Weekend/Occasion-based Jobs For Retirees

Job for Retirees


Weekends usually provide a good earning opportunity for retirees. The hours are usually perfect for retirees, because it’s not a long-term employment (for better or worse), and because retirees tend to get respect from people by default, which would be very useful for the kind of jobs offered during the weekends. Here are just some of the more common weekend jobs for retirees:

Santa Claus

When it comes to working hours, Santas usually have short-term contracts that start during Thanksgiving, consisting of 10 hour days with meal breaks. The hours worked could vary if you get hired for private events or parties, or if you’re hired by independent establishments.

Nature of the Job. Some Santas are hired by malls or establishments themselves, but there are Santa distributors that act as agents. Once you’re hired by these distributors, you usually get assigned to a specific mall where you spend the entire weekend in a nearby motel room with no company but a small fridge, a TV set, and a microwave. This should be enough and if you’re lucky, it’s so near that you can take breaks during work hours and go “back to camp” for a quick nap or shower, because a sweaty Santa is not going to be popular with the kids.

Working as a Santa Claus mascot during holidays may be an appealing prospect for retirees who love to play around with little children. However, it does present a few challenges.

Requirements. First, it still requires a little bit of strength. You’ll be dealing with children of all ages tugging away at your suit and asking for a wish to be granted. There’s also the obligatory lifting as you sit the kids on your lap for pictures.

While Santa costumes make physical looks irrelevant, it usually helps if you look the part beforehand – a little bit plump with white beard and hair. This is because Santas who look natural tend to be more popular than Santas who are obviously just relying on the costume to look the part. Barring that, it’s up to fake beards and padding. A Santa can be of any race, but when it comes to gender, it’s usually exclusive to males. Female retirees can opt for opportunities that require a “Mrs. Santa” or as one of Santa’s little helpers.

Pay. The pay range for Santas usually range from $10 an hour to thousands per season, with contract pay for a 40 day season usually reaching $10k for a novice while experienced Santas can command $50k depending on the employer and/or location.

Retail Sales Cashier

Weekends are usually very busy periods for establishments, and they end up hiring temps or additional cashiers to fill in the shortage in manpower. Retirees can usually work in this capacity, as it doesn’t require any heavy physical work. That’s not to say that the job is easy, as you’ll be sitting for long periods of time and will be doing lengthy, repetitive work.

Nature of the Job. You should definitely be prepared to work evenings and weekends, since that’s usually the time that you have to fill in as a weekend cashier (with the regular workers usually taking weekend leaves).

Requirements. Computers, scanners, and conveyor belts tend to make things easier, but hitches can and do occur, so there are times when cashiers have to break routine and enter things manually by hand. But on the whole, you just need to be patient and maintain a sense of organization, as cashier work can be easily messed up by a moment’s worth of absent-mindedness or panic.

Pay. The median pay range for retail sales cashiers usually range from $7.15 to $12 an hour, and as far as qualifications go, there are none, as everything you need to know in order to do the job will be taught during employee training, which tend to be short, enough just to keep people up to speed on how to work the register and bits about the store’s policies and procedures. Employers usually check applicants’ backgrounds before hiring, in order to ensure if they can be trusted around money.

Product Demonstrator

This is definitely not the kind of weekend job for shy people, as you’ll be meeting and greeting people. You’ll be dealing with your fair share of people who don’t want to be bothered. It’s simply part of the job. You’re not just trying to get people to buy. You’re simply calling their attention to a product that they may be interested in, and sometimes stores hire product demonstrators just to get people in a buying mood.

Nature of the Job. There are product demonstrators that demo appliances or tools, and there are also those who offer free samples of food. Either way, you need to look, sound, and feel approachable and presentable in order to do well at this job. It’s also fairly strenuous as far as physical activity goes, since you’ll be standing all day and even walking around.

Requirements. For retirees who are oozing with selling and people skills, a product demonstrator may be the right earning opportunity during the weekend. A lot of manufacturers usually launch new products during the weekend, in order to take advantage of people’s inherent drive to spend money and to buy new things. They usually need people to provide the products a little push – this is where a product demonstrator comes in.

Qualifications. As for qualifications, it has some fairly high ones. The ability to use the product is not important, since the employers will be the ones to teach you – what they are looking for is above average public speaking and communication skills. You don’t have to be good looking, but you need to look presentable and neat. You basically need to be an entertainer of sorts, so it’s something that comes naturally to people. Past experience as a store staff or public speaker will be a great help in this job, as well as a background in work that requires public performance.

Pay. The hours for product demonstrators vary by employer, but during weekends, you can expect to work evenings and weekdays. The pay range is around $8.28 to $21.19 per hour, depending on the employer and your experience.


Establishments tend to change decors and rearrange their stores to celebrate certain occasions during the weekends, from the addition of wall decors and new furniture to the rearrangement of displays, and as such, you have to be ready to get your hands dirty. It’s fairly strenuous work, as you’ll be climbing ladders just to attach wall decors, lights, or anything else that the design requires both inside and outside the store.

Nature of the Job. The hours required for this kind of work tend to vary, but you can expect that they are long. It’s not for the retirees that already have problems with mobility. On the other hand, the stints are brief, as you’ll be mostly working during setup and dismantling only, with some short hours in the middle in order to fix stuff or do some last minute changes.

Requirements.Let’s face it, there are people who simply don’t have the necessary people skills, and would excel better doing background work, away from all the action but still smack dab in the center of operations. For retirees that lack people skills but have a knack for design and decoration, working as a weekend decorator may be a good way of earning during the weekends.

Pay. The pay range for a decorator is $8.14 to $17.23 per hour. The qualifications, besides the propensity for physically taxing work, are that you must have a flair for design and décor. Past experience in similar fields is a definite plus. As for getting hired, you usually have to go to establishments and find out if they are in need of services, as they don’t hire weekend decorators through agencies. You can also set up a webpage and advertise your services, and word of mouth is definitely your strongest venue for attracting clients. You can usually start in this field by doing work for friends and family members first, it also provides you a means to test the waters before shifting to full gear.


Weekends are peak days for caterers, as events during the end of the week (especially during holidays) require copious amounts of food, and people who can provide them. Retirees who are looking for decent, long term opportunities can try this route, but be forewarned that this is more of a business venture than an employment opportunity – it will require your ability to manage people, both those who work under you and those that will be your clients.

Nature of the Job. The hours required for catering will vary depending on the event that requires your services, but you can almost always expect to work during weekends and during evenings, with clean-up work going until the wee hours of the morning.

Requirements. When it comes to qualifications, being a caterer requires all the skillsets that were outlined in the previous jobs mentioned above, along with management skills, and of course, some skills related to food. This is certainly one of the more demanding weekend job opportunities for retirees, but it can also be the most rewarding.

Pay. As for pay range, it’s hard to put a number as you won’t be expecting salary like an entry-level worker. The amount of earnings is usually dependent on how good you are with procurement of supplies and costing.


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2) Retirement Planning: Jobs for Retirees
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