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Gerontologist

   
Gerontologists are 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 people.

Work Environment:

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, or counselors.

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.

College Requirements:

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.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

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.
 

 

Salary:
Average Annual Salary
$41,800


Salary Range
$28,500-$55,300*

*Varies greatly depending on education and
experience

 

Professional Organizations:

The Gerontological Society of America
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 842-1275
Web: www.geron.org

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
1030 15th Street NW, Suite 240
Washington, DC 20005-1503
Phone: (202) 289-9806
Web: www.aghe.org
 

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