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5 Best Careers in Gerontology

Careers in Gerontology vary because of its multidisciplinary focus that addresses the parts of aging and offers different work settings. Because gerontology is multidisciplinary, handling all facets of aging, there are many different job settings for gerontologists.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, people over 65 are the fastest-growing segment of the population. And the need for expertise in gerontology will increase as a society must accommodate the needs and tastes of older individuals. The need for trained workers affects everything from healthcare to product design and retail to real estate.

Job Settings Where Gerontologists Can Work

Graduates with a degree in gerontology often work in industries and organizations that provide services and support to older individuals. Below are some of the places where you can find the best gerontology careers.

  1. Hospitals and Healthcare
  2. Research Settings
  3. Home Health Care
  4. Government Organizations
  5. Corporations

1. Hospitals and Healthcare

Gerontologists may work in hospitals or other healthcare settings, helping to provide care and support to older patients. Doctors specializing in the care of the elderly are in the related field of geriatrics. However, hospitals also employ gerontologists in many capacities to address the specific needs of older adult patients.

They work as case managers and coordinate the multiple levels of care an older patient may need. Some manage transitions from hospitals to outpatient care or recommend adaptive technology. Similarly, social workers and chaplains in hospital settings can address older patients’ unique social, psychological, and spiritual needs. And many work with patients with terminal illnesses.

Gerontologists with many fields of specialization work in nursing facilities and homes dedicated to older individuals. Jobs range from nursing to occupational therapy and from counseling to management. For example, nutritionists with gerontology training can design menus for whole facilities or individual patients.

2. Research Settings

Gerontologists may work in academic or research settings. They study aging and work to find ways to improve the lives of older people. Furthermore, gerontologists who work in research often study the biological, social, and psychological aspects of aging. They may conduct studies to understand the aging process. Examining the effects on the human body and mind helps researchers identify ways to improve quality of life.

These professionals may also develop interventions or treatments to address age-related challenges or diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or frailty. They may work in various settings, including universities, hospitals, and research institutes. Furthermore, they use multiple research methods, including lab experiments, surveys, and clinical trials.

3. Home Healthcare

As individuals live longer, healthier lives, they often choose to “age in place“. These individuals continue living in their homes or active adult communities. This trend leads to growing home health care job settings for gerontologists.

These professionals visit seniors in their homes and either help with tasks of daily living or help seniors adapt to doing those tasks in new ways. For example, physical therapists, nurses, registered occupational therapists, health aides, and social workers may work in home health settings, especially with seniors with limited mobility.

4. Government Organizations

Many government organizations employ gerontologists in areas ranging from social work to policy. Gerontologists may work for local, state, or federal government agencies. They help to develop and implement policies and programs that benefit older people.

Gerontologists may work in programs such as Medicare and Social Security, specifically designed for older adults, with state and municipal government branches offering support or services for the elderly. In government settings, they may focus on working with specific aging populations. Some include veterans, minorities, or those living in poverty or with disabilities.

5. Corporations

Gerontologists may work for companies in the private sector that provide products or services to older people, such as retirement communities or home healthcare agencies. As the population’s average age increases, corporations increasingly need to hire gerontologists. In addition, retail or consumer-facing industries need experts to design and market products appealing to older adults. Engineers, for example, must create cars with various safety features for older drivers.

In contrast, stores must stock products and offer services such as home delivery catering to the elderly. Human resources departments need specialists who can enable companies to attract, retain, and enhance the productivity of older workers. The changing demographic nature of wealthy countries such as the United States means an increasing gerontologist demand. Many organizations hire people who can address the various needs of an aging population. So gerontologists have growing career opportunities in many different job settings.

5 Best Careers in Gerontology

What Can You Do With an Associate Degree in Gerontology?

An associate degree in gerontology is a two-year undergraduate degree that prepares students for entry-level positions working with older adults. With this gerontology degree, you can find work in various settings, including assisted living facilities, hospitals, occupational therapy offices, and home healthcare agencies. Some specific job titles you may be qualified for with an associate degree in gerontology include geriatric care aid, social worker assistant, medical assistant, nurse assistant, and activity coordinator.

You can also find gerontology careers in government agencies or nonprofit organizations that serve older adults. Some positions may require additional education or certification, so you should be prepared to continue your education to advance your gerontology career.

Geriatric Care Aides

Geriatric care aides, also known as geriatric assistants or nursing assistants, work with elderly individuals who may require assistance with activities of daily living (ADL) and health-related tasks. These gerontology professionals may work in various settings, including assisted living facilities, hospitals, and private homes.

