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Gerontology Major

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Gerontology

416 Master's Degrees Annually
30 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#159 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Graduate Certificate 199
Doctor’s Degree 30

What Gerontology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, gerontology majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

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

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

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 Master’s Degree in Gerontology?

416 Master's Degrees Annually
84% Percent Women
31% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 84% 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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 13
Black or African American 49
Hispanic or Latino 55
White 182
International Students 89
Other Races/Ethnicities 28

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Gerontology, too. About 21.4% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in gerontology was $47,500 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $44,000 (25th percentile) and $47,500 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in gerontology, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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 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 2,661
Nutrition Science 1,439
Sustainability Science 1,184
International Studies 1,182
Computational Science 763
Behavioral Science 724
Museum Studies 710
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 630
Biological & Physical Science 611
Human Computer Interaction 562
Dispute Resolution 522
Systems Theory 460
Historic Preservation 292
Interdisciplinary Studies 213
Mathematics & Computer Science 189
Science, Technology & Society 187
Cognitive Science 152
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 131
Natural Sciences 94
Marine Science 92
Cultural Studies & Analysis 69
Medieval Studies 49
Classical & Ancient Studies 30
Holocaust Studies 30
Maritime Studies 20
Accounting & Computer Science 10
Human Biology 8
Biopsychology 1

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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