What does a Gerontologist do?

Gerontologists specialize in working with the elderly. Some have degrees in gerontology and others enter the field after receiving training in nursing, sociology, psychology or a related human services profession, usually having completed additional formal training such as a certificate in aging studies.

What might a Gerontologist do in a workday?


  • provide services to those in nursing homes or similar facilities.
  • plan and conduct programs at senior citizen centers or within a community.
  • research the aging process and related issues concerning the elderly.
  • educate and counsel the elderly and their families.
  • teach at colleges and universities.
  • inform others through presentations, publications or other forms of outreach.
  • advise business, industry and labor about older workers and consumers.

Developing a Career in Gerontology

Gerontologists may work in nursing homes, senior citizen centers, hospitals, clinics or public health offices, along with occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians or others interested in improving the quality of life for the elderly.

How much salary do Gerontologists make?

Annual Mean Wage

How do I become a Gerontologist?

Those interested in a career in gerontology should take well-rounded, challenging high school course work, including science, math and English.

Depending on career aspirations, students can earn a certificate, an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate in gerontology. Postdoctoral research programs also are offered. Educational programs also are available through distance learning programs. In nearly all cases, the more education received in the field, the greater the responsibilities, autonomy and pay.

Where else can I learn about becoming a Gerontologist?

Professional Associations:

Gerontological Society of America
1220 L St. N.W.
Suite 901
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 842-1275

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
1220 L St. N.W.
Suite 901
Washington, DC 20005-4018
(202) 289-9806

Virginia Geriatrics Society
P.O. Box 24305
Richmond, VA 23224
(804) 628-4850

Find Local Support

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