Increasingly retirees are earning extra money by taking on full-or part-time jobs to bring in extra income or to keep busy, and certificate programs can help.
Certificate programs for retirees
There are literally hundreds of certificate programs at universities, community colleges and others run by trade associations. However, not all of them may make sense for someone looking to earn extra money part time. Some of the best options for retirees or older workers:
According to the National Notary Association, qualifications vary by state. In general, you must be 18, a resident of the state in which you are applying and have no criminal record.
The cost can range from $100 to several hundred dollars, depending on the state. The NNA says that cost is dependent on the requiring training, exams, background screenings and required supplies.
Generally, notaries need three things: certificates, a seal for stamping certificates and a journal to keep records of your notarizations.
States that require notary training are California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Delaware (for electronic notaries).
Generally online courses take three to six hours. In Maryland, for example, you are required to take a course from an approved provider and pass an exam. Georgia does not require training, but a free online course is available.
A big bonus: the option to be a Remote Online Notary. Details are here.
Teacher certifications generally start with a bachelor’s degree. So it’s an option to people with a four-year degree from an accredited college or university. Certification requirements vary by state. Generally, you will be required to complete a teaching program and pass one or more tests. The final step is to get the certificate from the state agency that oversees education. Because of a teacher shortage, some school districts will pay for your certification program.
Because of a teacher shortage, some school districts will pay for your certification program.
Also, becoming a substitute is an easier option in many districts. You can qualify as a substitute without a certificate. It is also a way to gain teaching experience.
Career Switching Programs
Tom Frazier, 67, of Vienna, Virginia, a journalist for more than 30 years, was 58 when he was laid off from his newspaper job. He decided to become a teacher. He took a four-month course at Northern Virginia Community College, EducateVA, a career-switching program sponsored by the state.
One Teacher’s Experience
“You get to work with interesting people, doing meaningful work. But teaching my age was not an issue,” Frazier says. “In fact, when I went to interview – and especially where I was hired at Annandale High School in Fairfax (Virginia), they were very happy to hire someone older and experienced in the outside world. That was a kind of pleasant surprise.”
Frazier retired this year, but he now works part-time as a substitute teacher and an adult education teacher.
“It was a very challenging, but also having had worked for almost 35 years, I felt confident that I could do it,” he says. “That first year was very challenging, but it went well. And I really enjoyed my experience.”
Other states’ teacher programs
In Arizona, you can begin training to be a teacher without a bachelor’s degree as long as you are enrolled in college and supervised by a licensed teacher. And in Florida, veterans without a degree can receive a five-year teaching certificate if they have completed at least 60 college credits with a 2.5 grade point average and can pass a state exam in their subject area, according to Education Week.
Real estate agent
To become a licensed realtor, you generally have to take 40 to 168 hours of coursework (depending on the state) and take an exam. Many states also require to be a U.S. Citizen. See Real Estate License Training for the requirements in your state.
Other certificate programs
A variety of other occupations require certificates, usually after three to six months of training. They include certified medical assistant, nursing assistant, certified nursing assistant, and certified pharmacy technician. You can earn certificates in a number of other occupations, including flight attendant and a number of vocational trades.
Where to start
The best bet is to check with your local community college for what certificate training is available for non-college grads. Colleges and universities are good sources for certificates that require a college degree, such as Certified Financial Planner or healthcare management.
Did you take a certificate program for a post-retirement career for extra cash? Share your experience in the comments!
Rodney A. Brooks is the former deputy managing editor/Money at USA TODAY. His retirement columns appear in U.S. News & World Report and Senior Planet.com. He has written for National Geographic, The Washington Post and USA TODAY. The author of “Fixing the Racial Wealth Gap,” Brooks has testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. His website is www.rodneyabrooks.com.
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