The reality of our aging American population has led to an opportunity for many people who are entering the labor force or for those who are considering a career change. Senior care jobs are not only growing in demand but are also experiencing steep increases in average annual pay.
To give you a better idea of what some of the strongest job opportunities in senior care are, below, we've created a list of 9 in-demand professions.
1. Certified Nursing Assistant
As people get older they need more help doing basic activities. These activities extend from needing help bathing to getting dressed and beyond.
Being able to help people with those daily necessities is what nursing assistants specialize in. Roughly 40% of nursing assistants work out of nursing homes while other nurse assistants provide in-home care to seniors which you can learn more about.
To become a nursing assistant, you can seek out any state-approved accreditation program.
Dietitians are valuable to all age groups but professionals in this field are finding that more of their clients are progressively coming from the 50 years and older demography.
Older people find themselves struggling with more diet-related issues including lack of energy, heart problems, and diabetes.
You don't need any special accreditation to work with senior clients specifically as a dietitian. You will, however, need your bachelor's degree in nutrition.
3. Fitness Coach
Seniors suffer from rapid degeneration of muscle and bone mass. This often leads to poor posture, an inability to be mobile without the help of a wheelchair or walker and of course, potentially fatal falls.
To combat that trend, many retirement homes are putting more emphasis on the importance of being active in old age. That's where your role as a fitness coach comes into play.
Fitness coaches who specialize in working with seniors are experts at leading exercise groups through comfortable yet impactful activities that target many of senior's biggest health issues.
To become a fitness coach, you'll need accreditation from the National Academy of Sports Medicine or the American Council on Exercise.
4. Social Worker
Many people think of social workers in the context of helping children transition into better living situations. Healthcare social workers essentially perform that same task except for senior citizens.
This is one of the few senior care jobs that incorporate psychology into its daily duties as you'll not only need to assess a senior's living situation but may also need to convince them to take steps toward an improved situation.
This could mean needing to have conversations with a senior about leaving their home and moving into a group living facility.
Social Workers will at least need a BSW (Bachelors of Social Work) to find work.
5. Patient Advocate
Patient advocates are a relatively new profession within senior care jobs but are also among the fastest growing. As a patient advocate, you'll help seniors navigate the treatment they're receiving at their nursing home or in hospitals. You will make sure that your client is being taken care of to the letter of the law.
Some patient advocates will even help seniors navigate their insurance claims to make sure that insurance providers are not shortchanging their benefits.
To become a patient advocate, you don't need any formal education. Often, having a background in social work can be beneficial though.
6. Registered Nurse
Becoming a registered nurse is a great way to get involved in the medical field without needing to go through the rigorous schooling required to become a doctor. Nurses are also among the most valuable senior care jobs you can pursue.
Geriatric nurses care for old patient's health and can administer treatment, tests, and collaborate with doctors.
Pay is excellent but shifts can easily be 12 hours long. You'll need to go to nursing school to partake in this profession.
7. Speech Pathologists
Elderly stroke survivors often find themselves unable to speak correctly given their loss of muscular functions. Therapists who are specially trained to help rehabilitate one's ability to speak (speech pathologists) assist with this issue.
As a speech pathologist, you will work with both motivated and unmotivated adults to get them to take micro steps toward the macro goal or being able to communicate again.
Speech pathology will require a masters degree in speech-language pathology.
8. Physical Therapist
Where speech pathologists focus on helping rehabilitate one's ability to speak, physical therapists are senior care jobs that help elderly patients regain mobility.
Whether it be as a result of a fall, a degenerative disease or just via the natural course of aging, many seniors find it difficult to walk or achieve other ranges of motion.
Physical therapists are specially trained at helping seniors perform small tasks that gradually allow them to regain portions of their mobility and independence.
Psychical therapy requires a Doctorates degree and a state license.
9. Medical Scientist
If you're looking to make a difference in the lives of elderly people on a massive scale, you might want to consider working in a field that will task you with helping find treatment and cures for diseases like Alzheimer, cancer, and osteoporosis.
Medical scientists do exactly that.
This profession is very well paid but requires high levels of expertise. You will need a Ph.D. in biology or another related life science to get started.
Wrapping Up In-Demand Senior Care Jobs
With the aging of the American population has come a massive boom in certain healthcare-related professions that cater to the elderly.
Above are just 9 examples of many in-demand senior care jobs you may want to consider pursuing. They will all offer you excellent stability career!
For more information on outstanding career prospects, check out more of our expertly crafted content on our blog!