Government Jobs for People Over 60

by Linda Ray

    Even though you may be nearing or at retirement age, you might need to work to keep yourself active, give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the morning and earn additional income. There are many options for workers over the age of 60. Many of the best jobs are with local, state and federal government agencies. Governments, as well as private industry, recognize the value of a mature workforce and the experience you can bring to the job.

    Competition for mediator positions with your state court system can be fierce, according to a report in "U.S. News and World Report." The work is ideal for seniors, especially if you have a background in counseling or the law. Mediators serve as part of the judicial system and help parties come to an agreement on divorce, child custody and other legal disputes. Mediators are appointed to the position, which is why your vast network of contacts will come in handy. Requirements vary from state to state, but usually include a bachelor’s degree or a significant amount of relevant work experience. You’ll undergo about 20 hours of training.

    The National Institutes of Health actively recruits older workers through a number of initiatives, and placed at the top of the AARP's 2013 list of the top employers for older people. The NIH participates in more than 50 job fairs a year and sends job opening notices to its own retirees, urging them to return to the workplace. The NIH offers telecommuting options for workers and provides equipment such as technology to help seniors with low vision. Everything from temporary to part- and full-time positions are available for seniors in areas such as science, administration and executive leadership. The benefits, like those at many federal jobs, are extensive.

    The Veterans Administration also ranked as one of the top 100 places for older people to work in 2013, in an AARP poll. Furthermore, 61 percent of Veterans Health Administration employees were over the age of 50. The government agency hires seniors for temp work, on a contract basis and as full- and part-time employees. You only have to work 10 hours a week to get health and dental coverage, 401K participation and a slew of wellness benefits. You can perform office administrative duties, write newsletters, organize events or run information workshops.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has special programs devoted to recruiting older hires through its Friends Group and Services Retirees Association. You may qualify for training through the agency’s Pathways Programs and start your government service as an intern. The agency has temporary, consulting, flex, telecommuting and full-time opportunities for workers. You can work in communications, organize events or serve as a host or guide at national parks. In addition to complete health coverage for full-time employees, the Fish and Wildlife Service allows seniors to make catch-up contributions to their 401K plans. It has a referral service for elder care and grandchild care and will work with you if you need to take time off, either paid or unpaid, to care for family members.

    About the Author

    Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

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