The 20 Fastest-Growing Jobs for Aging Boomers

Highly educated older workers will have an edge.

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More older Americans now work as retail salespersons than in any other occupation. But baby boomers are expected to find other things to do besides being store clerks as they come to dominate the 55-plus age bracket.

Boomers are likely to land in growth fields that welcome older workers, according to a new Urban Institute study. And many boomers will breathe a sigh of relief to find that retail jobs did not make the top 20 occupations projected to be the fastest growing among the older set.

Most of the hot occupations already employ above-average shares of 55-plus workers and draw on an educated workforce. They include personal financial advisers, veterinarians, and social and community service managers.

Each of the top-ranked fields is expected to see its workforce grow at least 20 percent by 2016. That's twice the rate forecast for the nation's labor force as a whole. Workers 55 and older now make up 17 percent of the labor force.

Workers in these fast-growing occupations are generally educated, have opportunities for part-time work, and face few physical demands on the job, the report says. But many of the jobs require brainpower, computer savvy, and a knack for working with people.

20 Hot Jobs for Older Workers

Occupation 2007 Employment Projected 10-Year Growth Share of Workers 55 and Older
Personal and home-care aides 794,846 50.7% 23.4%
Personal financial advisers 343,170 40.9 18.8
Veterinarians 66,824 35.5 22.4
Social and community service managers 340,736 24.6 24.4
Miscellaneous entertainment attendants 163,717 23.8 21.1
Surveyors, cartographers, and photogrammetrists 42,128 23.6 16.9
Environmental scientists and geoscientists 102,766 23.6 20.2
Registered nurses 2,608,762 23.4 17.9
Animal trainers 45,072 23.3 23.0
Instructional coordinators 24,165 23.3 32.0
Locksmiths and safe repairers 25,047 23.1 25.4
Postsecondary teachers 1,357,642 22.8 27.0
Archivists, curators, and museum technicians 56,396 22.2 24.7
Social workers 728,481 22.2 17.5
Management analysts 662,978 22.0 26.5
Pharmacists 229,830 21.8 21.4
Counselors 707,527 21.4 18.2
Business operation specialists 100,367 20.9 18.8
Brokerage clerks 3,831 20.5 29.5
Religious workers 109,127 20.5 32.5

Source: Urban Institute


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