Elderly and disabled people who can take care of some of their needs may want to reside in assisted living facilities instead of nursing homes. Assisted living administrators ensure these residents get the proper care and needs and oversee the daily operations of the facilities. They also supervise and direct the work staff, which can include nurses, caregivers, activity directors and food service managers. If you want to become an assisted living administrator, you need to get a bachelor's degree in public administration or business. Your annual salary will vary according to the geographical area in which you work.
Salary and Qualifications
The average salary of an assisted living administrator was $71,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. To become an assisted living administrator, you need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in health services, public administration, business or long-term administration. Since this isn't typically an entry-level position, employers may prefer that you have at least two or three years of experience in health care administration. Other essential requirements for the job are attention to detail and analytical, communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and technical skills.
In 2013, average annual salaries for assisted living administrators varied the most in the West, according to Indeed, where they earned the least in Hawaii and the most in California -- $50,000 and $83,000, respectively. Those in the Midwest made $57,000 to $85,000 per year in South Dakota and Illinois, respectively. If you were an assisted living administrator in Louisiana or Washington, D.C., you'd earn an average of $66,000 or $91,000, respectively, the lowest and highest salaries in the South. In the Northeast, you'd earn the least in Maine or the most in New York, at $61,000 or $93,000, respectively.
Assisted living administrators' salaries fell somewhere in the middle among other administrators and managers, whether they worked in assisted living facilities or for other employers. Medical and health services managers, or nursing home or clinical administrators, earned an average of $98,460 as of May 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus the $71,000 for assisted living administrators. Administrative service managers, or office managers, made $88,660 per year. Food service managers earned $52,580 annually, according to 2012 BLS data, while education administrators of childcare centers made $51,060.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor loosely classifies assisted living administrators as medical and health services managers, which also includes nursing home and clinical administrators. It projects a 22-percent increase in employment for medical and health services managers through 2020, faster than the national average of 14 percent for all occupations. Rising numbers of elderly baby boomers should increase the number of patients in all types of living facilities. This increased demand for long-term health care may increase jobs for medical and health services managers, including those who work in assisted living facilities.