How Can You Specialize a Social Work Degree in Aging?

Working in the field of social work can be very rewarding and there are a lot of different areas of this field that you can specialize in. Social workers are found in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, medical offices and nursing homes, just to name a few. If you are interested in working with the aging and elderly population, there will be many jobs available upon graduation.

Choosing Your Classes

If you're still in school, the university you are attending will have certain requirements that have to be met before you can graduate; however, you can select the classes you want as long as they meet those requirements. If you know you are interested in working with the aging population, then it would be helpful to choose classes that will focus around this area of interest. You can inquire with professors and advisors within the social work department at your university to find out what is recommended. If you would like to work toward your specialist in aging certificate you will need to take classes focusing on:

  • Gerontology
  • Nursing home administration
  • Medical classes focusing on age related conditions and diseases


In addition to picking and choosing certain classes when you set your schedule each semester, you should consider doing an internship prior to graduation. These positions are often unpaid, but you will gain experience and understanding in the field. Some people feel that their internships provided them with more information than they learned in the classroom. These internships often lead to jobs by allowing you to network in the field.


If you are planning to work with aging patients once you have become a social worker, you can expect to work in a medical setting to some degree. Often, social workers will work in a nursing home environment directly with patients and their family members to make sure that everyone is happy and settled. You may be able to work in individual homes doing visits and appointments to offer assistance and support to clients. Social workers can also advocate for patients in the hospital to make sure they get the future help that they need upon discharge, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Online Masters in Social Work 2018

Specializing a social work degree is very common and many people who work in the social work field like to find their niche and stay there for the duration of their career. The need for social workers to work with our aging adult populations is growing as our baby boomers are entering retirement. Specializing your social work career in aging will be a rewarding career.