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What Is an Assisted Living Administrator?

Assisted living administrator jobs involve managing and supervising the healthcare and housing services for seniors and others who require help. The clients may require assistance with daily tasks, such as eating, bathing, dressing, and taking medication. An assisted living administrator also carries out administrative responsibilities, such as scheduling and budgeting.

However, running or working in an assisted living facility is a challenge. But it also provides plenty of personal satisfaction, especially for individuals who prefer careers that help others. Many administrators relish the idea their work ensures better lives for seniors and others who require assistance to remain semi-independent but don’t require a nursing facility’s care.

What Do People in Assisted Living Administrator Jobs Do?

An assisted living administrator manages and oversees the operations of a residential facility. They also coordinate patient care and supervise employees. The job description of an assisted living administrator requires them to decide what patients the facility admits.

The administrators also carry out several administrative duties, such as managing a facility’s financial matters. Employers expect an assisted living administrator to collect debts and deal with the personal finances of facility residents.

Some work involved is managerial, for example, screening and hiring new employees, reviewing staff performance, and overseeing the daily operations of the facility. The goal of any administrator is to ensure the facility offers the best possible service.

An assisted living facility operates 24 hours a day and an administrator’s hours are long. But instead of working within the normal hours, some administrators work in shifts. Assisted living assistant administrators must remain on call even when not working.

Some facilities hire assistant administrators who help with minor issues, report concerns to the administrators, and manage the facility during the administrator’s off days. Assisted living administrator jobs are often mental and require constant interaction with employees in an office setting.

Some administrators are a critical component to creating the facility’s atmosphere. Such tasks may include planning activities for residents, such as movie nights or game nights. An administrator also takes part in discussions on improving a facility, from adding amenities for residents to routine maintenance.

Where Do Assisted Living Administrators Work?

An assisted living administrator can work in various facilities, from assisted living centers for youth with developmental disabilities to residential care facilities for the elderly. The administrator works in the typical office environment, spending much of the day in the office.

However, administrators may also attend meetings within the facility and other locations. They will also meet with staff members, residents, and their families in the facility’s common area or resident room.

What Degree Is Required To Become an Assisted Living Administrator?

Assisted living administrator jobs are available to job seekers with a lesser degree of formal education compared to other jobs. Some employers will hire administrators with at least a high school diploma and over two years of experience in the field.

Other positions need an associate degree with about 60 introductory coursework credits in finance, business administration, and healthcare administration. Some people combine the associate’s degree with general courses in core areas, such as science and math.

The typical assisted living administrator has a bachelor’s degree. However, the study area does not have to be specific. For instance, a job seeker with a biology bachelor’s degree can work in assisted living administrator positions.

It is critical assisted living administrators have the relevant work experience required for certification or licensure. All 50 states need long-term nursing care facility administrators to have a license, but some also require that from assisted living administrators. A potential administrator must sit the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Board (NAB) licensure exam. Anyone with a state-approved bachelor’s degree must have at least half a year of related work experience in an assisted living leadership role.

How Much Money Does an Assisted Living Administrator Earn?

The median annual wage of assisted living administrators is $60,076. However, the pay range for the position is narrow when compared to the salaries of other administrators in the medical field. For example, an assisted living administrator with 1-5 years of experience can expect around $53,041. But someone with over 20 years can earn about $64,265 annually.

For a position that requires a high school diploma and a few years of work experience sometimes, the compensation is attractive. The same is true for assisted living administrator jobs in rural and urban areas, but those in urban areas get higher wages considering the high cost of living.

Assisted Living Administrator Job Requirements

Assisted living administrator jobs require two contrasting skill sets: business acumen and human compassion. Every facility is a business that needs attention, so administrators must know financial instruments such as budget and record-keeping.

However, the facilities are communities of individuals who require attention to their custom needs. An assisted living facility is not medically intensive and caters to the needs of the aging population. So, gerontology and end-of-life care knowledge are critical.

While a bachelor’s degree may be the bare minimum, job seekers require graduate-level education to meet the needs of an assisted living facility. MBA with a focus in healthcare, MHA with a gerontology focus, and other specialized education options help flesh out a prospective administrator’s skills. The courses also help impact the right combination of business, medical, and social knowledge.

The NAB maintains a list of states that require licensure via the Residential Care Assisted Living (RCAL) exam. In some states, the NAB administers the RCAL to measure competent skills and entry-level knowledge for the position, which may be part of the state licensure requirements.

The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) offers Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA) and Certified Nursing Home Administrator (CNHA) courses. People with CNHA or CALA credentials can maintain them every five years. Renewal involves submitting an executive portfolio or completing executive-level courses and signing an affidavit.

Assisted Living Administrator Career Path

A dedicated and hardworking person will find several advancement opportunities in assisted administrator positions. The most common career paths past assisted living administrator jobs are promotions to assisted living direct and executive director. However, some seasoned administrators prefer an interim career because they want to travel and do short-term jobs.

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