You may have reached the typical retirement age, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Telecommuting jobs provide a practical way to balance career with life transitions. Here are some telecommute options for baby boomers who want to stay in the workforce.
10 Telecommute Job Ideas for Baby Boomers
Baby boomers are usually defined as individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. Though workers typically plan to retire around age 65, the Social Security Administration notes that the “normal retirement age” has increased for individuals who were born in 1938 or later. Consequently, more baby boomers remain in the workforce past the standard retirement cutoff. Some of the main reasons Americans postpone retirement include:
- Greater life expectancy
- Increased health and medical resources
- Changes to social security and investment accounts
- Needing to save more to ensure a financially stable retirement
- The desire to remain in the workforce
By 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects there to be 41 million workers ages 55 and older and 13 million workers ages 65 and older. Furthermore, BLS projects that the 65-and-older workforce will grow faster than any other age group. Here at Virtual Vocations, we even discovered in our Virtual Vocations 2017 Year-End Report that 48% of survey respondents are age 50 and older. Thus, as the baby boomer workforce expands, and more telecommuting jobs become available, individuals have more options to ease into retirement on their own terms.
If you aren’t quite ready for retirement, but you’d like a change of pace and to continue earning income, here are some telecommute options based on the BLS’s “later-in-life” career recommendations.
10 Telecommute Occupations for Baby Boomers
The BLS found that most baby boomers work in management or other professional jobs. Sales and office jobs ranked as the next highest occupational category. Here are ten related telecommute jobs to help jumpstart your search.
1. Business Manager
Median Salary: $58,957
What They Do: Business managers ensure that daily operations run smoothly, teams and departments complete their work according to specification, and finances adhere to approved budgets. They work with upper management, individual workers, and customers to align overall business objectives with employee performance and customer satisfaction.
Qualifications: Many companies prefer a bachelor’s degree in business, and most require at least a few years of management experience. Business managers must be organized, effective leaders and decision-makers, and able to accurately measure and report on the outcomes of their decisions.
Median Salary: $71,044
What They Do: Consultants offer guidance so that individuals and businesses can make sound decisions. They usually specialize in a field, such as information technology, healthcare, or marketing, and provide their expert opinion on how clients can reach their goals. Consultants assess their clients’ current situation, propose solutions, and recommend execution strategies.
Qualifications: Depending on the field and type of job, employers may require formal credentials. However, proven industry expertise is more important. Consultants typically have years of work experience in a field before taking on consulting roles. They must be excellent problem-solvers with both big-picture and detail-oriented thinking skills.
Median Salary: $58,770
What They Do: Editors review written materials to be published to print and online platforms. They may also plan content, create content calendars, and help manage a team of writers. Editors may work for industry periodicals, corporations, insurance agencies, scientific journals, or online magazines, for example.
Qualifications: Some positions do not have education requirements, while others expect a bachelor’s degree in English or a specific field. For example, an online lifestyle publication may accept individuals with editing experience but no formal education in English or communications. However, employers who hire medical, scientific, and technical editors likely seek professionals with knowledge and work history related to the subject matter.
4. Medical Transcriptionist
Median Salary: $35,250
What They Do: Medical transcriptionists record conversations between healthcare practitioners and patients, translate medical codes and shorthand into comprehensible reports, and edit transcription documents. They ensure that medical correspondence is comprehensible and accurate.
Qualifications: Education usually isn’t considered, but employers prefer a couple of years of experience in a healthcare setting. Related writing, documentation, or transcription work may be helpful to share while applying. However, many companies measure competence with online assessments.
5. Program Manager
Median Salary: $76,770
What They Do: Program managers oversee multiple projects and project teams to ensure that businesses meet their goals and objectives. They coordinate project managers, handle escalation issues, communicate with stakeholders and clients, and help align individual projects with client requirements.
Qualifications: Employers usually expect at least a bachelor’s degree, but they rely more on project and program management experience. Program managers typically start as project team members, then advance to a project lead or manager role. After successfully leading their own teams and projects, they proceed further to a program management position.
6. Real Estate Broker
Industry: Real Estate
Median Salary: $56,730
What They Do: Real estate brokers help individuals and businesses buy and sell property. They help assess the value of homes, negotiate sales, and facilitate paperwork. They also work with mortgage lenders and banks to help their clients access financing.
