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5 Retirement Jobs Where You Can Make A Difference

Scott Fikes
Scott Fikes on September 14, 2023

Retirement doesn’t have to only be about leisure. It can be a golden opportunity for seniors to embrace a new chapter filled with purpose. 


From nurturing the well-being of their communities to lending a helping hand in times of crisis, here are five retirement jobs where you can make a difference:


  1. Teacher
  2. Nonprofit or charity work
  3. Senior caregiver
  4. Health and wellness coach
  5. Disaster relief worker





Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the future of young minds. Many educators who retire opt to continue their involvement in the field bytexas teachers tutoring, mentoring, consulting and volunteering in schools. 


Yet many retirees of all professions opt to enter the field of education as a way to return to work and stay active while helping fulfill a need. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, the pathway to earning your teaching certificate can be completed in Texas in just four to six months through an alternative teacher certification program


To qualify for this type of program, also known as an educator preparation program (EPP), your degree must be from an accredited institution of higher learning. According to the Texas Education Agency (TEA), you must also:


  • Have earned a minimum 2.5 GPA, confirmed in one of two ways:
    • Minimum 2.5 GPA on an official transcript 
    • Minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of courses attempted
  • Completed 12 semester credit hours in the certification subject (15 hours in math or science in 7th grade or above)


If you do not meet these above requirements but have a bachelor’s degree, you can still qualify for a teacher preparation program. You must first pass a TxPACT exam, which is used for program admission. Only those who do not pass the above requirements must take the TxPACT.


If you do not have a bachelor’s degree but have an associate’s degree, you can qualify for an EPP if you have:


  • Two years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field to be taught
  • A current professional licensure to teach Health Science Technology, Criminal Justice and Cosmetology


If you don’t have a degree, you must have five years of full-time wage-earning experience within the past 10 years in the field to be taught.


Once you are accepted into a teacher certification program, part of your training will consist of courses (online, in-person or a combination of both, depending on the program you choose) as well as field experience. In Texas, you must complete:


  • A minimum of 300 hours of training to receive a standard teaching certificate
  • Of these 300 hours, 30 must be dedicated to the observation of a certified teacher in a classroom environment


It’s important to note that the 30 hours of observation by a teacher advisor is a very important part of your certification process. These certified teachers send a recommendation to your Texas teaching credential program that you are ready or not ready to teach in the classroom.

You must also pass a series of exams, which may include:



Final steps to becoming a teacher include completing a fingerprinting process as part of a national criminal background check and submitting a license application.


Retirees bring a unique blend of skills, experience and dedication to their communities. Returning to the workforce as a teacher allows you to make a lasting impact on the lives of students for generations to come.



Nonprofit Or Charity Work



If you’re not sure you want to dive back into the full-time workforce, nonprofit or charity work can be a great way to stay busy without making atexas teachers 40-hour commitment. Many organizations need the help of volunteers or part-time workers to fundraise, perform administrative work, plan events or direct assistance to those in need.


The nonprofit work you choose to contribute to can be based on your interests or passions, and may include:


  • Arts and culture (theater, museums, galleries, cultural centers)
  • Environmental conservation (wildlife protection, habitat restoration, sustainable practices)
  • Education (schools, libraries, tutoring, adult literacy programs)
  • Health and healthcare (public health, clinics, hospitals)
  • Animal welfare (shelters, rescues, wildlife rehabilitation centers, animal rights)
  • Social services (homelessness, vulnerable populations, food banks, refugees and immigrants)
  • Youth and family support (foster care, programs for at-risk youth, programs for grandparents raising grandchildren)
  • Community development (neighborhood revitalization, community gardens, affordable housing, small business development)
  • Veterans support (health care navigation, job placement, emotional support)
  • Religious and faith-based organizations (outreach programs, charitable initiatives)
  • International aid and development (humanitarian aid, sustainable development projects in other countries)


Many seniors have a wealth of life experience and skills to offer in these great jobs. They often have the flexibility in their schedules to dedicate time to charitable causes, and these jobs for retirees can provide a sense of purpose and social interaction.


Senior Caregiver



Senior caregivers can provide important companionship and assistance to elderly individuals who may require help with daily tasks, mobility, medication management or emotional support. This role can be part-time or full-time, and can take place in seniors’ homes or in a care facility.


Seniors are well-suited for this role because they often have empathy and patience, having experienced the challenges of aging themselves. Working as a caregiver offers a chance to give back and provide vital companionship to fellow seniors, helping them maintain their independence and quality of life.


A senior caregiver position can also be an easy transition for someone who wants to return to the workforce if their background is in healthcare. Some backgrounds that provide a strong foundation for this profession include:


  • Nurses
  • Therapists (physical, occupational)
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists or counselors
  • Speech-language pathologists 
  • First responders
  • Family caregivers


While a background in these fields can provide a strong base for caregiving, anyone with a genuine desire to help others, excellent communication skills, patience and a compassionate nature can become a successful caregiver with proper training and ongoing education in eldercare and senior services. After all, caregiving is as much about the heart as it is about the resume.


Health And Wellness Coach



Health and wellness coaches work with individuals to promote healthier lifestyles. They provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, stresstexas teachers management and other wellness practices. This can be done one-on-one or through workshops and classes.


There’s many opportunities at organizations like the YMCA and senior centers to teach fitness, yoga, nutrition and other health and wellness classes. You can also explore becoming a personal trainer to others who want to build their fitness levels, or you can specialize in areas such as holistic wellness practices, which may include mindfulness, meditation and alternative healing methods.


Seniors who are passionate about health and wellness can also use their own life experiences and knowledge to help others lead healthier lives. This role enables you to share valuable insights and motivate people of all ages to make positive health choices.


By fostering a sense of well-being and empowering individuals to take control of their health, you can make a lasting impact on the lives of those you assist, promoting not only physical health but also emotional and mental well-being.


Disaster Relief Worker



Becoming a disaster relief worker in retirement can be a great opportunity to work in retirement while making a significant difference in the lives of individuals who are experiencing unforeseen emergencies and crises.


Whether it’s providing aid to those affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires or floods, or offering support in humanitarian crises such as conflicts or refugee situations, your contribution as a disaster relief worker can bring hope and essential assistance to those in their most vulnerable moments.


While many disaster relief worker positions are volunteer-based, there are also part time jobs and full-time opportunities available. You can also sign up to be on-call when an unexpected emergency occurs. 


While some positions may require travel, others can be based in your hometown, such as responding to house fires, working at emergency shelters after a storm or assisting with local community outreach programs. Local involvement also allows you to actively support your community during times of need while providing support to your neighbors during emergencies.


Additional life and professional skills that can be especially beneficial in these positions include medical expertise, logistics, counseling and crisis management.


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Written by Scott Fikes

Scott is the Deputy Executive Director and Program Consultant. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Texas Woman's University and a Master of Education from Texas Woman's University. Scott has extensive experience in both the classroom and as an administrator in districts in North Texas.

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