health care professionals who specialize in working with elderly patients.
They provide their services to people in nursing homes, senior citizen
centers, and other similar facilities. There are several different types
of gerontologists. Research gerontologists conduct research on the aging
process and the living environments of older persons in an effort to
understand and enrich the lives of the elderly. Applied gerontologists
work directly with the elderly, communicating with and analyzing
individuals, families, and groups. Administrative gerontologists use their
training and management skills to develop programs and coordinate services
that are necessary for elderly services to run smoothly. These
professionals may have degrees or training in nursing, psychology,
sociology, or other social services-related professions. Gerontologists
are responsible for educating older people by giving informative
presentations, publishing books and articles that pertain to the elderly
population, and producing relevant films and television programs.
Individuals interested in this line of work should enjoy working with
older people and have effective oral and written communication skills.
Anyone considering gerontology should be dedicated to a life of helping
Gerontologists work in a variety of employment settings including nursing
homes, senior citizen centers, hospitals, and public health offices. They
may also teach in schools and colleges, or work with other professionals
such as dietitians, occupational therapists, physical therapists, lawyers,
High School Preparation:
Students interested in a career in gerontology should take high school
courses in biology, chemistry, geometry, algebra, English, health
occupations/medical professions education, sociology, literature,
psychology, computer skills, social studies, and nurse aide training.
Individuals interested in gerontology must have a high school diploma or
the equivalent. Many colleges and universities offer various levels of
training in gerontology, but since it is a multidisciplinary career it
draws from a variety of fields. Many of these institutions offer
associate, bachelors, and master's programs in gerontology, and some offer
research programs at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels. There is
currently no accreditation or licensure required after the completion of
an accredited program. Students interested in gerontology should contact
schools for information on admission and course of study.
institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study
Employment opportunities for gerontologists are expected to grow much
faster than the average for all other occupations. Over the next eight
years job opportunities will increase by over 36%. Social services
directed toward the elderly will be a major responsibility for the health
care community. Nursing homes and other facilities that care for the
elderly will need many more professionals to insure that facilities and
programs are capable of handling the rising elderly population. As the
baby-boom generation becomes increasingly older, demand for gerontology
professionals will skyrocket. As in most occupations, many openings will
result from the need to replace workers who transfer, retire, or stop
working for some other reason.
Average Annual Salary
*Varies greatly depending on education and
The Gerontological Society of America
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 842-1275
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 240
Washington, DC 20005-1503
Phone: (202) 289-9806
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