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  • Writer's pictureChristine Meringolo

CALA Job Description

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) predicted a job growth of 20 percent for medical and health services managers in the decade preceding 2026—almost three times faster than average. With the aging Baby Boomer generation, the need for facilities that provide a little extra help to elderly residents is projected to grow similarly.

Assisted living administrators manage, outline and coordinate services geared toward older adults who may require assistance with eating, bathing, taking medication and other basic functions. They oversee the day-to-day operations of the assisted living facilities and ensure that all staff are providing the best service possible. Administrators supervise all security, transportation and monitoring needs at their location. Most certified assisted living administrators work in an office setting. They are in constant communication with all workers and typically have assistant administrators on staff who handle various daily decisions and report any concerns to the administrator. Because assisted living facilities are open around the clock, assisted living administrators often work long hours and remain on call after hours.

While the responsibilities will vary based upon the size, scope, and population of the residence, some overarching responsibilities include:

  • Planning a facility’s budget

  • Hiring and maintaining staff

  • Conducting meetings with department heads

  • Marketing the facility’s services to the wider community

  • Implementing policies and goals

  • Coordinating logistical functions such as food service

  • Monitoring a facility’s compliance with state regulations

While strong business management responsibilities make up the bulk of an administrator’s daily agenda, another essential aspect of the job is to serve as the face and leader of the facility, which requires less quantifiable and more human directives, such as:

  • Acting as a liaison between residents, families, staff, and community

  • Engaging with residents and staff via facility walkthroughs

  • Developing a culture of compassion throughout the facility

  • Ensuring a safe, equitable, and engaging living environment

  • Keeping the facility pivoted towards resident-centric operations

To be an assisted living administrator is to be engaged in a constant juggling act. As the administrator of a 24-hour facility, one must always be on-call. Furthermore, as the leader of a community of residents, administrators must be consistently attuned to the personalized needs of those under their care.

Assisted living administrators need two contrasting, but critical, skill sets: rational business acumen and a compassionate human touch. Each facility is a business and needs to be treated as such. For this reason, administrators but have a full scope of knowledge about record-keeping, budgeting, and other financial instruments.

However, an assisted living residence is also a community of individuals, and thus requires pertinent attention to the personalized needs of each resident and his or her family. While not as medically intensive as a nursing home, assisted living facilities do need to tend to the needs of an aging population, which requires some knowledge of gerontology and end-of-life care.

When calculating salaries, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for all health care administrators is $96,540. For the bottom ten percent of earners, the median salary is $56,970, while the median income of the top ten percent is $172,240.

To become a Certified Assisted Living Administrator in New Jersey you need to be a high school graduate, be 21 years or older, be able to pass a criminal background check and complete a assisted living training program approved by the NJDHSS and pass the state exam.

Varis Health offers the Assisted Living Training Program approved by New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and NAB (National Association of Long Term Care Administration Boards) about every 6 weeks in different parts of New Jersey for your convenience. To view the schedule for the first 4 classes of 2019, click here . For a complete schedule, email

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