Senior Living Executive Salaries, Bonuses Drop in 2013

Despite an overall growth in senior living pay in 2013 from the previous year, industry executives saw their salaries and bonuses decrease, according to the eighth annual ALFA Senior Living Compensation Survey.

The average base pay of employees included in the survey rose 2% in 2013 compared to 2012. For executive jobs, however, the average salary decreased by approximately $24,000, with average executive bonus payments down 11.4%.

The survey was conducted by compensation and benefits firm Western Management Group on behalf of senior living industry trade group the Assisted Living Federation of America.


Companies participating in the survey in both 2012 and 2013 reported “dramatic” year-over-year growth in employment, up 24%, the survey found. Number of beds also increased by 6.6%, with an 8% growth in reported revenue.

“While pay figures overall rose in this environment, itʼs not evenly distributed across all jobs,” says the survey’s executive summary. “The survey reports little-to-no increase in salaries for many positions, and even slight decreases in some jobs in the industry.”

Site Operations Directors saw their median base salary of $80,360 in 2012 rise to $84,480 last year. On the other end of the scale, Site Resident Services Director median base salaries dropped from $55,432 to $49,360.


Other notable increases in median base salary averages include Director of Nursing Services, from $78,521 to $80,124, and Corporate Resident Services Director, up 14% to $123,780.

The number of part-time employees jumped significantly from 2012 to 2013 among communities surveyed. Nearly half (47%) of employees in the 2013 survey were working part-time, compared to 34% the year before. The percentage is highest among lower-level jobs, Western Management Group notes, including entry-level receptionists, waitstaff/servers, and dishwashers.

This impacts average pay, as base pay for full-time employees is higher than for part-timers.

The 2013 survey includes self-reported data from 61 senior living employers covering 292,000 employees in 145 positions and 2,000 locations across the U.S. and collected pay rates as of May 2013. Nearly a third (32%) of survey participants are assisted living communities, with another 21% specializing in memory care, 13% as independent living providers, 7% skilled nursing, and 26% a combination of senior living services.

This year’s survey covers an additional 60,000 employees and 11 new companies compared to the 2012 edition, Western Management Group notes, making the data comparison somewhat unmatched and possibly contributing to lower salary and bonus averages for senior living executives.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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