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|
|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|
|Locksmiths and safe repairers||25,047||23.1||25.4|
|Archivists, curators, and museum technicians||56,396||22.2||24.7|
|Business operation specialists||100,367||20.9||18.8|
Source: Urban Institute