With half of all American women ages 50 and above experiencing long-term unemployment, the chances of this group embarking on new careers might seem bleak. Compounding the job outlook problem for women over 50 is that hiring managers don’t always understand the value of an older woman’s experience.
Even though finding a new or second career may have its challenges, several fields are wide open when it comes to careers for women over 50.
- Unemployed women older than age 50 tend to experience higher rates of unemployment than average.
- Getting hired as an older person can be difficult, especially with gaps in your resume, but certain careers lend themselves well to this demographic.
- Healthcare as well as jobs that highlight personal relationships and so-called soft skills are fields that women over 50 can excel in.
1. Real Estate Agent
The average age of a real estate agent is 57, and almost 60% of people pursuing real estate as a full- or part-time career are women. Real estate licenses are fairly 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 from which to choose, depending on their work styles. Salaries vary since real estate agents earn more in high-population areas and when dealing 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, as well as 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 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 years. The profession also offers women over 50 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 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 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, but 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 own clients or work for 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 on a freelance basis. 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 50 who enjoy writing can take advantage of the numerous perks of being a freelance writer, the most significant of which is having the ability to earn income while traveling.
Former licensed teachers and college professors have the best chance of having successful careers 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 continues to grow at a rapid pace as more public and community institutions offer these services to community members. Women over 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 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.