After graduating from college, it can be difficult to find the ideal job. Fortunately, we have you covered if you have a gerontology degree. We discovered the jobs that most gerontology majors prefer by analyzing millions of job listings and 2,572 gerontology major resumes. In this article, we would be discussing the top 20 Highest Paying Jobs in Gerontology in 2022. Gerontology is, at its core, the study of aging. While geriatrics is concerned with the treatment of age-related issues, gerontology is concerned with the causes of aging and how it affects the body, mind, and health.

The field has a wide range of applications, and research has nearly limitless potential for improving health. Students can expect to learn about a wide range of human-based biological concepts, such as anatomy, physiology, and psychology.

What Exactly Is Gerontology?

Gerontology is the multidisciplinary study of older people’s mental, physical, and social characteristics, as well as how they are affected by the aging process. A career in gerontology entails providing healthcare to the elderly and developing disease prevention strategies for older adults. A gerontology degree prepares students for careers in a variety of fields such as human services, nursing homes, retirement communities, health care and long-term institutional care, and government agencies.

Gerontologists can work with older adults as nursing aides, social workers, occupational therapists, social scientists, healthcare managers, or as advocates for the elderly. Many nurses and doctors, for example, specialize in caring for elderly patients and have a career in gerontology, even if the term is never used. Gerontology jobs are concerned with the study and care of aging adults. You could research the psychology of the elderly, provide health care and therapy, or develop tools and equipment to help people age more comfortably.

Biology, biopsies, and cadaver examination are common tasks in research positions. Positions in health care are far more common than those in research. Many jobs in this field are advertised under different names, so if you want to focus on providing care or services to the elderly, you may need to look under several different terms.

Why Is Gerontology A Valuable Career Path?

We live in an aging country with an aging population. Adults will outnumber children in the United States by 2035, according to population projections. The population of Americans over the age of 65 has increased by 33% in the last decade, and this figure is expected to double by 2060. Furthermore, the population of those aged 85 and up is expected to grow by 129% by 2040. According to the United States Census Bureau, there were 54 million U.S. residents over the age of 65 in July 2019, accounting for 15% of the total U.S. population.

As the number of elderly people increases, so will the demand for gerontology professionals to provide them with proper medical care. With this in mind, choosing high-paying jobs in gerontology should be a top priority, especially if you intend to pursue a career in this field.

What Are the Requirements for a Job in Gerontology?

The primary qualifications for a job in gerontology vary depending on the position. Doctors must have a doctorate and usually specialize in caring for elderly patients, whereas nurses must have a nursing license. Many research positions also require a doctorate, though lab assistants with a high school diploma or an associate degree can find work. It is worth noting that jobs focusing on the elderly are typically more complicated than jobs focusing on children and young adults.

Older people have a much broader range of problems and symptoms, so caregivers and researchers must know more to provide accurate information and care. Fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of a gerontology job necessitates good communication skills as well as a willingness to learn new things regularly.

How Much Does Gerontology Make?

The average annual salary for a Gerontology in the United States is $149,277 as of November 8, 2021. In case you need a quick salary calculator, that works out to be around $71.77 per hour. This equates to $2,871 per week or $12,440 per month. While ZipRecruiter reports annual salaries as high as $400,000 and as low as $53,000, the majority of Gerontology salaries currently range from $100,500 to $161,500 per year across the United States.

The average pay range for a Gerontology varies greatly (up to $61,000), implying that there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience. The Gerontology job market in Chicago, IL, and the surrounding area is very active, according to recent ZipRecruiter job postings. A Gerontology in your area earns an average annual salary of $152,812, which is $3,535 (2 percent) higher than the national average annual salary of $149,277.

Gerontology salaries in California are the highest in the country, ranking first out of 50 states.

What Are The Top Ten Cities With The Highest Pay For Gerontology Jobs?

