Geropsychologist Career Information, Jobs, Degrees & Training Programs

The aging baby boomer population has spiked demand for geropsychologists. These specialists work exclusively with older people struggling to cope with aging related problems. Geropsychologists spend a considerable amount of time listening to patients' concerns and providing advice. They meet with patients at convalescent centers, private residences, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, and private practices. Some geropsychologists specialize in diagnosing and treating serious mental health problems related to old age, such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Geropsycholgists should enjoy excellent job opportunities through the near future since life expectancy rates continue to rise.

How to Become a Geropsychologist

Most geropsychologists hold undergraduate and doctorate degrees in psychology or related fields. It typically takes between 4-8 years to obtain a doctorate degree. Geropsychologist doctorate students will learn about the physical and psychological effects of aging, Alzheimer's and other aging related problems, and proper patient assessment. Graduate students also typically perform supervised clinical work and conduct original research. Graduates are typically required to obtain a few years of work experience before being eligible for professional certification.

Job Outlook

It's estimated that 20 percent of people within the United States in 2030 will be 65 years of age or older. Currently, 13 percent of the population falls within this age range. Some experts claim demand for geropsychologists will exceed supply, so now is a great time to begin a career in geropsychology.

According to the National Institute on Aging, 5,000 geropsychologists should satisfy the demands of the aging population by 2020. During the early 90's, just over 700 geropsychologists were employed throughout the United States.

Geropsychologists will also be needed to assist adults struggling with behavioral and mental health problems, especially since compared to other age groups, older adults have a high suicide rate.

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