An aging baby boomer generation is leaving is mark on the world of work – and not just because of the large numbers reaching retirement age every year. Boomers are creating new markets as they grow older, and those looking for good-paying careers with staying power would do well to check out which services they will want – and need – over the next few years.
Here are three specific employment opportunities that will experience higher demand as baby boomers age – the majority of which, not surprisingly, are in the health care field. If you are concerned that geriatrics isn't for you, note that all of the following services are applicable to all age groups; it is the growth potential, for the most part, that is supplied by aging boomers.
You'll need a master's or doctoral degree for this job, and a license to practice in the state where you plan to work. Though all age groups are within the scope of audiology, older persons often develop hearing problems, which makes this an occupation primed for growth.
Audiologists assess and treat hearing disorders, as well as problems with balance, communication, and other issues affected by hearing difficulties or diseases of the middle or inner ear.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2012 median pay for audiologists was nearly $70,000, and the growth rate is predicted to be very high, around 34%. Since the occupational sector is fairly small, the increased demand may impact the salaries paid, edging them upward over time.
The aging process can produce many physical limitations, and the high activity level of boomers is expected to push the need for physical therapists to all-time highs. With a doctorate degree, you can expect to earn at least $70,000 annually. Like audiologists, physical therapists also need licensure to practice in each state.
If seven years of college is too daunting for you, physical therapy assistants are also in demand, with an expected sector growth rate of 41%, compared with 36% for physical therapists. As you might expect, these persons assist the physical therapist, and make a very good median salary of $52,000 per year – with an associate's degree the only educational requirement.
This job is also one that encompasses clients of all ages, but is growing at the rate of 27% due to the retirement-planning needs of baby boomers. Additionally, financial advisors will be sought out more often as both private and public pension plans become less common, and workers will need alternative retirement planning services.
A bachelor's degree in areas of expertise such as business and economics is often required, though more colleges are offering specialized courses as the occupation becomes more popular. With a four-year degree, the median 2012 pay was more than $67,000 – with the upper 10% making nearly $190,000 annually.
With the baby boomers making up over 25% of the U.S. population and controlling 70% of the nation's wealth, occupations that cater to this generation are a sure way to guarantee a lucrative, satisfying work life – not to mention a comfy retirement.