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Gerontology Major

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Gerontology

304 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
494 Master's Degrees Annually
#233 in Popularity
$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Gerontology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many gerontology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 494
Bachelor’s Degree 304
Basic Certificate 286
Graduate Certificate 201
Associate’s Degree 57
Doctor’s Degree 24
Undergraduate Certificate 14

What Gerontology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to gerontology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Gerontology Majors

Gerontology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills for Gerontology Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to gerontology:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Gerontology Majors

As you progress with your gerontology degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Gerontology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with gerontology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 13.4% $84,810
Transportation Planners 6.7% $81,340

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Gerontology?

304 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
90% Percent Women
46% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 304 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology in 2018, making it rank #233 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 90% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of gerontology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Gerontology Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 35
Black or African American 58
Hispanic or Latino 38
White 152
International Students 3
Other Races/Ethnicities 18

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Gerontology, too. About 1.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • Nepal
  • South Korea
  • India
  • Thailand

How Much Do Gerontology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology was $32,450 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $31,125 (25th percentile) and $33,575 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to gerontology.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $85,750 to $96,420 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to gerontology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Gerontology Major  ( 85750 to 96420 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with gerontology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to gerontology have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 34.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.7%
Master’s Degree 22.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.1%
Doctoral Degree 16.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 26.0%

Online Gerontology Programs

In 2017-2018, 192 schools offered a gerontology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 56 6
Certificate (1-2 years) 10 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 18 3
Bachelor’s Degree 70 16
Post-Baccalaureate 56 6
Master’s Degree 53 16
Post-Master’s 21 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 13 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Gerontology Worth It?

The median salary for a gerontology grad is $85,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 115% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $917,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to gerontology.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34,540
Biological & Physical Science 27,751
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Nutrition Science 4,990
Behavioral Science 4,502
Natural Sciences 2,445
Cognitive Science 1,875
Sustainability Science 1,682
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,297
Human Computer Interaction 1,146
Human Biology 1,066
Science, Technology & Society 1,060
Mathematics & Computer Science 833
Museum Studies 778
Systems Theory 694
Computational Science 619
Dispute Resolution 583
Historic Preservation 446
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 416
Classical & Ancient Studies 315
Marine Science 243
Cultural Studies & Analysis 236
Biopsychology 158
Medieval Studies 119
Holocaust Studies 54
Accounting & Computer Science 45
Maritime Studies 15

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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