Employers Offer Broad Range of Jobs to Older Workers—But With Lower Pay

These opportunities also do not tend to offer benefits.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) explored what career opportunities are available for older workers in its white paper, “What Jobs Do Employers Want Older Workers to Do?

To reach its findings, the center examined job postings at RetirementJobs.com, a national website that targets older workers, as well as a federal database of job openings.

RetirementJobs.com postings included a broad swath of occupations, most of them full time. However, the center found that the salaries for positions proactively advertised for older workers were lower than average and that only a few mentioned health or retirement benefits.

“For these vacancies, posted salaries are lower than for vacancies not aimed at older workers,” according to the white paper.

The majority of job listings being offered to older workers fell into three categories: office jobs, health care support positions and sales jobs. Office jobs paid an average of $35,800, while health care support positions came in at $22,900 and sales positions at $52,400. Across all occupations, the average salary on RetirementJobs.com was $43,800.

“Naturally, occupations requiring more education and skills—such as management, computers, engineering, and health and legal practitioners—offer much higher salaries, over $65,000,” the center says. “However, all these categories comprise only one-quarter of the listings.”

“In sum,” the center says, “the jobs available to older workers are broadly dispersed geographically and are of generally good quality when compared with jobs aimed at the general population. This pattern is particularly true for bridge jobs that offer income but no fringe benefits. However, the jobs that employers actively try to recruit older workers to fill are of poorer quality than general jobs, in terms of both salary and benefits.”