Career Paths in Long Term Care

Career as a Life Care Community Administrator
Among long term care administrators, the life care community administrator ordinarily has the fewest regulations with which to contend, yet usually earns the higher salaries in the long term care industry. The administrator of the typical life care community will earn from $70,000 to $90,000, with many earning $100,000 to $150,000 and more. No professional license is required be become the administrator of a life care community. As yet, no training programs have emerged for their professional preparation. It is left to the discretion of the board or owners to define the qualifications expected for the position.


Career as a Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrators must be licensed by their state in order to practice the profession. Information about this process is available throughout this website.

Nursing homes are the most highly regulated portion of the long term care continuum. Administrators of nursing facilities must assure they meet extensive state and federal requirements along with numerous other injunctions such as the Life Safety Code.

Beginning salaries range from about $50,000 to $60,000 a year. A mid-career nursing home administrator should expect to earn between $65,000 and $90,000, though some earnĀ more thanĀ $100,000. Salaries vary widely depending on the region of the United States, the size of the facility and type of ownership. Often not-for-profits pay slightly more than the larger chains. As is true in several industries, salary compression is occurring, leading to a reduced salary difference between new and experienced nursing home administrators.

Turnover is fairly high among nursing facility administrators, at times due to the stresses of the job and others because decisions of corporate owners to shift administrators among facilities.


Career as an Assisted Living / Residential Care Facility Administrator
Assisted living facilities are sometimes thought of as upscale rest homes. Administrators of assisted living facilities have traditionally not been obliged to obtain a license. A trend toward requiring some type of state licensure is developing. As the second millennium opens, five states - Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey, and South Carolina - have decided to license their assisted living administrators. Numerous additional states are considering taking similar action.

Salaries of assisted living administrators are nearly equal to those of nursing home administrators, and sometimes even higher! Beginning salaries range from $40,000 to 55,000. A mid-career assisted living facility administrator should expect to make from $65,000 to $85,000, though some earn as much as $100,000. At present, assisted living / residential care facilities are not nearly as regulated as nursing homes. This factor, along with similarly good salaries is resulting in a considerable number of licensed nursing home administrators moving, or considering moving, to the as yet less stressful assisted living industry.

Far fewer regulations must be observed on a daily basis in the assisted living setting. However, many states, and possibly the U.S. Congress are expected to enact additional relevant legislation over the next few years.