Like any group, communities need someone to ensure that it's functioning properly. A community association manager is someone that ensures a community is running efficiently and that members' needs are being met. Community association managers can expect to earn over $50,000 a year and the BLS is projecting solid employment growth through 2024.
A community association manager ensures that a residential area functions smoothly and provides for its tenants. With experience, he or she may specialize in a particular type of community, such as a senior living environment, or be promoted to manage multiple properties. Although some of these managers hold only high school diplomas, others hold bachelor's or master's degrees in real estate, business administration or a similar area, which is often preferred. Other requirements may include real estate work experience and licensure. Community association managers may also seek professional certification.
|Required Education||High school diploma; bachelor's or master's degree preferred|
|Other Requirements||Some jobs require real estate work experience and state licensure|
|Certification||Optional professional certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% for all property, real estate and community association managers|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$55,380 annually for all property, real estate and community association managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Community association managers run the services provided in condominiums or other structured living centers. Whereas real estate managers might deal with development or sales, these professionals are responsible for the daily operations of a planned community. They usually spend the day meeting with tenants, examining properties and directing projects on the community property. Licensure is not usually required to work as a community association manager; however, requirements vary by state, employer and job duties - such as whether or not this person will also be buying or selling properties.
A community association manager secures necessary services, such as trash removal, and negotiates the pricing. Financial planning and leasing attempts are also the work of a community association manager. Other responsibilities include resolving tenant complaints and arranging for property repairs in a timely manner. Overall, a community association manager must be knowledgeable in local rules and regulations regarding community properties. He or she may meet with a board of directors to provide updates on community issues or contribute to larger planning discussions.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015, the middle 50% of property, real estate and community association managers earned between $39,160 and $80,270 annually, or between $18.83 and $38.59 per hour (www.bls.gov). The median wage at that time was $55,380 annually. The states with the highest wages for this occupation include New York, Texas and Maryland. Community association managers might receive use of an apartment and other on-site facilities as part of their compensation.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected jobs for property, real estate and community association managers to increase 8% between 2014 and 2024, which is about average for all occupations during that decade. Job seekers with a college degree in business or real estate might have an advantage. Courses, certifications and professional designations in property management are available to provide further training and distinguish accomplished community association managers. One example is the Certified Manager of Community Associations credential available through the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers. Due to an aging population, the BLS projected more job opportunities within communities that focus on the elderly or health care.
Community association managers can work with a variety of clients in many different communities making strong communication skills a big part of the profession. You'll also need great organization, leadership, and problem solving skills. The BLS is predicting employment growth in the field to increase much faster than the average rate through 2024 making this a safe career choice.