RCFE Administrator Salary

How Much Money Can an RCFE Administrator Make?

The average salary for a certified RCFE administrator in California is more than $45,000 according to ZipRecruiter. 

Becoming an RCFE administrator can provide not only a fulfilling career that makes use of your business and people skills, and helps older individuals, but it can also provide profitable annual earnings.

California licensing regulations provide a structured path to become an RCFE administrator, and generally begin with enrolling in accredited RCFE classes.

Most people have high expectations for their chosen career path. For many, an attractive salary and good benefits top the list. The majority of individuals also prioritize work where they can help others and make a difference in their lives. 

Working as an RCFE Administrator is a good way to obtain those career goals. 

This article will explore what it takes to become an RCFE administrator, what that career path entails, and what kind of compensation you can expect. 

RCFEs Fill a Unique Niche

When deciding on a career in Residential Care, it’s important to understand what you are getting yourself into.  

Facilities for the elderly provide a special solution for persons who experience limitations as they age and can no longer live by themselves. 

They may have problems keeping their home clean, preparing nutritious meals or practicing daily hygiene such as taking a shower or even getting dressed.

As an RCFE professional, part of your job is understanding that these elderly individuals still value their independence and want to make as many of their own decisions as possible. While maintaining their household independently might be a challenge, they do not necessarily require constant supervision or daily medical care. 

A well-managed RCFE will provide its residents with a balance of supervision, assistance, and independence. As an administrator, it will be your responsibility to ensure that balance is maintained.

Special Skill Sets Help Run a Successful RCFE

To keep a facility operating smoothly, an RCFE professional needs a vital set of skills. 

Since any size RCFE is essentially a business, the administrator must have the operational and management skills required to lead it. Some of those skills include: 

  • Creating and managing a budget for the facility
  • Developing marketing strategies and activities
  • Hire, train and supervise employees
  • Establish policies and procedures
  • Ensure the facility is meeting all state regulations and requirements
  • Oversee logistics such as meal plans and resident activities

At the same time, the purpose of an RCFE is to provide for the well-being of the individuals who live there. To that end, intangibles such as compassion and excellent people skills are also essential for being a successful administrator. 

Every decision the administrator makes must have the safety, happiness, and welfare of their residents in mind. An RCFE administrator needs to provide personal leadership and support to not only the residents and families but also its employees.

California Tailors Requirements to Facility Size

So how exactly do you enter this career path? 

In order to apply for an RCFE administrator certificate in California, the applicant must be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED/HSED equivalent. 

The next steps involve passing an 80-hour certification course, earning a 70% or better score on a 100-question exam, obtaining a Live-Scan fingerprint clearance, completing the required state forms, and submitting the application with a $100 fee. 

Upon the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approval of your application, you will obtain an Administrator Certificate that will allow you to oversee an RCFE with 1-15 residents.

If you are looking to manage a larger facility, the minimum educational requirements increase depending on the number of residents that reside in the facility. 

The administrator of a facility licensed for 16-49 residents, must have completed, with a passing grade, at least 15 college or continuing education semester or equivalent quarter units and have at least one year’s experience providing residential care to the elderly; or equivalent education and experience as approved by CDSS.

To obtain certification as an administrator for an RCFE facility with 50 or more residents, the requirement increases to two years of college and three years of experience providing residential care to the elderly; or equivalent education and experience as approved by CDSS. 

Most administrators start out with the minimum requirements and begin working at a small facility to gain practical, hands-on experience. 

During this time, many administrators will decide if they enjoy working with a small RCFE, or if they prefer to work for a larger facility. They may even contemplate the idea of applying for an RCFE license and starting their own facility. 

California has many small assisted living facilities where the owner is also the administrator. There is no wrong option here and different circumstances will suit the needs of different individuals.

Salary and Job Outlook for RCFE Administrators Primed for Growth

So now that we’ve reviewed some of the requirements to become an administrator, let’s look at salaries and opportunities. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth for medical and health service managers for the 10-year period from 2019-2029 should top 30%, which is much faster than the average job growth for this period. 

A primary reason for this anticipated increase is the aging of the baby boomer generation and the resulting need for more care facilities, including RCFE facilities.

When it comes to compensation, the data on Glassdoor reports that the average salary for an RCFE administrator in California is around $45,000 a year. 

In general, salaries for this position range from a low of $27,000 annually to a high of $130,000 or more for roles at large facilities involving greater responsibilities. 

Keep in mind that starting salaries are generally adjusted according to the education and experience of the job candidate. Most large facilities also provide a bonus program structured on census retention and meeting budgetary goals. 

There are many ways to increase your value as an RCFE Administrator. 

An administrator can learn the ropes and gain valuable experience in meeting the challenges of a small care facility with a license to do business in California. At the same time, online learning offers the possibility of taking college credits while working to meet the requirements for certification at a larger assisted living facility. 

By completing college courses and gaining practical experience, an RCFE administrator can move along on a career trajectory that enhances both job responsibilities and compensation.

RCFE Classes Jump-Start a New Career Path

Ready to get your new career started? Our RCFE Certification classes give you the knowledge and means to not only pass the California Department of Social Services test but also to succeed as a caring administrator of an assisted living facility in the real world. 

We make sure you understand all the California regulations involved with an RCFE license including learning about medication responsibilities, business operations and effective marketing for assisted living facilities.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward a career as an RCFE administrator, Assisted Living Education is here to help.

About Assisted Living Education
Assisted Living Education has been operating in and improving the growing senior care industry for over 15 years. Founded by certified RCFE administrators, Jane Van Dyke-Perez and Bill Perez, we have licensed more than 1,100 assisted living facilities and built close relationships with the California Department of Social Services, assisted living managers, owners and industry professionals. As senior living care educators ourselves, we strive to contribute our knowledge and skills to continually improve senior care and the satisfaction of those working in the industry.