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Gerontology Major

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Gerontology

298 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
416 Master's Degrees Annually
#234 in Popularity
$85,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Gerontology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many gerontology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 416
Bachelor’s Degree 298
Basic Certificate 267
Graduate Certificate 199
Associate’s Degree 60
Doctor’s Degree 30
Undergraduate Certificate 11

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

This major prepares you for careers in which these 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

When studying gerontology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

A major in gerontology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

298 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
89% Percent Women
51% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 298 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology in 2019, making it rank #234 in popularity. This major is dominated by women with about 89% of recent graduates being 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 48
Black or African American 51
Hispanic or Latino 44
White 136
International Students 1
Other Races/Ethnicities 18

Geographic Diversity

Gerontology appeals to people across the globe. About 0.3% 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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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to gerontology.

Salaries According to BLS

Gerontology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $85,750 to $96,420 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 degrees associated with gerontology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 200 schools offered some type of gerontology program. 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 8
Certificate (1-2 years) 10 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 1
Associate’s Degree 17 3
Bachelor’s Degree 74 16
Post-Baccalaureate 56 8
Master’s Degree 51 14
Post-Master’s 20 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 14 0
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 37,392
Biological & Physical Science 29,278
International Studies 7,967
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,609
Nutrition Science 4,794
Behavioral Science 3,731
Natural Sciences 2,571
Cognitive Science 2,275
Sustainability Science 2,194
Human Biology 1,460
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,310
Human Computer Interaction 1,272
Science, Technology & Society 1,171
Mathematics & Computer Science 1,105
Computational Science 927
Systems Theory 917
Museum Studies 801
Dispute Resolution 668
Historic Preservation 433
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 424
Classical & Ancient Studies 303
Marine Science 275
Cultural Studies & Analysis 227
Biopsychology 165
Medieval Studies 108
Accounting & Computer Science 71
Maritime Studies 45
Holocaust Studies 40

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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