Graduates with gerontology certificates have a wide range of job options available to them. Gerontology is the scientific study of aging and the process of growing old. It encompasses various aspects of aging, including physical, psychological, and social changes that occur as individuals advance in age.
A gerontology certification usually requires only an undergraduate certificate or an associate degree. Working with older persons in entry-level or management positions is usually accessible with a gerontology certification.
Nursing homes, senior day care facilities, hospitals, organizations, and even individual customers’ homes are some of the most popular places for gerontology students to work.
If you are looking for a career path in gerontology or don’t know what to do with a gerontology certificate, well then make sure you read this article to the end.
What is Gerontology
It covers the study of how humans change as they age, how society changes as a result of an aging population, and how we apply this knowledge to programs and policies for older adults.
Human services, government agencies, retirement communities, nursing homes, health care, and long-term institutional care all offer job prospects in gerontology.
Gerontologists work with older persons or as advocates for the aged as social workers, nursing assistants, social scientists, and healthcare managers. Gerontology degrees can also assist nurses, occupational therapists, and other healthcare practitioners.
Gerontologists must have strong communication skills because they are frequently responsible for recording and relaying information about their clients or patients. They must be able to work with a wide range of clients, especially older people.
Essential Gerontology Professional Skills
In order to also be a professional gerontologist, one must possess these essential skills.
Interpersonal Skills: Working closely with people from all walks of life is fundamental to the gerontology field. Gerontology experts must collaborate with others in the social services, medical, and administrative fields. As a result, they must have good interpersonal skills in order to connect effectively with other professionals. Others begin their careers in sectors such as psychology, social work, and others.
Problem-Solving: The aged frequently encounter emotional, medical, social, and financial difficulties. This is where gerontology professionals may help, by providing viable and efficient solutions to these concerns.
Patience: Older individuals move and speak at a slower pace. They may also require additional time to complete or comprehend certain tasks. When working with them, patience is required because you will most likely be repeating yourself.
Respect: Older persons must be treated with dignity. Instead of forcing them to do anything, ask them questions.
Communication: Interaction with patients, family members, and other professionals is unavoidable in this industry.
Organization: Filling out, completing, and documenting documentation is critical to the assistance and care that patients will receive.
Flexibility: Because healthcare is a fast-paced setting, employees are expected to accomplish tasks outside of their professional roles.
Gerontology Degrees Available
Gerontology college degrees are accessible at all educational levels, ranging from undergraduate certificates to PhD programs. Long-term care administration, for example, is a nonclinical program that is available online.
These are perfect for students looking for entry-level jobs working with seniors. Entry-level roles in nursing homes, senior day care facilities, and private customers’ homes are among those available.
To enroll in an undergraduate certificate program, you must have a high school diploma. Introduction to Gerontology, Communication and Aging, and Psychological Aspects of Aging are examples of short courses of study.
Associate degree programs in gerontology are typically two-year programs that incorporate general education courses as well as gerontology-specific courses. These programs may require an internship to be completed.
An associate degree program can be used as a stepping stone to a profession in gerontology, promotion in an existing career, or enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program.
Bachelor of Science Degrees
Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in gerontology are typically searching for entry- to mid-level positions working with seniors. Gerontology bachelor’s degree programs typically last four years and include an internship.
In addition to general education classes such as mathematics, biology, and sociology, gerontological studies courses are necessary.
Online gerontology bachelor’s degrees emphasize nonclinical areas of the subject, such as communication, policy, advocacy, and social services. Online students may be able to arrange a local practicum to meet their required hands-on training.
How to Begin a Career in Gerontology
A certificate, diploma, or associate degree is all that is required for an entry-level gerontology career. Any of these programs last two years or less and prepare students for careers as nursing assistants, orderly, or occupational therapy assistants.
A bachelor’s degree is essential for reaching your gerontology professional development goals. Furthermore, for higher-level positions such as geriatric care managers and adult-geriatric nurse practitioners, a doctoral degree is necessary.
What can I do with a Gerontology Associate’s Degree?
Here is what you can do with an Associate degree in gerontology.
Personal and Home Care Aide
Patients with impairments, chronic illnesses, and/or physical or cognitive issues are assisted by home and personal care assistants. They assist them in performing daily tasks such as attending appointments, cooking, driving, and taking prescriptions.
Medical assistants support nurses, doctors, and health care administrators in providing clinical services in hospitals and clinics. They do laboratory testing, keep patient records, and give prescriptions.
What can I do with a Gerontology Bachelor’s Degree?
Below are what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in gerontology.
Manager of Social and Community Services
Social and community service managers plan community-wide social service programs. They also manage a staff of social workers and other personnel who provide social services to others. They typically work for government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Certificated Occupational Therapy Assistant
Certified occupational therapy assistants work alongside registered occupational therapists to help persons with disabilities or injuries get back on their feet.
What can I do with a Master of Gerontology degree?
After obtaining a master’s degree in gerontology, here is what you can do with it.
Manager of Medical and Health Services
Medical and health services managers plan, systematize, and manage hospitals’, assisted living facilities, and group medical practices’ health care and medical services.
Occupational therapists assist patients with physical limitations in acquiring task-performance skills. They work in classrooms, hospitals, nursing homes, and occupational therapy clinics. These professionals must have a master’s degree and be licensed in all states.
What types of jobs can you get with a PhD in Gerontology?
Below are the few types of jobs you can get with a PhD in Gerontology.
Physician, Geriatric Specialist
Geriatricians are doctors who specialize in detecting, treating, and preventing ailments in the elderly. They first specialize in general medicine before moving on to geriatrics. They must complete medical school as well as a minimum of three years of residency. They must also obtain a medical license.
Health Postsecondary Teacher
Postsecondary educators work in community institutions as well as four-year colleges and universities. They create academic programs, assess student learning, and teach classes. They may also do their own research and publish their findings.
Which gerontology qualification is the best?
Adult-gerontology certification is granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center to licensed clinical nurses and nurse practitioners. Professionals with gerontology degrees can also be certified by the National Association of Professional Gerontologists.
Other career paths in Gerontology to consider
A grief counselor is a mental health specialist who specializes in assisting clients in emotionally recovering after experiencing a loss. Some counselors work in offices that specialize in various parts of geriatric therapy and counseling, while others work in nursing homes or assisted living facilities to provide in-home care.
Home health care aide
Home health aides assist senior customers with personal care activities and provide basic medical treatments. Their responsibilities include assisting clients with bathing and eating, as well as monitoring vital signs, performing exercises, and administering medication. Home health aides frequently collaborate with other members of a care team, such as therapists, at a client’s home.
Dietitians help customers determine what to eat to live healthily and happily. For senior customers, this can include advising them on which foods mix with specific drugs, how to maintain or improve bone strength and which supplements may be important for vitamin intake.
An audiologist diagnoses and treats people with hearing and ear disorders. They operate in health care settings such as clinics and hospitals, where they perform hearing evaluations to examine a patient’s hearing ability and identify any hearing or balance disorders. People in this job usually deal with the elderly to provide hearing aids and examinations when their hearing diminishes. No
Conclusion on What can you do with a gerontology certificate
If you’re wondering what you can do with a Gerontology certificate, this is an excellent career route for people who enjoy working with the elderly. Patience, attentiveness to the requirements of patients and clients, and the ability to support seniors enduring physical and cognitive issues are essential qualities for any gerontology expert.
A gerontology degree can prepare you for jobs in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, teaching, management, research, and policy.