The Best Second Careers for People Over 50

by Valerie Bolden-Barrett

The best jobs for people over 50 allow them to pursue their passions and escape the stress of their previous careers, according to a CNNMoney report, “Best jobs if you're over 50.” Among the best second careers for this population are the jobs that sometimes require certification but no additional degrees and that offer sustainable wages. These jobs are in fields that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “fast-growing,” such as “green” technology, health care, finance, marketing and education.

Energy Field Auditor

Energy field auditors help homeowners and businesses cut their energy bills while creating a cleaner environment. Auditors inspect homes and offices for things such as heat loss from inadequate insulation and recommend energy-saving measures. Auditors set up their own home-inspection appointments and therefore have flexible work schedules. Pay ranges from $33,820 to $107,490, with a median salary of $62,450. Construction and engineering knowledge is helpful, but not required. However, energy auditors must become state-certified by completing a six-week training course. The Association of Energy Engineers offers certification programs.

Personal Trainer

People pay personal trainers to help them get toned, lose weight and build stamina through exercise. Companies hire personal trainers for wellness programs. Personal trainers recommend healthful lifestyle changes and plan exercise regimens for their clients. Pay ranges from $17,070 to $$63,400, with a median salary of $31,090. A health background and interest in physical fitness are helpful. Training and certification, however, usually are mandatory. The National Association of Sports Medicine offers intensive certified personal training courses.

Financial Adviser

Financial advisers help clients plan for retirement. They use their knowledge of investment strategies, taxes, pensions, insurance and real estate to advise clients on building financial security. Pay ranges from $32,660 to $$166,400, with a median salary of $64,750. Career-changers need courses in such areas as retirement planning, investing and taxes. They also must pass a 10-hour exam to be certified to sell securities. The finance industry considers a financial adviser fully credentialed after three years of experience. The Certified Financial Planner website has career information.

Online Content Marketing Writer

Online marketing and the growth of social media have expanded career options for writers. Businesses use these Internet tools to sell their goods and services and need writers to draft copy for articles, blogs and other promotional content. Writers either work for companies or freelance. Pay ranges from $28,610 to $109,440, with a median salary of $55,420. Excellent writing skills are essential. A marketing background and certification are career advantages. The eMarketing Association sponsors conferences, offers courses and certifies members.


The CNN study found that private tutors are in high demand. Parents who want their children to have an academic edge in school are driving the demand and are willing to pay for tutoring outside the classroom. Tutors have flexible schedules, largely because they set up their own appointments. Pay ranges from $17,740 to $70,090, with a median salary of $29,820. Tutors don’t need teaching degrees and state-certification, as do full-time teachers do. However, some teaching experience is helpful. The Encore website helps career-changers to explore second careers such as tutoring.

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