Exploring Careers in Aging

Pursuing A Career in Aging Roadmap

A step-by-step educational roadmap to help undergraduate and graduate students find a career in aging.

Why Choose a Career in Aging?

Did you know that career opportunities for students interested in work in the aging field are expanding? This is largely because people 65 years old and older are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. And, although there are a broad range of exciting career opportunities in aging, there are not enough professionals to keep pace with the increasing demand.

Set Yourself Apart

Set Yourself Apart

It is becoming increasingly important to set yourself apart from the competition as you look toward a career after high school, college, or graduate school. 

Aging is one specialty area that may help to set you apart and provide a solid professional identity. 

Study What You Like

Study What You Like

A career in aging can be pursued from different areas of study (e.g., psychology, health care, gerontology, human development, cognitive science, engineering, law, business). And, there are a variety of options for the type of career you pursue (e.g., research, practice, education, policy). It is important to note that these career types are not mutually exclusive. For example, some individuals serve as faculty members who conduct research, whereas others do research and provide clinical services.

Career Options

Lots of Career Options

Just as work with older adults is by  nature interdisciplinary, careers in aging are often interdisciplinary and provide the opportunity to work at the intersection of more than one discipline. 

The possibilities are endless and perhaps you may even come up with one that combines your own interests.

Questions to Get You Started

First, before you explore our guide, it might be helpful if you ponder these questions as you think about your future career: 

  • Do you enjoy interacting with older adults?
  • Do you wish your classes addressed more aging-related content?
  • Do you believe that older people can learn new things?
  • Do you want to engage in practicum or experiences where you interact with older adults?
  • Do you ponder questions about aging, such as why do some people seem happier in their later years than others?
  • Have there been older people in your life who have made a great impact on you?

How This Guide Can Help

Students are on an exciting educational journey, discovering interests and exploring and planning a fulfilling career. This guide will help you think about careers in aging that might best match your personal interests. It provides: 

  • Detailed and specific questions for you to consider at each educational level from pre-undergraduate to graduate. 
  • Things you can do at each educational level to prepare and position yourself for an exciting and enjoyable career.
  • Resources to help you at each point along the path. 
  • Personal profiles and descriptions of a wide variety of aging careers.

Career Profiles

Check out our real-life stories of researchers and practitioners in psychology who have embarked on age-related careers and the difference they are making to improve the lives of older adults.

See more examples of psychologists and the diversity of their work on our Career Profiles page.