Bureau of Labor Statistics

Data on display
Projected job growth in occupations with large shares of older workers

| May 2019

Do people today stop working when they turn 55? Some do—but not all.

In March 2019, about 40 percent of people ages 55 and older were working or actively looking for work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those who were working were employed in a variety of occupations. BLS data show which of those occupations are expected to add jobs in the coming years.

The chart shows selected occupations that have more than one-third of workers ages 55 and older in which BLS projects average to much faster than average employment growth over the decade for workers of all ages. Workers ages 55 and older made up 48 percent of clergy—the largest share among the occupations shown.

View Chart Data

Selected occupations with projected employment growth, 2016–26, that had large shares of workers ages 55 and older in 2018
Occupation Employment growth, projected 2016–26 (percent) Percent of workers ages 55 and older, 2018 Median annual wage, 2018

Appraisers and assessors of real estate

14 39% $54,980

Technical writers

11 45% 71,850

Tax preparers

11 38% 39,390

Property, real estate, and community association managers

10 39% 58,340

Construction and building inspectors

10 39% 59,700

Crossing guards

9 44% 28,960

Clergy

8 48% 48,990

Note: Employment growth and median annual wages are for workers of all ages, not just those ages 55 and older. Wage data exclude self-employed workers.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections (employment growth and wages) and Current Population Survey (percentage of workers ages 55 and older.)

Nearly all of the occupations shown in the chart had a median wage above the $38,640 median for all occupations in 2018. Technical writers had the highest wage, $71,850, of the occupations shown.

Wage data exclude the self-employed, and self-employment is common in several of these occupations. For example, about 42 percent of all property, real estate, and community association managers were self-employed in 2016. Of the occupations shown in the chart, this occupation is projected to add the most jobs over the decade, about 32,600.

Data on shares of older workers are from the BLS Current Population Survey. Employment projections data, as well as wage and self-employment data, are for workers of all ages. For more information, see the BLS Occupational Projections Data. Read about hundreds of occupations, including those in the chart, in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

About the Author

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at torpey.elka@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Projected job growth in occupations with large shares of older workers," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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