Best jobs if you're over 50

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9. Technical Writer

best jobs, older workers, technical writer
Median pay: $68,100
Top pay: $95,600
10-year job growth: 18%
Total jobs: 50,000
The job: Ever wonder who wrote the manual that taught you how to program your DVR? Technical writers take complicated information -- like which tiny button erases your entire video library -- and put it into simple-to-understand language. Most positions are in information technology, science and engineering, but the work has expanded across a wider range of industries. The field has a solid growth rate and commands one of the higher salaries on our list. Many jobs are on a contractual basis, so you can set your own hours and workload.

How to switch: Strong writing skills are a must, and a background or degree in a technical field can only add to your credibility. As more technical writing moves online, knowledge of desktop publishing and graphics programs will also help boost your prospects. Check out the Society for Technical Communication's website for more information: stc.org.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility
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Do Technical Writers have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
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Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts PayScale.com identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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