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11 jobs with the biggest share of older workers


For evidence of the graying of America, look no further than the country's workforce.

Older people are working at higher rates than they did a decade ago, while the U.S. economy still hasn't recovered from its post-recession decline in workforce participation.

Some older Americans may not be ready to retire, while others might be working into their 70s out of necessity, given that almost one out of 10 people over 65 years old lives in poverty. One thing is for sure: The share of older workers will only grow over the next several decades.

By 2022, almost one out of four men over the age of 65 are projected to be in the workforce, while one out of five senior women will still be working, according to Population Reference Bureau.

The share of workers between 70 to 74 years old has shown the biggest increase in workforce participation since 2008, rising by about 3 percentage points, according to Pew. By contrast, there are now 2.1 percent fewer workers between 25 and 34 years old in the workforce compared with a decade ago.

So where are older Americans working? The jobs are a mix of old-school professions and jobs that require both brains and brawn. Older workers are less likely to be employed in tech-related or mathematical jobs, as well as food preparation and construction work, according to Pew.

Read on to learn about the 11 professions with the greatest share of workers over the age of 70, according to data analysis from employment site

11. Tailors and dressmakers: 7.9 percent


Tailors and dressmakers are becoming fashion victims, with the profession projected to shrink almost 9 percent over the next decade. The reason? Fast-fashion brands such as H&M sell inexpensive clothing that gives consumers less incentive to fix items that need repairing.

That may explain why the occupation is shifting to older workers, who likely began in the trade when it was in greater demand several decades ago. About 7.9 percent of all tailors and dressmakers are older than 70, according to Indeed.

The median annual wage for this group is about $30,000 per year.

10. Musicians and singers: 8.6 percent


About 8.6 percent of musicians and singers are over the age of 70, which may seem surprising since following one's passion might seem like a young person's game.

Yet the biggest employers of musicians and singers are performing arts companies and religious organizations such as symphony orchestras and churches.

The median wage of musicians and singers is about $52,000 per year.

9. Farmers and ranchers: 8.9 percent


The aging of America's farmers and ranchers isn't a new issue, although opinions range the gamut about whether it's a cause for concern. About 8.9 percent of farmers and ranchers are older than 70, although it could be that younger family members and workers will take over the reins in the next few years.

The median pay for farmers and ranchers is more than $66,000 per year.

8. Clergy: 9.2 percent


Almost one out of 10 clergy members is older than 70, according to This could reflect a shift away from organized religion among younger Americans, as well as greater appeal from other occupations.

One researcher found there are now more pastors over the age of 65 than under age 40, citing difficulties finding young workers who want to train in the profession partly due to a shrinking pool of people practicing their faith.

The median annual wages of clergy members stands at about $46,000.

7. Tax preparers: 9.5 percent


Almost one out of 10 tax preparers is over the age of 70, found. Even though taxes are one of life's constants, the role of tax prep is changing as more consumers rely on software and online programs.

Job growth is estimated to be only 1.6 percent over the next 10 years, according to Data USA. The average salary is about $50,000.

6. Ushers and lobby attendants: 9.6 percent


While typically thought of as a job for high school teenagers, ushers and lobby attendants are getting older. Almost one out of 10 is now over the age of 70.

With the average annual pay just over $9,000, these jobs could appeal to seniors who are looking to make extra money, rather than as their main source of income.

5. Religious workers: 10 percent


Like clergy, religious workers are also getting older: One out of 10 is now over 70 years old. These workers tend to labor in religious organizations, schools and home-care services, according to the BLS.

The average annual wage for religious workers is about $34,000.

4. Funeral service workers: 12.9 percent


People who work in funeral services may be a dying breed. Shortages of funeral workers have been noted across the U.S. and Canada as fewer young workers enter the profession. That may explain the shift toward older workers in the profession, with 12.9 percent now older than 70.

The average annual median pay for funeral service workers is almost $55,000 per year.

3. Models, demonstrators and product promoters: 15.3 percent

Suzanne Plunkett

This profession includes not just models, but people who demonstrate food and other products, such as the employees who give out samples at Costco and other food stores. Work conditions can vary, but one plus for this career is it doesn't come with a formal educational requirement, according to the BLS.

Annual median pay for this profession is about $22,000.

2. Crossing guards: 15.3 percent


Almost one of every six crossing guards is over the age of 70, which may be due to the role's short hours. After retiring, some Americans pick up work in jobs like this as a way to make extra money and stay active.

The average annual wage for crossing guards is about $29,000.

1. Motor vehicle operators: 23 percent


About 23 percent of motor vehicle operators are over 70 years old, according to The biggest employers in this professor are automobile dealers, according to the BLS.

The average annual wage is about $31,500.

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