5 of the most popular side jobs for retirees and how much they pay


Many retirees elect to continue working part-time in retirement to ensure their long-term financial stability, to start another career, or just to pull in some extra cash. 

The Centers for Disease Control considers adults age 65 and older at higher risk for severe illness from Covid-19, and recommends they take additional precautions. So in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, older Americans will need to balance their desire to get back to work against the health risks of leaving the house.

Fortunately, many common jobs for retirees can be done from home. The most in-demand side job for retirees in the U.S. is bookkeeper, for example, according to life insurance agency Choice Mutual, based on an analysis of how many people have searched for these jobs, and that's one that can be done remotely.

Here are five of the most popular side jobs for retirees, according to Choice Mutual, and how much they pay.

Substitute teacher

Substitute teachers fill in for teachers of any subject matter in elementary, middle, or high school, if and when a teacher happens to be out. This could mean filling in for a third grade social studies class, for example, or a ninth grade French class.

A bachelor's degree in any subject is required. With grade schools preparing to start the school year with online learning, many opportunities may not require you to leave home.

Median salary: $13 per hour

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Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Administrative assistant

Businesses small and large need someone to take care of basic logistics. That may include everything from answering phones to calendar management to data entry. For this they use administrative assistants.

These days, many businesses hire virtual assistants to take on this work remotely. Some virtual assistants are able to maintain flexible hours and still pull in $140,000 a year.

Median salary: $19 per hour


Bookkeepers keep track of financial records for businesses and organizations. They monitor and record expenditures and profits using various kinds of software and databases, produce income reports, and check to make sure records are accurate.

Most businesses require a bookkeeper to have some form of education beyond high school, often in a field like accounting.

Median salary: $19 per hour


Licensed practical nurse

Licensed practical nurses, often in conjunction with doctors and other specialists, monitor the big picture and track the small details of patients' health. 

The position requires that you complete an approved educational program and receive a license.

Unless done remotely through increasingly available telehealth options, nursing usually requires close interaction with patients and working in a hospital or medical setting where people around you may be sick. Extra safety precautions would be necessary, such as making sure to wear PPE. 

Median salary: $22 per hour

Dental hygienist

Dental hygienists educate patients about oral health and provide oral care including removing plaque from teeth, taking X-rays, and documenting patients' care.

The position requires an associate's degree in dental hygiene and a license from the state. Note that this job, as with practical nursing, requires close physical interaction with patients and may entail extra safety precautions.

Median salary: $36 per hour

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