Become a Gerontology Aide
Gerontology aides, sometimes referred to as human service workers and assistants, provide social service assistance to the elderly. They often guide clients in getting assistance with daily activities or help them complete paperwork, which could help them to remain in their own homes. Travel may be required, along with weekend or night work hours.
|Degree Level||High school diploma is typical; associate's degree and certificate programs are available|
|Degree Field||Human services, gerontology or another related field|
|Experience||Some employers prefer applicants with related experience; on-the-job training is common|
|Key Skills||Compassion, communication, problem-solving, time management and organizational skills; ability to coordinate meal delivery or research other services, such as residential care|
|Salary (2015)||$30,830 per year (Median for human services assistants)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Most employers require a gerontology aide to have a high school diploma. Some employers may require an associate's degree or certificate in human services, gerontology or something similar. Some employers prefer applicants with related experience. On-the-job training is common. The key skills include compassion, communication, problem-solving, time management and organizational skills. You must also have the ability to coordinate meal delivery or research other services, such as residential care.
In 2015, human services assistants earned a median annual salary of $30,830, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Now let's check out the career steps for gerontology aides.
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Step 1: Meet Educational Requirements
The minimum requirement to work as a gerontology aide is a high school diploma. Some employers may prefer individuals who have postsecondary education in the field or relevant work experience. Students can find certificate and associate's degree programs for gerontology aides. These programs cover related topics, such as adult development and gerontological services. Individuals who wish to coordinate program activities or manage group homes may be required to obtain a bachelor's or master's degree in human services or similar fields.
It is important to meet additional requirements. Some gerontology aides, such as those who work in group home settings, may be required to undergo a background check.
Step 2: Get Job Training
The degree of responsibility and type of work assigned to gerontology aides can vary based on one's educational level and experience obtained within the field. Generally, employees at all levels participate in some form of professional training. During training, employees learn to how to effectively handle crisis situations and how to work with clients from different backgrounds.
Step 3: Opportunities for Career Advancement
Check community colleges and other schools for training that will qualify you for higher positions. Students who enter the workforce with an associate's degree in human services are trained in psychology, as well as providing services to and understanding the needs of the elderly. They also have knowledge of the social services system. Graduates of these programs may continue on to a bachelor's degree program and enter nursing home or social services management.
To recap, with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, a gerontology aide can earn about $31,000 a year to provide social service assistance to the elderly.