Rewarding Senior Care Career Opportunities

The demands for modern senior living are evolving with our population. As the baby boomer generation ages, they want a more active and interesting assisted living experience. This means senior care today is more exciting than ever.

Working with seniors can be a richly rewarding experience, and it can also represent a career path full of opportunities. Demand is on the rise for compassionate professionals who support seniors with their physical and emotional needs.

Man with a staff badge talks with an elderly man seated on a bench outdoors.

When you graduate with a bachelor’s degree in senior living management, you may opt to seek a senior care career in a medical or administrative field, such as assisted living administration or nursing home management. You also may choose to explore employment providing emotional and social support for seniors through jobs in hospitality, activities, nutrition management, and health services.

The job outlook is strong for those who wish to pursue a senior care career. With the U.S. Census Bureau indicating a growth of 38.8% in individuals aged 65-84 between 2010 and 2020, the number of career opportunities for those interested in helping seniors is exploding.

In addition, a number of jobs in assisted living typically offer competitive salaries. Working with seniors is a fantastic opportunity for graduates with senior living management degrees who want to exercise empathy, creativity, and patience in their work.

What businesses are hiring senior living management degree graduates?

Senior living management graduates often seek employment in the healthcare sector, and a wide assortment of businesses and organizations are eager to employ experts in this field — including for-profit companies, nonprofits, and government organizations. These include:

  • Hospitals
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Health clinics
  • Home care service providers
  • Hospice care
  • Managed care companies
  • Consulting practices

What are some popular jobs in assisted living?

Graduates of a senior living management program enter an inspiring landscape of job opportunities that have a profound impact on the lives of those they serve. This fast-growing industry offers senior care careers where graduates transform their passion for helping the elderly into an exciting career:

Assisted Living Administrator

Assisted living facilities support patients who are seeking to balance their independence with the care they require. Administrators oversee day-to-day operations, including staffing, scheduling, facility management, vendor management, activities, procedures, technology, and more.

Their work is critical to maintaining the well-being of both patients and staff, and ensuring the facility remains fully operational. It is critical that they possess both hard and soft skills, as they spend considerable time interfacing with others.

Growth and Salary

Assisted living administrators report extremely high job satisfaction, as they have a direct impact on the success of their facilities and happiness of its patients and staff. In addition, according to data compiled by PayScale.com, assisted living administrators can expect to earn a median of $46,607 a year. The top 25% of professionals report making from $57,000 to $69,000 annually.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Attention to detail
  • Management
  • Communication
  • Time management

Senior Care Consultant

As the population continues to age, Americans are increasingly seeking senior care consultants. These professionals provide guidance for seniors and their families around care and provisions — from healthcare to finances and insurance.

They may have worked in other senior care capacities, such as nursing or facility management, and they leverage their experience and compassion to help their clients navigate the complex world of elder care. By assessing their clients’ level of independence, budgetary restrictions, medical needs, and preferences, senior care consultants offer solutions to fit their clients’ lives.

Growth and Salary

Job opportunities are increasing for this valuable senior care career. The average salary can vary widely based on experience and location, but individuals report anywhere from $36,980 to $67,000 in annual income for care advocate positions, according to Glassdoor.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Financial acumen

Nursing Home Director

Nursing homes are complex institutions with a number of moving parts and many people who are integral to their successful operation. Nursing home directors leverage their business and management knowledge to oversee the organization, while also ensuring that the facility complies with all health and safety codes.

In some states, like California, this requires additional licensure. Nursing home directors are also often involved in the community at large.

Growth and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for nursing home directors and other medical and health services managers is projected to grow 20% from 2016 to 2026, significantly faster than the predicted growth in other career fields. Nursing home directors report earnings anywhere from $79,000 into six figures. While this may vary based on region and experience, it points to exciting potential opportunities.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Financial acumen
  • Decision-making
  • Communication

Assisted Living Compliance Officer

A number of organizations, including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, submit compliance guidelines for long-term care organizations like assisted living facilities. This ensures the health, safety, and well-being of patients, staff, and guests. Compliance issues range from maintaining safe working conditions to preventing fraud and abuse.

If you pursue a senior care career as an assisted living compliance officer, your focus will be on ensuring your organization adheres to all legal and safety compliance guidelines. Due to the integral role these officers play, they also serve as a liaison to other departments, executives, and stakeholders.

Growth and Salary

While earnings may vary based on location and experience, BLS data points a mean salary for compliance officers across industries of $72,520, while Glassdoor reports an average salary of $77,400 for healthcare compliance officers.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Attention to detail
  • Decision-making
  • Critical thinking
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Financial acumen
  • Leadership

Activities Director

A growing number of seniors value and expect to remain active, long after retirement. Facilities need to respond by providing diverse options that feed their energy and interests.

Activities directors take the lead in bringing in entertainment — such as music, performances, and educational talks — as well as organizing seasonal parties, games, book clubs, recreational activities, crafts, spiritual gatherings, and much more. Their work helps patients remain engaged with their community, physically active, and emotionally invested in their quality of life.

Growth and Salary

As with nearly all senior care careers, demand is on the rise. Data compiled by PayScale.com suggests that the average salary for an activities director is $39,000 per year.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Management
  • Communication

Sales Consultant

Seniors rely on a variety of products and services to help them navigate their lives, and compassionate sales consultants can help ensure their customers receive the right support.

Many sales consultants who work with seniors seek employment with retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, where they help clients determine if their location is a good fit for their needs and desires.

Growth and Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, the national average salary for a senior living sales consultant is $52,000 per year.

Skills recommended to succeed:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Financial acumen
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail

Learn More About Senior Care Careers

If you’re excited by the prospect of a fulfilling senior care career, Maryville University’s online Bachelor of Science in Senior Living Management can help you achieve your goals.

Our program can help you learn a variety of skills from the comfort of home and prepare you to enter a growing industry that has a substantial impact. Start your journey by learning more about our online bachelor’s program in senior living management.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2018, 13-1041 Compliance Officers

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers

California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Program: Nursing Home Administrator

Glassdoor, Care Advocate Salaries

Glassdoor, Healthcare Compliance Officer Salaries

Houston Chronicle, “What are the Duties of an Activities Director?”

PayScale, Average Assisted Living Manager Salary

PayScale, Salary for Certification: Activity Director Certified (ADC)

Small Business Research Reports, Assisted Living Facilities

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Compliance Guidelines

ZipRecruiter, Average Salary of Senior Living Sales Counselor Jobs