We’ve identified ten cities where the average Gerontology salary is higher than the national average. San Jose, CA is at the top of the list, followed by Oakland, CA, and Tanaina, AK in second and third place, respectively. Tanaina, AK outperforms the national average by $29,012 (19.4 percent), and San Jose, CA outperforms the national average by another $31,806 (21.3 percent). Importantly, the Gerontology job market in San Jose, CA is moderately active, with only a few companies currently hiring for this type of position.

With average salaries higher than the national average in these ten cities, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Gerontologist appear to be extremely fruitful. Finally, another factor to consider is that the average salary in these top ten cities varies only by 4% between San Jose, CA, and Concord, CA, reinforcing the limited potential for wage advancement. When weighing location and salary for a Gerontology role, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the most important factor to consider.

City Annual Salary Monthly Pay  Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
San Jose, CA $181,084       $15,090         $3,482            $87.06
Oakland, CA $179,023 $14,919         $3,443            $86.07
Tanaina, AK $178,290 $14,857         $3,429            $85.72
Wasilla, AK $178,287 $14,857         $3,429            $85.71
Hayward, CA $175,275       $14,606         $3,371            $84.27
Jackson, WY $175,085 $14,590         $3,367            $84.18
Norwalk, CT $174,626       $14,552 $3,358 $83.95
Seattle, WA $174,067 $14,506         $3,347            $83.69
Vallejo, CA $174,024 $14,502         $3,347            $83.67
Concord, CA $173,656 $14,471         $3,340            $83.49

In the United States, a gerontology major graduate can expect to earn $59,217 per year or $28.47 per hour. If you are in the top 10%, you will earn more than $100,000 per year; however, if you are in the bottom 10%, you will earn less than $34,000 per year.

When it comes to the number of job opportunities, health care, and retail companies are the best. California, Oregon, Connecticut, New York, and Alaska are some of the states in the United States with the highest salaries for gerontology major graduates.

We identified five relevant jobs by analyzing similar jobs in the Gerontology job category. None, however, pay more than the $149,277 average salary for Gerontology jobs. Nonetheless, positions such as Gerontology Nurse, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, or Gerontological Nurse Practitioner may be of interest.

Job Title Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay   Hourly Wage
Gerontology Nurse Practitioner $111,870       $9,322            $2,151            $53.78
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner $108,230 $9,019            $2,081            $52.03
Gerontology Nurse  $100,856       $8,405            $1,940 $48.49
Gerontology Counseling    $99,145         $8,262            $1,907            $47.67
Gerontology Research       $98,743         $8,229            $1,899            $47.47

Salary estimates, histograms, trends, and comparisons on ZipRecruiter are derived from both employer job postings and third-party data sources.

Top 20 Highest Paying Gerontology Jobs (2022)

If you’re ready to start a career in gerontology, here are some of the highest-paying jobs you should look into.

1. Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists assess, plan, and organize programs aimed at developing or restoring homemaking, vocational, and daily living skills in patients with specific medical conditions or disabilities, as well as those who have suffered serious injuries. They also assist elderly people in maintaining their independence by improving their ability to perform basic daily living tasks. Occupational therapists also assist elderly patients in recovering from aging-related conditions such as stroke and arthritis.

Professionals in this field should start with a bachelor’s degree. Before they can practice, occupational therapists must typically obtain a master’s degree, complete fieldwork, pass a national exam, and become licensed. Occupational therapists earn a median annual salary of $67,068 according to PayScale. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the other hand, estimates their median annual wage to be $86,280, with the highest-paid occupational therapists earning more than $122,670 per year.

2. Gerontology Nurse

Gerontology nurses are registered nurses who specialize in caring for the elderly. They specialize in treating senior patients’ medical conditions such as heart disease, mobility issues, and injuries. To become a registered nurse, nurses must pass the NCLEX-RN exam. A bachelor’s degree is often obtained by RNs, though it is not required. The number of gerontology nurse jobs is expected to increase by 12% between 2018 and 2028.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. Registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $75,330, with the highest earners earning more than $116,230 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 7% increase in employment in this field from 2019 to 2029.

