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Updated

Gerontological Specialist

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

  • Avg. Salary $77,751.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.03
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Clinical Consultant, Geriatric Services Practitioner

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Other Social Science Professionals (4169.9) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Professional Occupations in Social Science (E038) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c. (4169) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c. (4169) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

80%
80%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Gerontological Specialist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Other Social Science Professionals
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 Mar 31, 2020

Gerontology is the study of aging processes and individuals as they grow into later life. It includes the study of physical and mental changes in older adults. It also includes the study of social changes that come with an aging population. Increasingly, the scope of this work includes end-of-life planning and care.

Gerontological specialists’ duties and responsibilities vary a great deal. They may:

  • Plan, administer, and evaluate programs for older adults through seniors’ centres and home support services
  • Supervise day programs for older adults who are frail or have disabilities
  • Provide health services for older adults in hospital, continuing care, and community settings (for example, they may help older people who live alone or with family to manage chronic diseases)
  • Help with end-of-life planning and care
  • Provide or co-ordinate professional services for older adults from agencies or government departments
  • Provide age-related counselling and information (for example, retirement planning, housing, tax assistance, home support, or transportation)
  • Provide business-related services (for example, finances, real estate, leisure, or vacation planning)
  • 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” refers to those with master’s or doctoral degrees in gerontology. They conduct research or teach at the post-secondary level. They develop and analyze policies on issues related to older adults. They consult on issues related to gerontology rather than working directly with older people, as gerontological specialists do.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gerontological specialists may work in offices, institutional settings, or private homes. Those who work in clinical settings or provide services, such as health or counselling, may need to work shifts, evenings, and weekends. They may need to take clients on outings in the community.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gerontological specialists need:

  • Listening and communication skills
  • Problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • The ability to integrate and apply knowledge from various disciplines into an understanding of aging and older adults
  • The ability to work in team environments that often include volunteers

They should enjoy working with older adults, organizing and interpreting information, and solving problems creatively.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Most gerontological specialists have a post-secondary degree in gerontology or social sciences. They may also have taken post-graduate coursework or completed a post-degree certificate in gerontology. They study age-related issues in fields including biology, education, environmental studies, ethics, health, human ecology, law, psychology, public administration, recreation, religion, and sociology.

Gerontological specialists come from various professional backgrounds. These include nursing, social work, dentistry, recreation, and law enforcement. Increasingly, employers are seeking candidates with formal education in the care of older adults or work experience in this field.

Universities throughout Alberta and other provinces offer degree programs in the social and health sciences. Some programs are offered online. For more information, see Related Occupational Profiles.


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

Simon Fraser University

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020

While certification is not required by law, employers may require it.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gerontological specialists work in community programs such as meals-on-wheels. They may work in public and private agencies including:

  • Government departments
  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Seniors’ centres
  • Housing agencies
  • Counselling centres
  • Businesses providing services to older adults
  • Home care services

Many gerontological specialists work for the same types of employers as others in human services. However, they specialize in working with older adults. Employment prospects align favourably with the growing number of older adults in society.

Gerontological specialists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4169: Other professional occupations in social science. In Alberta, 79% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Gerontological specialists’ earnings vary with their responsibilities and qualifications, including education and experience. Salary ranges for those with professional qualifications are comparable to others in their profession. For information about salary levels in related occupations, see occupational profiles such as Licensed Practical Nurse, Psychologist, Recreation Therapist, Registered Nurse, Community Disability Services Practitioner, Social Worker, and Kinesiologist.

Other professional occupations in social science, n.e.c.

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 $25.00 $41.44 $34.37 $34.03
Overall $30.84 $55.02 $43.03 $41.18
Top $34.52 $64.72 $48.62 $44.88

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES
Health Care & Social Assistance

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

80%
80%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

25%
25%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
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 Mar 31, 2020

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

Alberta Gerontological Nurses Association website: www.agna.ca

Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) website: www.geron.org

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

University of Alberta, Innovations in Seniors Care Research Unit website: ualberta.ca/nursing/research/research-units/iseniorsru

University of Alberta, International Network for Aging Research
website: ualberta.ca/rehabilitation/research/international-network-for-aging-research

University of Alberta, Special Interest Group on Aging website: ualberta.ca/rehabilitation/research/special-interest-group-on-aging

University of Calgary, Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging website: obrieniph.ucalgary.ca/aging

University of Victoria, Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health website: uvic.ca/research/centres/aging

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. 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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