Geriatric Health Care Administrator Career Requirements

Mar 23, 2019

Find out about the job duties of a geriatric health care administrator. Learn the education and licensure requirements for this career, as well as for related careers.

Career Definition for a Geriatric Health Care Administrator

Geriatric health care administrators manage the business and patient care operations of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They are specially trained to deal with elder care issues, such as stroke and cardiac rehabilitation programs and Alzheimer's care, in addition to handling administrative matters, such as budgeting, cost containment, personnel management and regulatory compliance. They also oversee marketing efforts, community and public relations, facilities management and department coordination. Geriatric health care administrators are employed by large and small facilities throughout the United States.

Education Bachelor's or master's degree in nursing home administration or related field
License Requirements Exam given by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards
Job Skills Business management, elder care knowledge, communication skills, financial knowledge
Median Salary (2017)* $98,350 for medical and health services managers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 20% for medical and health services managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Careers in geriatric health care administration require a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing home administration or a related field, such as health facility management or business administration. Coursework is typically in gerontology, long-term care and aging services administration.


Geriatric health care administrators are required to pass the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards, commonly known as the NAB exam. Many states also require additional licensing for residential care and assisted living (RC/AL) administrators. Information about exam prerequisites and state licensing requirements is available on the NAB website.

Skills Required

Geriatric health care administrators must have good business management skills as well as knowledge specifically related to elder care, such as medical and mental health issues and regulatory compliance. They must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to manage and lead medical, administrative and operations staff. They should be comfortable making decisions and delegating authority. Geriatric health care administrators need a strong financial administration background, including expertise in budgeting and cost containment and the ability to analyze and interpret data.

Employment and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 20% job growth for medical and health services managers from 2016 to 2026. Managers working in geriatric health care administration should see especially strong growth due to increased demand for elder care services as baby-boomers reach retirement age. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for medical and health services managers was $98,350 in May 2017.

Alternative Career Options

Check out these other options for careers in administrative management:

Human Resources Manager

Those interested in people management, but prefer to work with people of all ages, may be interested in a career in human resources management. Human resources (HR) managers ensure that employees are paid and oversee employee benefits and employee training programs. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to work as an HR manager, but some positions may require a master's degree in human resource management. HR managers earned a median annual salary of $110,120 in 2017, according to the BLS. The BLS projects jobs for human resources managers will increase at about an average pace of 9% from 2016 to 2026.

Social and Community Service Manager

Like geriatric health care administrators, social and community service managers oversee programs designed to help people, but these managers work with many groups of people, not just the geriatric population. Social and community service managers determine what programs are good for their community, find funding for the programs and oversee the administration of the programs. A bachelor's degree in social work or a related field is typically required, along with some experience. As of May 2017, the median annual salary for social and community service managers was $64,100, according to the BLS. While these managers work with all age groups, the growing geriatric population is the reason that the BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth of 18% for this career field from 2016 to 2026.

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