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Blog>Guides>6 Government Jobs for Senior Citizens Seeking Work After Retirement

6 Government Jobs for Senior Citizens Seeking Work After Retirement

Article index


  • The benefits of working after retirement
  • What types of government jobs are available to senior citizens
  • How to apply for jobs as a senior


If you’re retired and considering reentering the workforce, you aren’t alone. More older adults are working longer. In addition to the financial benefits, many people like the social interaction, mental stimulation, and sense of purpose that a job brings. The federal government is one of the best employers for baby boomers, offering a variety of roles to choose from and allowing you to contribute to your local community — and society at large.

The guide below details the benefits of government work, provides an overview of possible roles, and gives a quick primer on how to apply for government jobs if you’re a senior citizen.

Benefits of Government Jobs for Seniors, Veterans, and Retirees

Government jobs generally pay well, although salaries vary at different government levels and depending on the position. The government publishes pay bracket details online andalso typically offers solid benefits, including:

  • Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)
  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP)
  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
  • Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS)
  • Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP)
  • Retirement benefits, like the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and retirement credit for military service
  • Dependent and child care opportunities
  • Social security benefits

Benefits eligibility depends on various factors, from the nature of your employment — such as contract, full-time, and part-time jobs — to your age.

For example, let’s say you previously held a federal job and chose to retire early, but now you want to go back. You will still get your annuity payments; however, your salary will be offset by the amount of the annuity. If the annual salary is $80,000 and your annuity was $35,000, you will get $45,000.

Best Government Jobs for Senior Citizens

The federal government and government agencies offer diverse job openings, with many of them suitable for senior citizens.

Jobs in the Court System

The U.S. court system offers jobs at the local, state, and federal levels. There are also different types of courts, from bankruptcy court to the court of appeals. As a court employee, you can play a valuable part in the judicial system, which aims to create a just and safe society.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Mediator. Mediators assist parties on opposing sides of a legal argument, helping them negotiate an agreement that will allow them to avoid a lengthier trial.
  • Clerk. Court clerks perform diverse administrative duties, preparing legal documents, handling correspondence, and processing orders and motions.
  • Probation officer. Probation officers work with criminal offenders, monitoring them to ensure they are successfully rehabilitating.
  • Court reporter. Court reporters provide an impartial record of trials and depositions, capturing every word spoken in a verbatim transcript.
  • Jury administrator. Jury administrators are responsible for selecting the individuals who will serve as potential jurors in court for a set term.

Jobs in Health Care

Governmental jobs are also available in the health care system. Don’t have a medical degree? That doesn’t matter. You can contribute in other ways. If you are interested in supporting individuals who are ill and injured (and their families), a health care role may be suitable for you.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Interpreter. Medical interpreters translate and interpret medical information for foreign-language patients to facilitate understanding between the patient and the health care practitioners.
  • Nurse. Government-employed nurses attend to patients in government-funded health facilities, such as veterans hospitals. This involves direct interaction with patients.
  • Clerical positions. Clerical professionals frequently serve as the “face” of a health care facility, being the first person an individual encounters when they walk in the door. Duties may include greeting visitors, answering calls, and handling administrative paperwork.
  • Health insurance support roles. Government health insurance providers process massive amounts of data, including sensitive patient information. Health insurance support roles provide secure and streamlined document management.

Jobs in Veterans Administration

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) oversees the provision of life-long health care to eligible veterans. There are more than 1,700 VA outpatient clinics and medical centers throughout the country. If you want to support those who have served, the VA is the place to be.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Administrative assistant. Office administrators support the daily operations of VA facilities, handling everything from back-office paperwork to front-office duties like welcoming visitors and answering phones.
  • Event organizer. The VA regularly organizes events, such as educational workshops, to support veteran rehabilitation, fundraisers, family outreach, and more.
  • Psychologist. Veterans may struggle with mental health issues like PTSD. Psychologists and psychiatrists are in demand in VA facilities to counsel patients.
  • Social worker. Social workers help veterans transition to post-service life. They may offer support and guidance with tasks like finding a job and reintegrating into family life.

Jobs With the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects America’s natural habitats and the creatures that call them home. Their remit ranges from fisheries to national parks and wildlife refuges. If you are an advocate for environmental conservation, this might be the right employer for you.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Wildlife conservationist. Wildlife conservationists help preserve animal and plant habitats. Duties could involve monitoring soil, air, and water quality, in addition to implementing measures against environmental degradation.
  • Fire management positions. Fire management positions focus on mitigating the impact of fires in natural habitats. While more active roles aren’t necessarily senior-friendly, support positions are available (such as dispatchers and warehouse workers).
  • Fish and wildlife management roles. Fish and wildlife managers monitor animal populations to ensure they are healthy and thriving.
  • National park jobs. National park jobs run the gamut from office management to retail work (in national park shops) and trail maintenance.

Jobs With the Postal Service

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is responsible for sorting, handling, and delivering mail and packages. In some cases, the USPS handles extremely sensitive items, like mail-in election ballots or letters to Santa.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Post office clerk. Postal service clerks receive and sort parcels and letters, sell revenue stamps and postage, fill and sort money orders, and assist post office customers.
  • Mail carrier. Mail carriers collect and deliver USPS processed mail. This is an active job that often requires a lot of walking and is best if you are physically fit.
  • Processing clerk. Processing clerks oversee, operate, and maintain the automated machines used to scan and sort mail. They may also hand-sort parcels and letters.

Jobs in Local Government

Your local government offers various positions right in your hometown. This is an opportunity to get involved in your community in a hands-on capacity, contributing to a well-functioning county or city.

Possible jobs for senior citizens include:

  • Voting or election officials. Voting or election officials ensure orderly voting at polling stations. They may check voter identification and provide resources for voter registration.
  • Police or fire department personnel. Frontline police or firefighter jobs likely aren’t a good fit for most senior citizens since these roles require passing a rigorous physical fitness test. However, you can still support your local fire station or police department behind the scenes as a dispatcher or in an administrative capacity.
  • Public works positions. “Public works” is an all-encompassing term that can refer to local parks and recreational facilities, public education institutions, governmental structures, roads, bridges, airports, and dams. These structures require boots-on-the-ground maintenance and clerical support to function smoothly.
  • City hall employee. City halls may host public events, local government meetings, marriages, and more. City hall employees support such operations.

Tips for Seniors Applying to Government Jobs

Applying for government jobs as a senior citizen can be daunting — the odds are you haven’t had to complete a job application in years. Don’t stress; there are resume and cover letter writing resources to help. As you prepare your materials, keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep information regarding very old job positions or graduation dates to a minimum. There’s no need to include details beyond basic dates and the position/degree title.
  • Focus on past work experience relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you’re applying to work at the VA, for example, social work experience is relevant.
  • Craft your materials according to the job posting, mirroring technical language and keywords. Demonstrate how you meet the job criteria by presenting relevant experience, including examples.

When it comes to the interview, be prepared that the interviewer may be younger than you. To alleviate your nerves, rehearse your interview beforehand with a friend or family member. Finally, be yourself! Remember, as an older worker, you have a lifetime of experience and valuable skills to offer.

Find Government Jobs on Joblist

Job-hunting in your retirement years can be intimidating at first, but you don’t have to run around job fairs with college kids. Joblist can help senior citizens find jobs in the government sector from the comfort of their own homes.

Start by taking our online quiz to find employment opportunities based on criteria like experience, location, and whether you want full-time or part-time work. You can also find resources to support your job search via our job seeker knowledge hub.

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