A personal chef is a financially lucrative career for women over age 50 that marries top-notch cooking skills and house calls. Personal chefs can market their services and gain clients to serve regularly. Some personal chefs have grown their careers by writing and marketing cookbooks, teaching cooking classes, and catering.
What Are the Best Jobs for Women Over 50?
There are many lucrative jobs for women over 50 years of age. Real estate, nursing, and finance are all sectors that offer well-paying jobs for women over 50.
Is It Difficult for Older Women to Find Jobs?
It can be difficult for anyone to find a job, but older women should be able to find work in their desired fields if they have the necessary education and experience. It is against the law for potential employers to discriminate against any individual based on their age.
How Can I Find a Job at 50?
When you are job hunting at any age, but especially mid-life, connections and networking help find out about good jobs. Use your alumni network, friends, and family members, and reach out to former colleagues if you have been out of the workforce. Online job listing sites, LinkedIn, and even social media sites list work opportunities. If you can afford it, consider volunteering or even interning at a workplace in a field of interest and build on that experience to find a paying job.
The Bottom Line
Changing careers or starting over in the workplace in your fifties can be a daunting proposition but there are many opportunities available. Taking time to review job requirements such as certification, licensing, or further education can help you decide the direction you want to go in, as will matching your experience and talents to the job pool. Many people work into their 70s and even 80s by choice, if you start at age 50, you could have at least 20 more years ahead of you in a field you enjoy.