The Highest-Paid Employees in Assisted Living

The labor shortages currently burdening the senior housing industry are very real—so perhaps it’s no surprise that assisted living wages went up across the board in 2016.

Wages increased for every job position in assisted living last year, according to a new report from the Hospital and Healthcare Compensation Service.

About 1,300 assisted living communities took part in the Hospital and Healthcare Compensation Service’s 19th annual survey, 1,188 of which were identified as for-profit and 124 of which were identified as not-for-profit.


Resident assistants experienced the largest increase in compensation among hourly employees, jumping 3.75% from $10.53 per hour in 2015 to $10.92 per hour in 2016, the 2016-2017 Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report revealed. Marketing representatives, meanwhile, saw the largest increase in compensation among salaried employees, jumping 3.67% from $44,301 in 2015 to $45,925 in 2016.

None of the salaried or hourly positions experienced a drop in compensation from 2015 to 2016, according to the report.

Top 10 Salaries in 2016


1. CEO/President: $142,704

2. Chief Financial Officer: $97,920

3. Assisted Living Administrator: $77,456

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4. Director of Information Technology: $77,321

5. Director of Human Resources: $73,461

6. Director of Nurses: $68,098

7. Resident Care Coordinator: $62,032

8. Director of Marketing: $60,964

9. Memory Care Program Director: $60,276

10. Director of Dining/Food Services: $57,324

Top 10 Hourly Wages in 2016

1. Staff Nurse (RN): $28.49

2. Business Office Manager: $23.01

3. Chef: $22.78

4. Practical Nurse (LPN): $21.30

5. Executive Assistant: $21.18

6. Chef/Kitchen Manager: $20.91

7. Payroll Clerk: $19.76

8. Maintenance Mechanic II: $18.26

9. Lead Certified Nurse Aide: $16.48

10. Maintenance Mechanic I: $16.21

Senior living increasingly is concerned with tight labor markets, according to Beth Mace, the chief economist and director of capital markets research at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). It’s become more difficult for senior housing companies to fill both frontline and higher-up positions, Mace said during a presentation at the NIC Fall Conference in Washington, D.C., in September 2016.

Some senior housing organizations are turning to outside help to staff their communities. In a June 2016 survey of not-for-profit senior housing CFOs, for example, Chicago-based speciality investment bank Ziegler found that approximately 53% of CFOs have worked with temp agencies to fill direct care staff vacancies.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

Photo credit: “Money-Savings” by 401k 2010CC BY-SA 2.0

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