Qualifications: Aspiring brokers need to complete formal real estate training and obtain a license to work. College education generally isn’t required, and many agencies provide on-the-job training. Brokers also need to stay current on industry-related topics, such as property taxes, mortgage rates, homeowner’s insurance, and construction and renovation costs.
7. Sales Representative
Median Salary: $52,510
What They Do: Sales representatives present products and services to potential customers, help current customers access the products and services they need, and find ways to market to, expand, and maintain their clientele. They work in a variety of fields, such as medical devices, software applications, industrial equipment, and transportation.
Qualifications: Many companies waive any education requirements for work history and subject matter expertise. For example, a software sales representative doesn’t necessarily need a computer science degree but should have at least some experience working with, programming, or selling applications. Some employers accept entry-level sales agents and offer on-the-job training, while others seek seasoned business developers.
8. Tax Preparer
Median Salary: $38,730
What They Do: Tax preparers assist individuals and businesses complete federal, state, and local tax forms. They may also consult their clients on deductions, credits, and payment options. Most tax preparers find seasonal work at the beginning of the calendar year, but some may find year-round employment to help businesses stay organized and maximize tax incentives.
Qualifications: Many tax preparers need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance, but some simply need to complete a tax-related training program. Some states require certification to work, where others do not have any certification or license requirements. At the least, tax preparers need a solid understanding of tax law and excellent accounting skills to ensure accuracy and compliance.
9. Travel Agent
Industry: Travel and Hospitality
Median Salary: $36,990
What They Do: Travel agents help clients arrange transportation, lodging, and activities for personal vacations and business trips. They book airline tickets, reserve hotel rooms, create itineraries, and arrange for requested accommodations. Some travel agents specialize in executive travel, corporate events (e.g., conferences and training), luxury travel, or adventurous excursions.
Qualifications: Education is usually irrelevant, but a background in customer service, hospitality, and sales are helpful. Companies may offer specialized training, especially for agents working with corporate or executive clients. Experience with booking, negotiating rates, and researching new environments is essential.
Median Salary: $61,820
What They Do: Writers create content for websites, contribute to newspapers and magazines, assist with textbook writing projects, and craft original fiction and non-fiction works. Many virtual companies seek writers who can develop enticing web copy, sales and marketing materials, and even social media messages. Businesses also need writers to develop project deliverables, proposals, technical documentation, and internal correspondence. Additionally, the nonprofit sector needs skilled grant writers to apply for funding opportunities.
Qualifications: Some positions, such as medical, scientific, and technical writing, usually require at least a bachelor’s degree or formal training in the subject matter. Other jobs, such as business and grant writing, may require a bachelor’s degree in any field. Online content writers and creative authors, however, don’t typically need to prove competency through education. All writers need to demonstrate their “command of the English language” through online assessments, submitting samples of work, or providing a paid trial piece.
Telecommute Tips for Baby Boomers in the Workforce
Though baby boomers remain a vital component of the American workforce, the nature of work continues to change. Therefore, baby boomers may need to adapt to keep up with the times and find occupations that align with their lifestyle goals. Here are a few tips to consider.
Learn Current Technology
Technology is the main caveat for baby boomers who may not have had to rely on technology throughout their careers. In telecommuting, however, technology skills are critical for success. Thus, baby boomers should learn or refresh their basic computer skills, practice using common software applications, and understand modern terminology to effectively communicate with co-workers and customers.
Mind Generational Differences
Baby boomers may be among the fastest growing age group in the workforce, but millennials comprise about one-third of the nation’s entire labor pool, according to Pew Research Center. Millennials and baby boomers may differ in their work styles, work philosophies, and career motivations, so it’s important for both groups to recognize their differences and learn from each other.
Consider Seasonal Work
Individuals who aren’t quite ready to retire can find part-time, temporary, and seasonal work to bulk up their bank accounts while preventing burnout. Such work arrangements help baby boomers transition to retirement and remain involved in their careers without having to commit full-time.
Try Something New
After spending 30 years or more in the workforce, why not try something new? Consider branching out, exploring a different occupation, or turning a hobby into a paid position. Plus, challenging yourself and experimenting with new terrain helps the brain stay young and healthy.
Ready for Your Next Career Boom?
If you’re ready to leave the daily commute in the dust, sign up as a Virtual Vocations member and gain access to thousands of telecommuting jobs across the nation. Learn about how our service works and the best features we offer to members and subscribers. Then, head over to the job board to start searching for the next chapter of your career.
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