Medical Assistants

Medical assistants are healthcare professionals who support the work of doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. They perform various tasks to help keep medical offices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities running smoothly.

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants work in various settings, including social service agencies, healthcare facilities, and schools, to assist and support individual needs. These gerontology professionals work with individuals of all ages experiencing social, emotional, or physical challenges.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor’s Degree in Gerontology?

Gerontology studies aging and older adults, and there are many different career paths. A bachelor’s degree in gerontology is a four-year undergraduate degree that provides students with a broad foundation in aging and the needs of older adults. With a bachelor’s degree in gerontology, you can find work in various settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and home healthcare agencies.

Some specific job titles you may qualify for with a bachelor’s gerontology degree include geriatric care manager, community health worker, social worker, nurse, and activity coordinator. You can also find work in government agencies or nonprofit organizations that serve older adults.

Some positions may require additional education or certification, so you should be prepared to continue your education to advance your gerontology career. In addition to these traditional career paths, you can use your bachelor’s degree in gerontology as a stepping stone to further education. Finally, your career in gerontology can advance with a master’s or doctoral degree.

Gerontological Nurse

Gerontological nurses specialize in medical services and care for elderly patients. They work in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. They may work with patients to manage chronic conditions, provide medication management, and help with activities of daily living.


Gerontologists are researchers and academics who study aging and the social, psychological, and biological factors that impact older adults. They may work in universities, government agencies, or private research organizations.

Geriatric Social Worker

Geriatric social workers work with older adults and their families to help them navigate the complex social, emotional, and practical challenges of aging. In addition, gerontological social workers may provide counseling support, help with financial and legal issues, and connect clients with resources and services. And gerontological social workers practice in many different settings. Hospitals, mental health clinics, aging services organizations, prisons, and social service agencies are typical employers.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Gerontology?

A master’s degree in gerontology is a postgraduate degree that provides students with advanced training in aging and the needs of older adults. With a master’s degree, you may be able to pursue a variety of gerontology career options, depending on your interests and goals. Some potential job titles you may be qualified for with a master’s degree in gerontology include gerontologist, geriatric care manager, senior social worker, and geriatric nurse practitioner.

You can also find work in research organizations, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations that serve older adults. In addition to these traditional career paths, you can use your gerontology degree to pursue leadership roles in the field, such as administrator or policymaker. Some positions may require additional education or certification, so you should be prepared to continue your education to advance your career.

Geriatric Care Manager

Geriatric care managers help older adults and their families navigate the complex healthcare system and make care decisions. For example, they may assess the needs of older adults, develop care plans, and coordinate services such as home health care and transportation.


Geriatricians are medical doctors who specialize in caring for older adults. These medical professionals work with older patients to diagnose and treat medical conditions and coordinate care with other healthcare professionals.

Geriatric Psychologist

These psychologists specialize in the psychological care of older adults. They work to address aging process issues such as depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline.

Gerontology Occupational Therapist

Gerontology occupational therapists work with the elderly population to help them maintain their independence and participate in activities of daily living. They may work with people recovering from injuries or chronic health conditions impacting their ability to perform everyday tasks. Gerontology occupational therapists may also work with people at risk of losing their independence due to aging or disability.

Medical and Health Services Manager

Medical and health services managers plan and direct healthcare services with other health professionals. These professionals work in hospitals, group medical practices, and nursing care facilities.

Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioners

A Gerontological Nurse Practitioner provides primary healthcare for elderly patients. In addition, adult geriatric nurse practitioners help patients manage the mental, physical, and also social effects of the aging process.

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What is the Salary for Gerontology Careers?

Gerontology is the study of aging and the issues that affect older adults. It is a growing field as the global population is aging, and there is an increasing demand for professionals with expertise in this area. The salary for a gerontologist can vary depending on several factors, including their level of education, years of experience, and job responsibilities.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for social workers who specialize in gerontology is $67,150. However, other professionals, such as healthcare workers and social and human service assistants, may have a lower or higher median annual wage.

What is the Gerontology Career Outlook?

Is gerontology a good career? A gerontology education qualifies graduates for careers in social work, nursing, occupational therapy, education, management, policy, and also research. The job outlook for gerontology careers is positive. The BLS projects employment in the field will grow faster than the average for all occupations between 2021 and 2031. This growth is partly due to the aging population and the increasing demand for gerontology services.

What is the job outlook for a gerontologist? It’s worth noting that job prospects and salary can vary depending on your chosen career in gerontology. For example, healthcare and social work jobs may have different job outlooks compared to positions in research or education. Research specific career paths and industries to better understand the job prospects and salary potential in those areas.