Salaries for employees at continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) have been climbing steadily year after year, providing yet another token of the sector’s ongoing financial recovery, suggests recent salary and wage data.
CCRC salaries for management positions have been rising over the years, now getting near the 3% increase mark in 2015, according to the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service (HHCS), a subsidiary of Oakland, New Jersey-based John R. Zabka Associates, Inc.
The 18th annual CCRC Salary & Benefits Report 2015-2016 includes responses from 550 CCRCs, which provided compensation data on more than 86,900 employees covering 42 management and 45 non-management positions.
“Overall by department, the national planned percent increase has increased the past few years, with this year’s Report showing a planned increase of 2.69% for management employees,” said Rosanne Zabka, director of reports for HHCS, to SHN. “The gradual increase continues; the 2013 planned increase for management employees was 2.57% with 2.61% last year.”
Among managerial positions, Executive Directors saw the biggest increase in salary in 2015, rising 3.01% to a national average of $154,795, according to the HHCS data on same participating CCRCs from year-to-year. Executive Directors also were the highest salaried position at CCRCs based on the national trend of average rates.
Nursing Home Administrators followed closely behind ED’s, with salaries rising 2.82% on average to $103,893 in 2015. Associate Directors reported the next highest salary growth, rising 2.77% to $111,590.
Of the 550 participating CCRCs included in the report, 414 are not-for-profit organizations (75.27%), while 136 (24.73%) are for-profits. Of the not-for-profit CCRCs, approximately 40% are religiously affiliated communities.
Although senior housing is often perceived as being “recession proof” due to the needs-based nature of its services, CCRCs hit a rough patch during the throes of the economic downturn. But now with the U.S. economy several years removed from the Great Recession, CCRCs have progressively been bouncing back, and it’s showing through wage and salary increases.
“We’re clearly in the post-recession era and CCRCs are looking at opportunities for growth, development, expansions and for offering new lines of business,” said Steve Maag, director of residential communities at LeadingAge, in an interview with SHN. “Occupancy has increased and financial performance has increased, so I think salary increases are reflective of better economic times.”
For the past 18 years, LeadingAge has partnered with HHCS to produce the annual salary and benefits report, which is meant to offer CCRCs a source of benchmarking data at both the national and regional level.
“Getting info about what benchmarks are involved is something CCRCs are looking at to compare themselves,” Maag said. “From a wage and benefits standpoint, this is an extremely valuable resource for CCRCs to determine where they fit in the scheme of things compared to other CCRCs by size and location.”
Written by Jason Oliva