For many of us, retirement is something to which we look forward. Even in these uncertain economic times, we’re planning for it.

But when that dream becomes a reality, many retirees find that “living the dream” is a difficult adjustment. While some worry about their financial security, others look for hobbies or “side hustles” to fill their time productively.

So, what side jobs do people pick up after retirement? And how much do they pay? Check out the map and chart below to find out which retirement side hustle is most popular in your state and how much it pays!

map of most popular retirement side job in each state

chart comparison of the average hourly pay and yearly salary for popular retirement side jobs

A chart showing the average salary for common professions

Interesting Research Findings

  • Four states had a tie between two jobs: District of Columbia, Indiana, Minnesota, and Rhode Island.
  • Although 73% of school bus drivers are over the age of 55, it ranked as the most popular in only eight states and tied for the third most popular side gig overall (alongside substitute teacher).
  • Bookkeeper was the most popular side job in the nation, winning over 15 states.
  • Dental hygienist came in as the highest-paid side hustle, making $34.24 per hour or $59,077 per year on average. It is also the second most popular on our list, being favored by 12 states.
  • Washington is one of the states where school bus driver is the most popular job. It also ranks second for the highest-paid school bus drivers in the nation.


Job Requirements

If you’re interested in pursuing one of these side jobs, here are the usual requirements needed to pursue them. Of course, exceptions apply for various reasons, but this is a general guideline.

School bus driver• Commercial driver’s license (CDL)
• Clean driving record
Bookkeeper• High school diploma
• Certification is a plus, but not always required
Secretary• High school diploma
• Certification is a plus, but not always required
Orderly• High school diploma
• Certification is a plus, but not always required
Home health aide• National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) Certification
Dental hygienist• Associate’s degree in dental hygiene
• Must receive a license by passing the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination
Office manager• High school diploma
• Certification or a degree is a plus, but not always required
Substitute teacher• High school diploma
• Some states require a substitute teaching license or certificate
Licensed practical nurse• State-approved training diploma or certificate (training programs vary by state)
• Some states require a substitute teaching license or certificate
Administrative assistant• High school diploma

Popular Jobs by State

Filter the table below either by state or by job to see how your state compares to others.

ArkansasDental Hygienist
ConnecticutSchool Bus Driver
DelawareSchool Bus Driver
District of ColumbiaOffice Manager/Administrative Assistant
GeorgiaSchool Bus Driver
HawaiiSubstitute Teacher
IdahoDental Hygienist
IndianaSchool Bus Driver/Bookkeeper
KansasLicensed Practical Nurse
LouisianaLicensed Practical Nurse
MarylandSchool Bus Driver
MinnesotaSchool Bus Driver/Bookkeeper
MississippiDental Hygienist
MissouriSubstitute Teacher
NebraskaDental Hygienist
NevadaSubstitute Teacher
New HampshireBookkeeper
New JerseyHome Health Aide
New MexicoSubstitute Teacher
New YorkHome Health Aide
North CarolinaDental Hygienist
North DakotaOrderly
OhioLicensed Practical Nurse
OklahomaDental Hygienist
OregonDental Hygienist
PennsylvaniaLicensed Practical Nurse
Rhode IslandOrderly/Substitute Teacher
South CarolinaDental Hygienist
South DakotaDental Hygienist
TennesseeDental Hygienist
TexasSubstitute Teacher
UtahDental Hygienist
VermontSubstitute Teacher
VirginiaSubstitute Teacher
WashingtonSchool Bus Driver
West VirginiaSchool Bus Driver
WisconsinLicensed Practical Nurse
WyomingDental Hygienist



We looked at each state’s Google search volume for part-time jobs that are popular for people over the age of 55 and compared that to various reports that listed the most widely popular side jobs in retirement to find the most popular in each state by assessing search volume.



Popular Jobs for Retirees:

Average Pay by Job: