Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Gerontology Professional, career pathway

Older adults listening to an instructor

Why choose the Gerontology Professional Career Pathway certificate at PCC?

The Gerontology Professional Certificate is designed to ensure students acquire the necessary competencies to function effectively in the different types of work settings within the diverse and ever-changing field of aging, particularly in the three focal areas of advocacy, end of life and cognitive care. This certificate replaced three previous certificates: Gerontology Advocacy, Advanced Behavioral & Cognitive Care, and End of Life Care & Support. Students who have already declared any of those three certificates can complete them and have them awarded. Those same students would be eligible as of the Fall 2021 term to also earn the Gerontology Professional Certificate.

Salary

Salary information on the wide range of potential career opportunities that may be available for a Gerontology Professional Certificate graduate include:

  • Personal Care Provider: $13.57 average hourly wage or $28,231 average annual wage
  • Healthcare Aids: $16.54 average hourly wage or $34,421 average annual wage
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $31.16 average hourly wage or $64,827 average annual wage (Adult Day Care Director)
  • Medical and Health Service Managers: $58.19 average hourly wage or $121,027 average annual wage (Memory Care Administrator)
  • Bereavement/Mental Health Counselors: $29.06 average hourly wage or $60,435 average annual wage
  • Social Workers: $34.64 average hourly wage or $72,067 average annual wage
  • Funeral Directors: $41.66 average hourly wage or $86,657 average annual wage
  • Medical and Health Service Managers: $58.19 average hourly wage or $121,027 average annual wage (Hospice Administrator)
  • Aging Life Manager, and Care Manager: $16.50 per hour and $32,178 average annual wage (Case Manager) – $32.01 per hour and $66,582 average annual wage (Social and Community Service Managers)
  • Care & Service Coordinator and Healthcare Navigator: $15.41 per hour and $32,057 average annual wage (Personal Care and Service Workers) – $59.57 per hour and $123,899 average annual wage (Medical and Health Services Managers)
  • Personal Advocate: 22.59 per hour and $46,987 average annual wage (Patient Advocate)
  • Social & Human Services Assistant, Social Services Coordinator, and Social Services Navigator: $32.01 per hour and $66,582 average annual wage (Social and Community Service Managers)
  • Chaplains and Spiritual Counselors: $26.19 per hour and $54,476 average annual wage
  • Insurance agents specializing in Life and Long-Term Care Insurance: $37.09 per hour and $77,152 average annual wage
  • Financial Advisors: $58.17 per hour and $120,989 average annual wage
  • Guardians and Conservators: $28.47 per hour and $59,215 average annual wage (Paralegals and Legal Assistants)

Award information

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Career Pathway Certificate: Gerontology ProfessionalLess than 1 year

Learn more about Gerontology and all 4 awards available »

Locations

What will you learn?

Students successfully completing this certificate will be able to:

  • Plan, implement and contribute to research-based programs, policies, and practices for and with older persons in professional, institutional and community settings.
  • Apply best practices of person-centered and directed care and support of older persons, working effectively with all stakeholders, including professionals, family and social support networks.
  • Work effectively in a variety of settings as an advanced care provider serving diverse individuals or groups of older persons experiencing cognitive and behavioral challenges.
  • Assess, document and advocate for the resources and support needs and assets of older persons and their family and social support network.
  • Advocate for family members and dying persons through the end-of-life process, including social, psychological, medical, financial, legal, and spiritual issues related to care and support.
  • Adhere to professional and ethical standards appropriate to one’s gerontological areas of specialty while managing one’s career and continuing to develop professional knowledge and skills through education and training.

Courses

Course listing for the 2021-2022 catalog year.

GRN 175The Aging Mind2
GRN 176Cognitive Activity Design2
GRN 181Exploring the Field of Aging2
GRN 201Understanding and Ending Ageism2
GRN 233Supporting End of Life4
GRN 234Introduction to Dementia Care & Practice4
GRN 240Care and Service Coordination3
GRN 245Introduction to Guardianship in Oregon1
GRN 247Applied Legal and Policy Issues in Aging2
GRN 280ACE: Gerontology Internship (4 credits total)4
GRN 280BGerontology Internship Seminar1
GRN 282Gerontology Professional Seminar2
SOC 223Sociology of the Life Course4
SOC 230Introduction to Gerontology4
SOC 231Sociology of Healthy Aging4
Total Credits41

What will you do?

Depending on their prior experience and education, Gerontology Professional certificate graduates assume positions in aging and social services, long-term care, end of life care, healthcare, and other career paths with job titles like the following:

  • Aging Life Manager
  • Care Manager
  • Care & Service Coordinator
  • Community & Social Service Specialist (or Manager)
  • Healthcare Navigator
  • Personal Advocate
  • Social & Human Services Assistant
  • Social Services Coordinator
  • Social Services Navigator
  • Personal Care Provider
  • Certified Nursing Assistant – Dementia Care
  • Dementia Care Assistant, Specialist, Coordinator, Director, Consultant
  • Memory Care Residential Unit or Day Care Center Assistant, Specialist, Coordinator, Director, Consultant
  • Chaplains and Spiritual Counselors
  • Funeral Directors
  • Insurance agents specializing in Life and Long-Term Care Insurance
  • Financial Advisors
  • Guardians and Conservators
  • Paralegals and lawyers providing elder law services
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Healthcare Aides
  • Resident Assistants in care facilities
  • Personal Home Care Assistants
  • Social Workers
  • Bereavement Counselors
  • Therapists working with massage, touch, art, music, pet, horticultural, environmental and other modalities
  • Hospice Volunteer Coordinators
  • Hospice Administrators
  • End of Life Instructors
  • End of Life Researchers

Next steps

Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes.Apply now

Not quite ready to apply?

We can help you get the information you need.