3. Intermediate Care Facility Manager

An ICF Manager oversees and manages the operations of an intermediate care facility (ICF). An intermediate care facility provides health-related care and services to patients or individuals who do not require the level of care provided by skilled nursing facilities or hospitals but still require critical health care and services. These facilities care for the elderly and the developmentally disabled.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology. The median annual salary for an intermediate care facility manager is $65,478 per year, with top earners earning more than $92,000.

4. Geriatric Social Worker

Working as an elderly social worker is one of the highest-paying jobs in gerontology. Geriatric social workers assist elderly patients in hospitals and outpatient care facilities with their transition back to their homes. They also offer therapy to elderly patients who are suffering from mental health issues as a result of their medical conditions. Professional social workers should first obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field. Individuals may choose to pursue a master’s degree to become clinical social workers.

Clinical and nonclinical social workers are typically required to be licensed to practice. This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. According to Maryville University, the median annual salary for geriatric social workers is $50,470, which is close to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ wage projection of $57,630. Geriatric social workers with the highest pay earn more than $87,150 per year.

Gerontologists who work as community health workers help the elderly in their communities improve their health. They help the elderly adopt healthy behaviors and act as advocates for their health needs by assisting them in communicating with social service agencies and healthcare providers. They also serve as advocates and assist in the implementation of programs that promote, maintain, and improve the individual and overall health of the elderly in the community.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology. A geriatric community health worker’s annual salary is $42,000, with top earners earning more than $70,790.

6. Qualified Professional in Developmental Disabilities (QDDP)

QDDP is a certified healthcare professional who has spent at least a year working directly with people with developmental disabilities. A doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a registered nurse, or a bachelor’s degree in a human science field such as social work, sociology, psychology, or rehabilitation counseling are all acceptable.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for QDDPs is $38,066 per year, with top earners earning more than $49,500.

7. Nursing and Home Health Aides

Patients who are physically or mentally ill are cared for by nursing and home health aides. Nursing assistants work in nursing homes, hospitals, or mental health facilities, whereas home health aides work in the homes of their patients. Geriatric aides’ responsibilities include assisting patients with meals, assisting with personal hygiene, and keeping patients’ rooms clean. They may also be responsible for administering medications or assisting with medical equipment such as ventilators.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology. Nursing and home health aides earn a median annual salary of $27,080, with top earners earning close to $37,000

8. Eldercare Specialist

This is typically a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) who works in a long-term care facility advocating for the needs of the elderly and providing services that make older people who live away from their homes feel more at ease. They may also collaborate with an in-home care agency to meet the needs of older people who require assistance in remaining in their homes. They may help with shopping, arrange social activities, provide transportation, and provide other services that allow the elderly client to maintain some level of independence.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these caregivers earn a median salary of $33,120.

9. Service or Life Enrichment Coordinator

Social and human service assistants provide client services and family support, in fields such as rehabilitation, psychology, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they assist clients in locating benefits or community services. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology.

Starting Salary $27,000 – $35,000

Top Locations: New York, NY; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Plano, TX; Vancouver, WA; Houston, TX;

10. Social Gerontologist

A social gerontologist is someone who advocates for the elderly’s needs. He or she informs older people about available resources and develops community programs to meet their needs. Counseling or therapy may also be provided by these professionals to the elderly and their families. They usually have a master’s degree in geriatrics or psychology with a gerontology concentration. Professionals in this field assist elderly patients transitioning from hospitals or outpatient care facilities back to their homes.

They may also provide therapy to older adults who are suffering from mental health issues as a result of their medical conditions. This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for social gerontologists is $79,650.

11. Geriatrics Healthcare Specialist

This is a gerontology medical specialty that includes both physicians and nurses. The geriatrics specialist promotes health in the elderly population through preventative measures as well as the treatment of diseases and disabilities that affect older adults. They may specialize in audiology, geriatric pharmacy, podiatry, or other areas. The health specialist who works with older people understands both their psychological and physical needs and has a higher success rate in treating older patients.

These professionals are paid differently depending on their education and level of experience. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology. A registered nurse working in geriatrics can earn up to $70,000 per year.

