In 2011, the first baby boomer turned 65, heralding in an extraordinary increase in the senior population of the United States. By 2029, when the last baby boomer turns 65, that population is projected to double to 71.5 million Americans. Not only is there an exceptionally large geriatric population, but with medical advances they are living longer, but needing more care. With this unprecedented growth in the senior population, the outlook for elder care jobs is at an all-time high.
To meet the extraordinary needs and demands for the growing elderly population, the job outlook for all areas of elder care business will be growing at a much higher rate than other expected occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal care aides' job growth is noted at 49 percent with medical and health care managers noting a growth of 23 percent—with both being much higher than the national average compared to all occupations. Although the variety of elder care jobs is vast, the need for qualified, candidates with degrees specifically in long term care administration will be sought after to meet the expanding demands.
Nursing home administrator
One potential elder care job is that of a nursing home administrator. This management position oversees the staff and daily functioning of a long-term care facility. They are responsible for the needs and daily care of this unique population. Although the salary is dependent on the location, the national average is approximately $88,000. Since each state has varied requirements to become a nursing home administrator, it is best to investigate the state that a candidate intends to work. However, most will require at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in elder care administration.
Assisted living facility administrator
Another growing elder care business is assisted living facilities. These provide seniors a safe living environment yet still encourage independence and autonomy. Like all areas of healthcare, assisted living facility administrators need to have a strong foundation in healthcare policy and be able to oversee a variety of staff. The average salary for an assisted living facility administrator nationally is approximately $57,000; however, with a degree specifically in elder care, the potential for a higher salary is expected.
Home health care director
The area of home healthcare is also expected to see an increase in the elder care job market. While many families attempt to keep their aging loved ones at home, there will continue to be a need for assistance from home healthcare providers. A person with a degree in elder care administration will be perfectly suited for this position that boasts an average salary of $70,000 nationally. Home healthcare directors need to be especially skilled in coordinating multiple staff members and families in the care of the loved ones.
The future of elder care jobs
The future of elder care businesses will continue to expand and grow as the needs of the baby boomer generation continue to increase. Although all the needs may not yet be known, there will be plenty of elder care jobs such as in adult daycares, long term care and even those jobs not yet imagined. For those with the proper education, such as a specialized bachelor's degree, the future looks promising.
Learn more about the LSUA BS in Long Term Care Administration online program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.