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Gerontologist Salaries

Gerontology is the study of aging over the lifespan, and gerontologists provide services to people in hospitals, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, universities and other sites. Because the field is multi-disciplinary in nature, it includes many different occupations that range from nursing and nutrition to psychology and occupational therapy and, like other professions, experience, geographic location and even certification can determine how much an individual earns per year.

However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specifically provide occupational information for gerontological careers. Instead, these careers are encompassed within broader occupational descriptions, such as those for nurse practitioners or physician assistants. That said, the mean occupational wage for individuals employed in the healthcare practitioner and technical occupations, which could include those in gerontology, was $76,010 as of May 2014. Of course, this includes ranges, varying from $31,570 or lower for the bottom 10 percent of earners to $133,600 or higher for the top 10 percent.

Physician assistants with a gerontology certification, speech pathologists, geriatric nurses, geriatric nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists and psychologists can be among the highest-earning professionals in gerontology careers, usually earning anything between $75,000 and $150,000. As an example, physician assistants, who can work with gerontological patients, earned mean annual wages of $97,280, as of May 2014, shows the BLS. Job growth in the field is expected to be 38 percent, which is must faster than average, from 2012 to 2022.

Audiologists, overall, had mean annual wages of $76,790, as of May 2014, and anticipated 2012-2022 job growth of 34 percent, which is must faster than average. Occupational therapists, who can also work in gerontological care, saw mean annual wages of $80,000 while psychologists' mean wages were $89,810, shows the BLS. Anticipated job growth, from 2012 to 2022, is 29 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Nurse practitioners, who can specialize in gerontological care, earned mean annual wages of $97,990 and had anticipated job growth of 31 percent, which is must faster than average.

Of course, in any field, there are entry-level positions, which typically do not offer as much pay but require much less training in terms of education. In gerontology, these can include positions for medical assistants, who had mean annual wages of $31,220 and job growth of 29 percent. Also, home health aides earned mean annual wages of $22,400 and had job growth of 48 percent, which is much faster than average. While the wages available in healthcare can vary, job growth for the most part is expected to be strong.

The U.S. Census Bureau showed that, as of 2010, 13 percent of the overall population in the U.S. was aged 65 or older. This percent is only expected to grow upward, meaning that there could be good opportunities for those in gerontology. In fact, the U.S. Census predicts that by 2030, more than 20 percent of the U.S. population should be age 65 or older.


Sources:

  1. An Aging Nation, U.S. Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p25-1140.pdf
  2. Audiologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291181.htm
  3. Audiologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/audiologists.htm
  4. Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes290000.htm
  5. Home Health Aides, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes311011.htm
  6. Home Health Aides, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides.htm
  7. Medical Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319092.htm
  8. Medical Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319092.htm
  9. Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
  10. Nurse Practitioners, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm
  11. Occupational Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291122.htm
  12. Occupational Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/occupational-therapists.htm
  13. Physician Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291071.htm
  14. Physician Assistants, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm
  15. Psychologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
  16. Psychologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
  17. What is a Gerontologist? Virginia Commonwealth University. http://sahp.vcu.edu/departments/gerontology/about-us/what-is-a-gerontologist/

Gerontology Schools