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Occupational Profile

Gerontological Specialist

Gerontological specialists are professionals who specialize in working with older adults.

  • Avg. Salary $90,364.00
  • Avg. Wage $46.67
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Clinical Consultant, Geriatric Services Practitioner

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Gerontological Specialist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Other Social Science Professionals
NOC code: 4169.9
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information to devise methods of collecting and analyzing data and to interpret data and correlate findings with other research in the same and related fields

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting with governments and other organizations to report findings and bring forward recommendations; may teach at advanced educational levels

METHODICAL

Interest in organizing data into forms suitable for application by governments and other organizations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontology is the study of aging processes and individuals as they grow from middle age through later life. It includes the study of physical, mental and social changes in older people as they age and changes in society resulting from an aging population. Increasingly, the scope of this work also includes end of life planning and care.

Gerontological specialists' duties and responsibilities vary considerably from one position to another. For example, they may:

  • plan, administer and evaluate programs for older adults (for example, administer senior citizens centres, provide home support services, supervise day support programs for seniors who are frail or disabled)
  • provide health services for older adults in hospital, continuing care and community settings (for example, services for seniors with dementia who are living on their own or with family)
  • provide or co-ordinate professional services for older adults in agencies or government departments
  • provide age related counselling and information services (for example, retirement planning, housing, tax assistance, home support or transportation services)
  • provide business related services (for example, financial, real estate, leisure or vacation planning) for older adults
  • advise businesses on issues related to older workers and consumers (for example, marketing strategies, purchasing power, accessibility, interior design and urban planning).

The title gerontologist is generally reserved for those who have advanced degrees (master's or doctoral degrees). In general, gerontologists:

  • conduct research or teach at the post-secondary level
  • develop and analyze policies on issues related to older adults
  • provide consultative services related to gerontology.

 

Working Conditions
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontological specialists work in settings ranging from office environments to institutional environments to private homes. Those who work in clinical settings or who serve older adults directly (for example, provide health or counselling services) may be required to work shifts, work some evenings and weekends, or take clients on outings in the community.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontological specialists need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to integrate knowledge from a variety of disciplines into an understanding of aging and older adults
  • good listening and communication skills
  • problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • the ability to work effectively in team environments that often include volunteers.

They should enjoy working with older adults, organizing and interpreting information, and developing creative solutions to problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontological specialists usually have a post-secondary diploma or degree that includes significant content on aging, or have taken additional coursework on gerontology and aging after graduation. Age-related issues are studied in a wide variety of disciplines including biology, education, environmental studies, ethics, health, human ecology, law, psychology, public administration, recreation, religion and sociology. Therefore, gerontological specialists come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds (for example, nursing, social work, dentistry, recreation, law enforcement). Increasingly, employers hiring gerontological specialists are requesting candidates to have either specialized formal education in the care of seniors or specific work experience in this field.

Degree programs in the social and health sciences are offered by universities and colleges throughout Alberta. For more information about specific types of programs, see related occupational profiles in right sidebar.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Selkirk College - Castlegar

Simon Fraser University - Burnaby

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontological specialists work in public and private agencies such as:

  • government departments
  • universities and colleges
  • hospitals and nursing homes
  • housing agencies
  • counselling centres
  • agencies offering community programs (for example, seniors centres, meals-on-wheels)
  • businesses providing services to older adults.

Many gerontological specialists work for the same types of employers as others in their profession, but they specialize in working with older adults.

As members of the baby boom generation age, demand for gerontological specialists is expected to increase.

Wage & Salary
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Gerontological specialists' salary ranges vary considerably depending on their responsibilities and qualifications (education and experience). Salary ranges for those who have professional qualifications are comparable to others in their profession. For information about salary levels in related occupations, see the appropriate occupational profiles (for example, Licensed Practical NursePsychologist, Recreation Therapist, Registered Nurse, Community Disability Services Practitioner, Social Worker).

Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.
NOC code: 4169

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $0.00 $0.00 $33.95 $36.66
Overall $0.00 $0.00 $46.67 $45.45
Top $0.00 $0.00 $56.10 $51.47

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

D: Lowest Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lowest Reliability, represents a CV of more than 33.00% and/or if fewer than 10 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 25% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

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2015 Vacancy Rate

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Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Education and Library Studies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
  • Physical Education and Recreation
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
  • Social, Community and Protective Services
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 13, 2016

Alberta Association on Gerontology (AAG) website: www.albertaaging.ca

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) website: www.careersinaging.com

Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) website: www.cagacg.ca

University of Victoria Centre on Aging website: www.coag.uvic.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Dec 09, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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