Careers in Gerontology

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As people live longer, and the United States population continues to grow older, the need for understanding how to work with and for the elder population becomes more and more important. Even if you are working on a degree in another field, consider a minor, and boost your career opportunities.

Gerontology Job Roles: (adapted from AGHE)

Some professionals work directly with older persons. Their activities may include:

  • Developing programs such as health promotion, senior theater groups, or intergenerational activites for older persons in senior centers, community agencies, or retirement communities.
  • Providing direct care to frail, ill, or impaired older persons in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or through aduld day care or home.
  • Counseling older persons and their families about issues of caregiving, employment, death and dying or mental health.
  • Advising older clients about estate planning and investments, financing long-term care or housing options.

Other professionals are less directly involved with older persons, but work on their behalf, educate others or investigate issues in the field of aging. Examples of their activities include:

  • Conducting research on the aging processes and diseases associated with aging such as Alzheimer's disease or asteoporosis.
  • Analyzing issues related to older persons such as retirement. opportunities, income maintenance, the health care system and housing alternatives.
  • Planning, administering and evaluating community-based services and service delivery systems for older persons.
  • Teaching courses on aging to college and university students, health care professionals and older adults.
  • Designing products to meet the special needs of older persons.
  • Advising business, industry and labor regarding older workers and consumers.

Some professionals devote themselves full-time to the field of aging; others divide their time between aging and other areas of interest within their disciplinary, professional or clinical areas.

Options for Gerontology Majors PDF document compiled by Dave McVey in the Sacramento State Career Center.

Where Do Gerontologists Work and What Do They Do? PDF document compiled by Marti A. Klein of the Andrus Gerontology Center and modified by Dr. Cheryl Osborne and Janelle Thurber.