Administrators of an assisted living care facility perform operations and staff management duties and interact with senior residents. Several accredited certificate program options as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs exist for those who want to prepare to enter or advance to assisted living administrative positions. Depending on the program, background checks, internships and seminars could be required for admission or successful completion. Distance learning options may be available to students. Many of these programs prepare students for licensure or certification as nursing home administrators.
Associate's Degrees in Assisted Living Administration
Some schools offer associate's degree programs in assisted living administration, though a few may include this focus in a larger nursing home management program. Depending on state regulations, graduates may qualify to take state certification or licensing examinations. Many states require background checks for healthcare administrators, which may be administered through the school. Most programs include opportunities for students to participate in an internship within an assisted living care facility. Students may be expected to complete college-level courses in psychology and medical terminology before entering an assisted living administration program.
The curriculum in an assisted living administration program often consists of training a student in all aspects of staff and facility management. In many cases, these courses qualify as continuing education for license and certification renewal. Students must complete all required coursework and a background check prior to beginning an internship. Common topics include:
- Long-term care facility personnel management
- Health care administration laws and policies
- Introduction to Hospice, Medicare and Medicaid regulations
- Gerontology and organizational behavior
- Fundamentals of supervision, management and labor relations in health care facilities
Bachelor's Degrees in Assisted Living Administration
Bachelor's programs in healthcare administration teach the various aspects of running a public or private health care facility. Emphasis is often put on the administration responsibilities of assisted living managers, such as finances, marketing and human resources. Students may find both traditional and distance learning options available, both meeting state requirements for licensure and certification.
Candidates of an assisted living administration program may be required to complete specific courses or pre-health programs prior to declaring the major. Students may need to pass a criminal background check before or during the program.
Coursework within these programs teaches students methods and techniques for treating older adults with dignity and respect, providing exposure through a supervised internships at a long-term care facility. Common course subjects include:
- Geriatric health issues and medical needs
- Healthcare leadership, management and information systems
- Health issues and care of elderly people
- Ethical and legal regulations of long-term care facilities
- Finance, marketing and business strategies
Certificate Training Programs in Assisted Living Administration
Assisted living administration certificate programs are often short, ranging from a single course to a 1-year commitment. Certificate programs are generally designed to meet state licensing and continuing education requirements for assisted living administrators, and are often offered as post-graduate programs. Schools that provide college credit for courses may allow students to transfer into an undergraduate degree program. Prospective students may be required to hold a high school diploma or GED, obtain work experience or have earned a bachelor's degree prior to admission.
Several formats exist for certificate programs, including online, on-campus and seminar-based programs. Some classes common to a certificate program include:
- Human resources management
- Fundamentals of health care and resident care services
- Laws, policies and regulations of assisted living facilities
- Caring for aging terminal residents
- Financial management and accounting principles
Associate degree program graduates with a specialization in assisted living administration can find positions as administrative assistants or social and human service assistants. In most cases, a bachelor's or master's degree is required for health services managers.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were roughly 314,950 medical and health services managers in 2015. According to BLS projections, a 17% increase in medical and health services management positions was anticipated between the years 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reported in May 2015 that workers in this field earned $94,500 as a median annual salary.
Graduates of a bachelor's program typically qualify for state licensing and may find entry-level positions in assisted living and long-term care facility administration. Some institutions may require employees to earn a graduate degree, which is becoming a standard for healthcare managers. Possible graduate-level options include a Master of Public Health, Master of Healthcare Administration, or Master of Science in Gerontology degree.
Becoming an assisted living care facility administrator is possible by pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree, or by earning a post-graduate certificate. Upon completion of the program, the student will be prepared for licensure or certification by the appropriate state board. Due to the healthy growth of the job market, many opportunities are available in this field.