Gerontology

Earnings Potential

Median annual earnings of social and human service assistants were $24,270 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,220 and $30,900. The top 10 percent earned more than $39,620, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,480.

Facts at a glance

  • While a bachelor’s degree usually is not required, employers increasingly seek individuals with relevant work experience or education beyond high school.
  • Employment is projected to grow much faster than average.
  • Job opportunities should be excellent, particularly for applicants with appropriate postsecondary education, but pay is low.

Summary of what this career entails

An individual, who works in the field of gerontology, is working in the field of human service, only its service for elderly people.  What the person does is make sure that anyone in his/her care gets the best possible treatment so that he/she is able to function at his/her best. The people who use the services are clients and often a human service worker will asses the person’s situation and decide if he/she needs aid like food stamps for example. Gerontology workers are important in their community, because they play many roles. Roles for human service workers include organizing and leading group activities and assisting clients in need of counseling. 

Examples and or details of work

Issues that gerontologists may be interested in not only include aging, but how to prevent the process of it from coming more rapidly than it needs to. One of the volumes in the book Interdisciplinary Topics in Gerontology has a section devoted to the process aging. The reason that gerontologists would be interested in such a topic is the fact that they obviously work with older people and said older people count on them for advice on how to live longer. According to the book, a smart healthy diet is an important key to living for a long time. Dietary Restriction or DR is thought by many in the medical profession to be the most important dietary factor in terms of the restriction of aging. Where the field of gerontology comes in, besides a worker giving guidance and advice to patients, is that many gerontology labs are the places of research for the anti-aging hypothesis.

Degrees that lead to this career

Degrees needed for a career in gerontology include associates or certificates in social work, counseling, rehabilitation and human services.

Specific Career openings in this field

Specific careers in the field include social and human service assistant, supportive counseling, coordinator, manager, case management aide, social work assistant, community support worker, mental health aide, community outreach worker, life skill counselor, gerontology aide, gerontology social workers, registered nurse, and a sociologist specializing in gerontology.

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Social and Human Service Assistants, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos059.htm Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Social Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos060.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Registered Nurses, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm.

Word Press. Wordpress.com. 26 October 2006. 31 October 2006. http://ouroboros.wordpress.com/

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