Gerontology is the study of aging. A master's degree in gerontology can open up more advanced career options for aspiring professionals, such as geriatric nurse, geriatric psychologist and tai chi and yoga instructor. Each of these professions has its own salary statistics, job responsibilities and prerequisites.
Gerontology is the study of the psychology, biology, and sociology of aging. A master's degree program in gerontology provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to understand and treat the needs of the elderly. This can lead to related careers in nursing, psychology, and health.
|Career Titles||Geriatric Nurse||Geriatric Psychologist||Tai Chi and Yoga Instructor|
|Education Requirements||Master's degree||Master's degree||Master's degree|
|Licensure and Certification||Licensure required, certification common||Licensure required||N/A|
|Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)*||16% (all registered nurses)||19% (all general psychologists)||8% (all fitness trainers and instructors)|
|Median Annual Salary ( 2016)**||$60,206 (registered nurses with geriatrics skills)||$70,649 (all psychologists)||$34,861 (all yoga instructors)|
Sources: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
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Students who complete their master's-level programs in gerontology could go on to pursue a number of professional careers. For instance, they might become geriatric nurses, geriatric psychologists or yoga instructors.
Geriatric Nursing Career Info
Geriatric nurses specialize in the health problems and treatment of the elderly. They often work in nursing homes or as at-home nurses providing physical therapy, taking note of any tell-tale symptoms of ailments, such as cognitive impairment, and reporting to doctors, staff, and family. In addition to a master's degree in gerontology, nurses seek specific certification in gerontological nursing as a way to show potential clients that they have attained certain knowledge, skills and abilities above and beyond standard nurses.
Geriatric Psychologist Career Information
Alzheimer's disease and senility can have devastating effects not only on the elderly, but also their families. Psychologists that specialize in geriatrics can help manage a patient's disease as well as help the families understand how it affects their loved one physically and emotionally. They are knowledgeable in how aging affects everything from behavior to cognition.
Tai Chi and Yoga Instructor Career Information
Tai Chi and Yoga, while practiced by people of all ages, can be a source of physical therapy and spiritual healing for the elderly. Instructors specializing in the elderly often have a master's degree in gerontology. Yoga and Tai Chi can help reconnect the elderly to a higher power, fight loneliness, and keep them in the best physical shape.
According to PayScale.com, the median salary of a registered nurse with reported skills in geriatrics care in 2016 was about $60,206. Psychologists can range in salary from $41,722 to $108,975. Yoga instructors made between $15,456 and $71,608 at that same time, per PayScale.com.
If you're interested in the science of aging, earning a master's in gerontology opens up several career paths that can focus on geriatrics, including nursing, psychologist and yoga or Tai Chi instructor. Salaries and job outlook vary according to the occupation.