Allied Health
Gerontologist

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Salary: $23,000 - $55,000
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Hourly: $11.06 - $26.44
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Outlook: 4 Stars
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Length of Training: 4-8 years
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Career Explorer
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Roadmap
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Gerontology: the study of the aging process and individuals as they get older from middle age through later life. It is a multi-disciplinary field which means that it draws from a number of different areas of study, not just one.

Gerontologist: one who studies the aging process and individuals as they age. Gerontologists may have a degree in gerontology or may be trained in nursing, sociology, psychology or another field.

Geriatrics: the study of health and disease in later life.

Areas of Specialization
Research gerontologists study the aging process in an academic setting to discover new ways of understanding and enriching the lives of the elderly. Gerontologists can also work directly with the elderly through developing programs, or provide direct care to frail, ill or impaired elderly persons in healthcare-related environments. Some gerontologists focus on administrative issues related to the elderly, using their business skills to coordinate different services available to this population. Other gerontologists choose to focus on advocacy and other avenues.


Work Environment

Gerontologists often work with other professionals, such as occupational and physical therapists, dietitians, or lawyers to improve the lives of elderly persons. Nursing homes, senior citizen centers and other community facilities also rely on gerontologists, and many gerontologists are involved in education. They may teach at a junior college, provide classes to the elderly, develop educational materials, offer counseling to the elderly and their families, or serve as a consultant for business, industry and labor interests. For this career field, it's important for the individual to enjoy working with older people and to be able to communicate well.