12. Nursing Home Administrator

Medical and health services managers, also known as healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services. They may be in charge of a specific clinical area or department, an entire facility, or a group of physicians. Medical and health service managers must direct changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology. This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration.

Starting Salary $50,000

Top Locations: Houston, TX; Cincinnati, OH; Denver, CO;  

13. Career Coordinator

School counselors assist students in developing academic and social skills and succeeding in school. Career counselors help people make career decisions by assisting them in developing skills or selecting a career or educational program. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology.

Starting Salary $28,000

Top Locations: Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Houston, TX;  

14. Activity Coordinator

Recreation workers design and lead leisure activities for groups in recreation facilities or volunteer agencies such as parks, playgrounds, camps, sport centers and aquatic centers. They may direct activities such as arts and crafts, dance, sports, adventure programs, music, and camping. This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration.

Starting Salary: $29,000

Top Locations: New York, NY; Orlando, FL; Las Vegas, NV;  

15. Certified Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants, also known as nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas. Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and offer advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology.

Starting Salary $30,000

Top Locations: Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Saint Louis, MO; Detroit, MI;

16. Health Educator

Health educators educate and develop strategies to improve the community and individual health. They can work in hospitals, colleges, for-profit businesses, and non-profit organizations. Health educators must have a bachelor’s degree and may also be licensed. These individuals can specialize as gerontologists. They should start with a bachelor’s degree. Some employers, such as the Certified Health Education Specialist credential, require certification.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. Between 2018 and 2028, the projected rate of job growth is 11%.

$46,910 per year

17. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

Counselors for substance abuse and behavioral disorders assist people suffering from alcoholism, eating disorders, and drug addiction. They assist clients in changing their behavior by offering support and treatment. They must have a bachelor’s degree and, in some cases, a license. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology.

$46,240 per year

18. Elder Law Practitioner

Lawyers in this geriatric specialization ensure that workplaces make appropriate accommodations for working older people and assist them in navigating Medicare wage regulations. They also work to prevent elder abuse and to assist families in making decisions about their elderly loved ones’ ability to manage their finances and living arrangements. Furthermore, because more elderly people than ever before have disposable income, they assist in the planning of retirements and inheritances.

They collaborate with individuals and their caregivers to make healthcare decisions and to plan for long-term health. This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. Lawyers earn a median salary of $119,250, according to the BLS.

19. Assisted Living Director

This professional, not to be confused with an activity director, work in long-term care facilities, managing staff, and making financial decisions for the facility. They also ensure that the facility complies with federal and state regulations and that all personnel has the necessary education and certification for their positions. These professionals typically hold an MBA with a specialization in healthcare or gerontology. This is one of the highest paying jobs in geriatrics and among the fastest-growing careers in gerontology. According to the BLS, the median salary for these individuals is $98,350.

20. Social and Community Service Managers

Gerontologists in these positions provide educational resources and health-improvement strategies to older adults in their communities. Community health workers conduct outreach programs and facilitate access to healthcare services, while health educators host community events and create educational materials. Managers of social and community services plan and coordinate social service programs in their communities. They supervise social workers and other employees who provide clients with social services.

This is one of the highest paying jobs in gerontology and among the top careers in public health administration. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for this position. These professionals are frequently employed by government and non-profit organizations.

$67,150 per year

Conclusion

These are some notable high-paying gerontology jobs that we believe you might be interested in. These occupations are likely to be in higher demand in the future as the elderly population grows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can You Do With A Gerontology Degree?

If you need to stick to a schedule rather than applying for jobs at random, you’ve come to the right place. It may be useful to know that we have created a career path map for gerontology majors to use to find career paths that they may not have considered previously. A map is a useful tool for determining your major’s career potential.

Average Salary For Gerontology Major Jobs

As a gerontology major, you may be surprised at how much your salary can vary depending on the industry you choose to work in. For example, if you worked in education, you might only make $34,745 per year, whereas you could make $63,047 in the health care industry. If money is the most important factor for you, you should carefully consider the industry in which you want to work.

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