Career Paths

Gerontological workers and specialists have the pleasure of working with older adults to improve their quality of life. Their extensive knowledge of aging makes them a valuable asset in a number of environments. Moreover, as the aging population grows at an unprecedented rate — there will be about 2.5 working-age adults for every retirement-age person in the U.S. by 2060 — these professionals will remain in high demand in the years and decades to come.

Career Opportunities in Gerontology

Gerontologists specialize in the study of age-related biologic, sociologic and psychologic changes and apply this knowledge toward policies beneficial for aging populations. These professionals help older adults maintain their health and independence as they transition from one stage of life to the next. Lending their expertise in hospice facilities, nursing homes and client homes, gerontologists are caregivers for a segment of the population who may struggle to perform everyday activities. Across a growing and broad field, gerontologists can find numerous career opportunities, including:

  • Health services manager:
    • Median salary: $104,280 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 32%
  • Recreational therapist:
    • Median salary: $47,950 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 8%
  • Social worker:
    • Median salary: $51,760 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 13%

Career Opportunities in Geriatrics

Geriatricians are medical professionals devoted to the prevention and treatment of age-related illnesses through the application of high-quality, person-centered care. Among health professionals, geriatricians report some of the highest levels of job satisfaction. This professional fulfillment stems from their essential role in the medical field, which allows them to experience meaningful relationships with older adults, work on a health care team and enjoy a healthy work-life balance. With their specialized training, geriatricians are highly prized in the health care field and are employed in a number of exciting and rewarding positions, including:

  • Physician:
    • Median salary: $218,850 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 4%
  • Nurse practitioner:
    • Median salary: $117,670 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 45%
  • Physician assistant:
    • Median salary: $115,390 per year
    • Employment growth through 2029: 31%