According to the U.S. Administration on Aging, in 2006 the number of individuals 65 years or older was 37.3 million with this number rising to 71.5 million, or 20% of the population, by the year 2030. This explosive growth in the number of older Americans in the next two decades will in turn lead to a subsequent growth in the number of gerontology professionals needed to help resolve many of the issues that people face as they age. Many people think of gerontology professionals as those who work in long-term care facilities, however they provide their expertise in many other areas as well. Organizations and services such as adult day care, senior centers, hospice care, assisted living, home health, and many community and governmental-based programs rely on gerontology professionals to develop, implement, and manage programs and organizations designed to alleviate many of the problems that older Americans face in their daily lives.
According to the Department of Labor, employment of medical and health services managers is expected to grow 16% from 2006 to 2016, faster than the average for all occupations. The median earnings for medical and health services managers in May 2006 were $73,340, with the lowest 10% earning less than $45,050 and the highest 10% earning more than $127,830. Within these figures, managers working in nursing care facilities and home health services earned a median annual income of around $66,725, reflecting that earnings are slightly lower in the gerontology field then in other areas of health care.