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How to Become a Certified Assisted Living Manager

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Assisted living managers are administrators in long-term care residences for the elderly and people who are no longer able to care for themselves. They are professionals who enjoy working closely with people, are adept at problem solving, have the ability to motivate others and want to find meaning in their careers. Not all states require certification for assisted living managers, and the specific requirements for licensure vary by state. But becoming certified shows that you have met certain professional standards, provides evidence of public accountability and demonstrates your commitment to the profession, according to the American College of Health Care Administrators

Obtain a high school diploma or a GED. This is the minimum education required by most states to become a certified assisted living administrator. Many administrators choose to complete an associate, a bachelor's or a higher degree in health care administration or a related field, but a post-secondary education is not required for certification.

Meet the minimum experience requirements. Obtain at least two years of experience working in an assisted living facility, with one year in a management position if you only have a high school diploma. If you have an associate degree, you will need one year of direct experience with at least six months in a managerial role. With a bachelor's degree, you will just need to complete six months of direct experience in a leadership position.

Enroll in a 40-hour residential care/assisted living course approved by the National Association of Boards of Examiners of Long Term Care Administrators, or NAB. The course must cover all areas of practice, including resident care management, human resources management, organizational management and business and financial management.

Pass the licensing examination administered by NAB and, if required by your state, a state law exam.

Submit your education and experience credentials and completed certification application to NAB.


Most states require candidates to be at least 21 in order to be eligible for certification.

You must complete a minimum of 15 hours of approved continuing education coursework on assisted living-related topics biennially or yearly, depending on your state, to maintain certification.

About the Author

Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.

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