First and foremost, note that certification or licensure requirements for assisted living administrators tend to vary according to state. However, most states have minimum education requirements, in addition to requiring completion of a state – sponsored training programs.

In the United, most states 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.

Graduate certificate programs in assisted living administration prepare students for leadership roles in the field, as they acquire knowledge about age – related illnesses and conditions, management techniques, counselling methods and human resource operations. Also note that students are expected to gain state certification or licensure before seeking employment.

What Type of Certification Do You Need as an Assisted Living Facility Administrator?

The Certified Assisted Living Administrator (CALA) professional certification is available from the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). The CALA credential is awarded to administrators who meet education and experience qualifications and pass the ACHCA examination. Howbeit, Certifications are expected to be renewed every five years.

Certified assisted living administrators are always tasked with supervising health care services for older adults who require regular care and assistance with daily tasks. These professionals may supervise workers and assistant administrators, and administrators often work long hours and remain on call after normal business hours.

Assisted living administrators also take care, outline and coordinate services geared toward older adults who may require assistance with eating, bathing, taking medication and other basic functions. They are expected to oversee the day – to – day operations of the assisted living facilities and ensure that all staff are providing the best service possible.

They also supervise all security, transportation and monitoring needs at their location. They work in an office setting and are in constant communication with all workers and typically have assistant administrators on staff that handle various daily decisions and report any concerns to the administrator. Since assisted living facilities are open around the clock, assisted living administrators tend to work long hours and remain on call after hours.

Other Requirements of Becoming a Certified Assisted Living Facility Administrator

Assisted Living Administrators work at nursing homes, assisted living centres and various health care centres. They may be required to work overtime to coordinate employees and provide better health care to the residents. Aside from the key certification programs mentioned above, here are other requirements to have in mind while embarking on this lucrative journey.

1. Education Requirements

Note that in many states, you will require a bachelor’s degree to become an assisted living facility administrator. Although depending on the size and complexity of the facility, an employer may expect you to have a bachelor’s degree in business or health administration. Courses you might study in these degree programs include business management, accounting, human resources administration, medical law and ethics, strategic planning and health information systems.

2. Certification Requirements

Also note that 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. Students are also taught to supervise personnel, handle the intake of new patients, and develop strategic management plans.

Most schools expect that incoming students have at least two – year experience in the health care industry and a bachelor’s degree. Certificate programs are typically offered by 4 – year colleges and universities. Most states require certification or licensure for assisted living administrators.

3. Licensing Requirements

In the United States, reports have it that some states require assisted living administrators to be licensed. These requirements may also include a criminal background check. Most states also require a college education, preferably in public health administration or business administration, and related work experience. Most states require the completion of a state training program.

All states that require a license have an exam requirement. In order to become licensed, assisted living administrators must meet the educational and experience requirements for the NAB exam. Those with a bachelor’s degree only need six months experience in order to sit for the exam and may also have more job opportunities due to their higher level of education.

4. Skill Requirements

Assisted Living Administrators are expected to possess wide range of knowledge in various fields such as finance, business management and governing regulations for assisted living. Additionally, they are expected to hold various traits such as organizational and leadership quality, analytical and problem solving capacity, pleasant communication and interpersonal skills, ability to remain calm under pressure, work with compassion, computer skills etc.

5. Work Experience Requirements

Jobs for assisted living administrators are growing quickly, including Interim Assisted Living Administrator, and employers often require a minimum of two years work experience as an assisted living administrator plus demonstrate compassion and possess interpersonal skills to manage personnel issues.

Relevant work experience in an assisted living environment gives administrator candidates a first – hand understanding of the unique responsibilities present in dealing with the needs of older adults.

Note that since assisted living administrators oversee valuable equipment and facilities, they are expected to possess and constantly hone their financial and analytical skills to pursue the most cost – effective strategies for their location. Also note that genuine concern and sensitivity for the welfare of tenants and the challenges of aging is essential.

6. Alternative Careers

Aside from assisted living administration jobs, licensed Administrators may work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, government and home health care services as clinical managers, health information managers or assistant administrators. Also note that outside the medical field, some administrator jobs and careers include human resources management and social and community service management.


The long term care industry is one of the largest growing employment fields in the US. This is due to our rapidly aging population. Assisted Living facilities and communities are growing rapidly around the United States.

The trend away from nursing home living has established a new market for individuals needing some assistance but wanting to remain mostly independent. Assisted Living facilities are this solution. Professional certification through the ACHCA also has educational and experiential prerequisites, but will likely increase candidate credibility in this lucrative field.

Ajaero Tony Martins