How to Become an Assisted Living Administrator in 5 Steps

Explore the career requirements for assisted living administrators. Get the facts about education and licensure requirements, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Assisted Living Administrator?

An assisted living administrator coordinates the daily operation of an assisted living facility. In this position, you will manage the efficiency and quality of care provided to residents. You'll ensure that care and treatment is appropriate and that personnel are doing their jobs. You will also play a large role in deciding who is admitted into your facility, as well as who is hired to work there. A large part of your responsibility will be to manage the facility's budget and finances. Consider the following table to determine if a career as an assisted living administrator is right for you.

Education RequiredBachelor's degree
Key SkillsAnalytical, communication, interpersonal, and problem-solving skills
Licensure RequiredRequired in all states
Job Growth (2014-2024)17% for all medical and health services managers*
Median Salary (2016)$54,096 for assisted living administrators**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Step 1: Enroll in a Degree Program

Different degree programs are available if you want to work as an assistant living coordinator. You may need to complete up to two years of college or earn a bachelor's degree to obtain a license in some states. Depending on the size and complexity of the facility, an employer may require you to have a bachelor's degree in business or health administration. Courses you might study in these degree programs include business management, accounting, human resources administration, medical law and ethics, strategic planning and health information systems.

Step 2: Obtain a License

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many states require assisted living administrators to hold a license before they are allowed to operate a facility ( Requirements vary by state, but some states require you to complete a combination of training programs, college courses and experience working with the elderly before you can gain licensure. The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) developed an examination that many states will require you to pass during the licensing process (www. You may need to renew your license every few years by completing courses related to assisted living management.

Step 3: Gain Work Experience

Jobs for assisted living administrators are growing quickly because of an increasing lifespan and higher demand for care of the elderly. The BLS states that the demand for all health care managers will increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024. Employers will desire you to demonstrate compassion and possess interpersonal skills to manage personnel issues.

Step 4: Enter a Graduate-Level Program for Assisted Living Administrators

Many administrators desire more advancement opportunities and enroll in a master's degree program. You may choose to pursue a master's degree in health services administration or public health. You must take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) before being accepted, and you can complete the program in two years.

Step 5: Get Certified

The American College of Health Care Administrators offers an optional Certified Assisted Living Administrator certification ( Qualifications will vary, depending on your level of education. If you have earned a bachelor's degree, you will need to have gained two years of work experience as an administrator in an assisted living facility and completed 40 hours of approved continuing education.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Aside from assisted living administration, medical and health service managers may work in hospitals, physicians' offices, government and home health care services as clinical managers, health information managers or assistant administrators. Outside of the medical field similar administration careers include human resources management and social and community service management. Human resources management focuses on hiring employees and planning human resources strategies. Social and community service managers guide and oversee the development and execution of social and community service projects.

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