Highest-Paid Assisted Living Employees in 2017

CEOs and presidents are no longer assisted living communities’ highest earners, on average.

Now, that designation belongs to CFOs, according to the latest Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report from the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service, which is produced with support from LeadingAge and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL).

For the 20th annual report, more than 600 assisted living communities provided compensation data on more than 37,700 employees across the country. Roughly 80% of the participating communities were for‐profit and approximately 20% were not‐for‐profit.


The average assisted living CFO earned about 13% more than the average assisted living CEO/President in 2017, the report reveals. In 2016, by comparison, the average assisted living CEO/President earned approximately 46% more than the average assisted living CFO.

It’s possible that CFOs appear to have higher salaries than CEOs and presidents because some communities reported their CFO’s salary, but not their president/CEO’s salary, which is likely higher, Rosanne Zabka, director of reports at the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service, told Senior Housing News.

At the same time, wages rose for every job position in assisted living last year.


For example, the average hourly wage of certified nurse aides in assisted living jumped almost 4% from $12.70 to $13.21 between 2016 and 2017, the report reveals. The average hourly wage of staff nurses (RNs) in assisted living, meanwhile, rose just 1.59% during that same time period, from $30.11 to $30.59.

Rising labor costs are likely a concern among many senior living providers this year; Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), for instance, has said it anticipates continued cost pressures into 2018. The ongoing labor shortage—and rising wages—are also contributing to rising rent rates.

Top 10 Average Salaries in 2017

1. Chief Financial Officer – $150,216

2. CEO/President – $132,560

3. Director of Information Technology – $115,421

4. Assisted Living Administrator – $85,627

5. Resident Care Coordinator – $81,161

6. Director of Human Resources – $80,661

7. Director of Nurses – $79,584

8. Director of Dining/Food Services – $65,281

9. Director of Environmental Services – $64,819

10. Director of Marketing – $64,399

Top 10 Average Hourly Wages in 2017

1. Staff Nurse (RN) – $30.59

2. Maintenance Mechanic II – $27.54

3. Business Office Manager – $26.27

4. Chef – $23.55

5. Practical Nurse (LPN) – $23.13

6. Chef/Kitchen Manager – $21.95

7. Payroll Clerk – $21.49

8. Executive Assistant – $21.16

9. Sous Cook – $17.82

10. Dining Room Supervisor – $17.63

Turnover also presented a challenge for a good number of survey respondents in 2017, as 43.26% indicated that their turnover had risen in the past 12 months. Still, 47.16% of communities reported that their turnover remained unchanged during that time period, and 9.58% of communities actually experienced a decrease in turnover.

Interestingly, 65% of caregivers are “always looking for a better job,” according to recent research.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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