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Assisted Living Administrator Certificate and Certification Programs

Learn about certificate programs that train students to become assisted living administrators, and check the certification process for this field. Review the prerequisites for enrolling in these programs, explore the coursework, and get career info for assisted living administrators.

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Essential Information

Assisted living administrators oversee day-to-day operations and supervise clinical staff at assisted living and long-term care facilities. There is no set educational path for becoming an assisted living administrator. Many aspiring professionals begin their education by earning a bachelor's or master's degree in a field like health care administration or health sciences management.

A graduate certificate program in assisted living administration can further provide the specialized skills and training necessary to work in an assisted living facility. These certificate programs typically are offered by 4-year colleges and universities. Most states require certification or licensure for assisted living administrators. Mandatory or voluntary licensure or certification requires a passing score on an examination, according to the laws of the various states.

Education Prerequisites

Graduate certificate programs in assisted living administration generally require that incoming students hold at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to health care administration or management. Some schools also require or recommend that incoming students have at least two years' experience in the health care industry.

Program Coursework

A graduate certificate program in assisted living administration, which usually consists of about 15 credit hours, teaches individuals to analyze data related to aging populations. Many of the courses found in a graduate certificate program of this nature teach students to apply management skills to the specific environment of an assisted living facility.

They might cover regulations and patient care procedures that relate specifically to the elderly. Students also learn to supervise personnel, handle the intake of new patients, develop strategic management plans and oversee the care of those individuals suffering from age-related conditions, such as dementia.

Topics of study generally include the following:

  • Alzheimer's disease and related conditions
  • The aging process
  • Management of assisted living facilities
  • Strategic management principles
  • The U.S. health system
  • Counseling for terminally ill patients
  • Death and dying

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Health services managers at nursing care facilities held about 20,000 positions in the United States in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( The mean annual salary for health services managers at nursing care facilities was $82,240 in May 2012.

Certification and Licensure Information

Certification or licensure requirements for assisted living administrators vary by state. Most have minimum education requirements, in addition to requiring completion of a state-sponsored training program. A number of states also use the Nursing Home Administration's Residential Care/Assisted Living Examination as a required or voluntary measure of competence. Independent organizations and businesses, such as the Center for Health Services Education and Research, also offer voluntary certification for those in the profession.

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