As the percentage of Americans over the age of 60 booms, so do job opportunities—and earning potential—in gerontology
By 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts roughly one in five Americans will be 65 or older. In addition, about 15 million Americans over the age of 55 are childless, and that statistic is expected to continue growing. As a result, the United States finds itself with a growing shortage of care specialists focused on the elderly. This all means that the need for caring and ethical leaders in the field of gerontology is more important than ever.
If you’re considering earning a Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) with a concentration in gerontology, you might be wondering, “Why study gerontology?” or “What is the average gerontology degree salary?” This article can answer some of your questions and help you decide whether concentrating on gerontology is right for you. Earning an M.H.A. in gerontology will make you a more attractive applicant for the positions we discuss in this article. We’ll cover FAQs like, “What can you do with a degree in gerontology?” and “What is the gerontology career outlook?”
M.H.A. in Gerontology Salary: Understanding the Numbers
Are you patient and attentive to others’ needs? If you are, and you enjoy working with older adults, a degree in gerontology might be a great fit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the healthcare industry will see the largest increase in employment between 2019 and 2029 among occupational categories in the United States. Largely, the gerontology career outlook follows this increase in job growth.
If you’re thinking about how to get a job that lets you work with aging individuals and you’re wondering what the gerontology career outlook is like, you have plenty of options for careers after graduation that can help you earn a gerontology degree salary. Here are just a few to consider:
M.H.A. in Gerontology Salary for a Manager and Leader
- Medical and health services manager: $100,000 or more
You might be wondering, “What can you do with a degree in gerontology that involves leading others?” If so, a career as a medical and health services manager might be for you. Medical and health services managers plan, direct and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers. Individuals with expertise in gerontology can help professionals understand the issues facing older adults in their medical facilities.
People working as medical and health services managers earn an average of $104,280, according to a recent BLS report. That same report projects that employment of medical and health services managers will grow 32% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for every occupation.
- Administrative services manager: $98,000 or more
Administrative services managers coordinate, direct and plan services that support organizations and help them run smoothly. According to recent data from the BLS, administrative service managers with a gerontology degree earn an average salary of $98,890 per year. Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 9% through 2030.
What Can You Do With a Degree in Gerontology if You Want to Work with Individuals?
- Geriatric physician assistant: $93,000
Geriatric physician assistants work with doctors and healthcare providers to diagnose conditions, explain lab results, prescribe medication, perform physical exams and assist in medical procedures for older adult patients. As a geriatric physician assistant, you could earn a favorable gerontology degree salary working in clinics, hospitals or nursing homes. On average geriatric physician assistants earn an average of $108,000 a year, according to Salary.com.
- Geriatric care manager: $63,000
For anyone still wondering, “Why study gerontology?”, geriatric care management lets you help older Americans and their families who might otherwise lack the ability to care for those individuals. Geriatric care managers counsel aging adults who are experiencing or anticipating a decrease in their ability to live independently. When families of aging parents can’t care for them, they may hire a geriatric care manager for a short or extended time. To determine what kind of care is required, geriatric care managers may conduct surveys involving the aging adults, their family members and healthcare providers. According to Payscale.com, geriatric care managers make an average of $63,000 per year.
- Occupational therapist: $86,000
Occupational therapists help people with physical challenges develop the skills they need to accomplish everyday tasks. With a degree in gerontology, you will most likely work in nursing homes or visit older patients’ homes. According to the BLS, occupational therapists earn $86,280 per year, and job growth is predicted to be 17%. That’s much faster growth than other occupations.
Gerontology Career Outlook and Salary for Research-Focused Roles
- Research assistant—gerontology: $55,000
Many individuals who want to study gerontology ask, “What can you do with a degree in gerontology that involves research and lab work?” If you’re one of these individuals, you should consider a career as a research assistant. Research assistants who focus on gerontology primarily work in academic labs or a clinical setting. Their main duties may include project management, data collection and analysis, conducting interviews, coordinating groups, writing reports and creating presentations to share research findings with the public or other researchers. Areas of gerontological research typically include caregiving, longevity, aging population health and demographics. The average salary for a research assistant is $54,788 according to Payscale.com.
So, to answer your question, “Why study gerontology,” a gerontology master’s program or certification can make you a competitive applicant for these positions. It can also help advance your career and potentially earn a higher gerontology degree salary. Show potential employers that you’re serious about your education and dedication to helping others.
Make a Difference While Earning More With an M.H.A. in Gerontology from Concordia University, Nebraska
The jobs and salaries listed above are just a small sample of the gerontology career outlook. You now have answers to the questions, “What can you do with a degree in gerontology?” and “Why study gerontology?” You also have a better idea about what a good gerontology salary is. It’s time for you to take the next step and find a program that’s right for you.
The gerontology program you receive your degree from matters to potential employers.
Your master’s-level course work should cover topics such as healthcare law and ethics, health information technology, healthcare organization management and long-term care administration. This will set you up with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills when you enter the job market. Make sure that the program you choose offers a practicum or other means of working in the field with patients. This will help you gain valuable hands-on work experience and build a rich resume that will attract employers and show your commitment to healthcare.
At Concordia University, Nebraska, we pride ourselves on offering a well-balanced M.H.A. program in gerontology led by distinguished experts in the field. With a distinctive blend of theory, research and hands-on experience, our gerontology degree will prepare you to succeed in whichever healthcare career path you choose. Our 70-hour practicum will provide you the opportunity to gain experience in a healthcare organization and to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve accrued in your classes. Since we offer an entirely online master’s program, you can design the schedule that works for your life. Earn your gerontology degree from Concordia Nebraska to start making a difference and earning a good gerontology degree salary.