10 Fastest-Growing Careers in Gerontology
The field of gerontology is growing rapidly due to the aging population rising over the next 20 years. According to Urban Institute, the demographic of adults aged 85 and above, which typically requires assistance with fundamental personal care, is projected to almost quadruple from 2000 to 2040.
This necessitates more people moving into gerontology careers to support the needs of the aging population. Here are 10 of the fastest-growing careers in gerontology you can pursue with a gerontology degree.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities: Gerontologists are experts in aging, researching and studying the complexities of the aging process. They may conduct research, offer counseling, and develop programs to enhance the well-being of older adults and their communities. Gerontologists derive satisfaction from deepening our understanding of aging and making a tangible difference in the lives of older adults.
Career Growth: Gerontologists can progress into leadership roles, such as senior researchers, professors, or directors of gerontology programs at universities. They can also contribute to shaping policies that affect older adults.
Salary Range: Salaries for gerontologists vary by location and experience but typically range from $200,723 to $238,413 per year according to Salary.com.
2. Gerontological Counselor
Day-to-Day Responsibilities: Gerontological counselors provide essential support to older adults and their families. They assess their clients’ needs, develop care plans, connect them with resources, and offer emotional support and counseling. Advocating for their clients’ rights and well-being is a fundamental part of their work. Gerontology counselors find fulfillment in improving the quality of life for older adults and their families by providing critical support during their golden years.
Career Growth: As the aging population continues to grow, there is a rising demand for gerontological counselors. They can progress into supervisory roles or specialize in areas like hospice care or dementia care.
Salary Range: According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for counselors falls between $52,740 and $67,274, with gerontological counselors earning potentially more due to their specialized expertise.
3. Aging Services Administrator
Day-to-Day Responsibilities: Aging services administrators oversee programs and services dedicated to older adults. They manage staff, budgets, and resources to ensure the delivery of high-quality care. Their work often involves coordinating activities at senior centers, nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. These professionals derive satisfaction from creating supportive environments that enhance the lives of older adults, allowing them to age with dignity and comfort.
Career Growth: The increasing demand for services catering to older adults offers excellent career prospects for aging services administrators. They can advance into executive roles within healthcare organizations or transition to consulting and advocacy.
Salary Range: Salaries for aging services administrators vary based on the organization and location, ranging from about $38,000 to $54,000 annually according to Salary.com.
4. Healthcare Administrator
Day-to-Day Responsibilities: Healthcare administrators in gerontology manage healthcare facilities and services tailored to the elderly population. They oversee operations, financial management, and quality assurance, ensuring older adults receive top-notch care. Healthcare administrators take pride in ensuring older adults receive high-quality care and that healthcare facilities operate efficiently to meet their unique needs.
Career Growth: The demand for healthcare administrators in gerontology is on the rise. Experienced administrators can ascend to higher-level positions within healthcare organizations or take on leadership roles.
Salary Range: According to Salary.com, the median annual salary for healthcare administrators is approximately $75,633, but those in gerontology may earn more due to the specialized nature of their work.
5. Program Coordinator for Senior Services
Day-to-Day Responsibilities: Program coordinators for senior services plan and execute various programs and activities designed to enrich the lives of older adults. They organize events, workshops, and outings, fostering a sense of community and engagement among seniors. Program coordinators find joy in creating vibrant and inclusive communities for older adults, enriching their lives through social activities and events.
Career Growth: With a growing emphasis on senior well-being, there’s an increasing demand for program coordinators in this field. They can advance to become senior program directors or branch out into event management.
Salary Range: The salary for health program coordinators varies by location and experience but generally falls between about $41,000 and $63,000 annually according to Salary.com.