According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education will be the third fastest-growing job sector in the decade spanning 2008 through 2018. Teaching is a deeply rewarding profession where you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of your students.
In the wake of the recession, however, as housing prices plummet (and the tax base for school funding dwindles) many public school districts are facing a unique challenge. On one hand, there is a serious teacher shortage, but on the other hand, districts are being forced to drastically cut their operating budgets.
Interestingly, this pickle presents an excellent career opportunity for retirees with teaching or library experience who want to work full- or part-time as a teacher's aide or library aide. As a teacher's aide, you can bring your valuable expertise to the classroom, acting as a mentor to a younger teacher or just lending an extra pair of hands to an overcrowded classroom. Library aides help out with all of the normal library duties (checking out books, reshelving, sending out late notices, fielding research questions) and can fill in if necessary.
There are also teaching opportunities for retirees without prior teaching experience. Many business, engineering, math and computing departments at community colleges seek out professionals with significant experience in the field to teach their classes. That doesn't mean that you can walk straight out of your job and into the classroom, however: You'll most likely need to receive a master's degree in education, which can be completed in one year of full-time study, or two years of part-time evening or online classes.
Next we'll look at second career opportunities for retirees in healthcare.