Gerontologists are individuals who study the physical psychological and social aspects of aging. They also apply their knowledge to policies and programs meant to address the needs of older adults. According to the website gerontology has a multidisciplinary focus so individuals from many different professions consider themselves to be gerontologists. Most have a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in a related field although several universities award interdisciplinary gerontology certificates or graduate degrees. In addition to formal classes those aspiring to a career in gerontology may also do an internship to get professional experience in a particular area. Although there is no certification for gerontologists some are licensed or certified by their specific profession such as clinical psychology or nursing. Many gerontologists teach and conduct research at colleges universities while others work for government agencies conducting research or administering or evaluating research programs. They may also work in the policy field trying to change laws to help older adults or in the housing field designing better communities or living units that will foster older adults’ independence. Still others work directly with older adults while trying to coordinate their health care or social services. There are varied career opportunities for gerontologists in human services fields such as social work and health care as well as in assisted and congregate living facilities retirement communities and nursing homes. The salaries gerontologists earn vary widely because of the diverse nature of the profession and they depend on employer location experience and the nature of the work performed. In general gerontologists earn between $30000 and $60000 a year although entry-level gerontologists can earn less and experienced gerontologists can earn considerably more.

Education Required: Master's Degree
Avg Salary: $45000
High Salary: $60000
Low Salary: $30000
Tasks: Studies the human ageing process.
Identifies the needs of the elderly population.
Plans programs for older persons.
Increases awareness of elderly peoples' needs for services.
Also Called: Sociologist
Gerontology Researcher
Social Worker
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