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Gerontology Major

879 yearly degrees
#233 in popularity
$86,000 median salary

Gerontology is a major that typically falls into the Multi / Interdisciplinary Studies category.

There are 18 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in gerontology, 34 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 53 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 13 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Gerontology Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only 400 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology in 2017. This major is dominated by women with about 89.8% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 11.5%
  • Black or African American: 19.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 12.5%
  • White: 50%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 1%
  • Other Races: 5.9%
Gerontology Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in gerontology. About 1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending gerontology majors to the U.S. are China, Nepal and South Korea.

What Will You Learn as a Gerontology Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to gerontology to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Gerontology Majors

A major in gerontology should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

Important Knowledge Areas for Gerontology Majors

Skills for Gerontology Majors

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

Important Skills for Gerontology Majors

Abilities for Gerontology Majors

Gerontology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

Important Abilities for gerontology Majors

What Can You Do With a Gerontology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with gerontology:

Careers Related to Gerontology
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Transportation Planners



Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists



Gerontology Major Salary

Average salaries range from $86,000 to $96,000 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Gerontology Major  ( 86000 to 96000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Gerontology Major Jobs

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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for gerontology careers below.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Gerontology
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Gerontology Programs

There are 34 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in gerontology, with 5 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.

Is a Gerontology Major Worth It?

The median salary for a gerontology grad is $86,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 120% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $937,000 after 20 years!

gerontology salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Photo by Chalmers Butterfield via License

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