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Long-Term Care Administrator Salary and Job Description

Written by: North Carolina Central University   •  Jun 20, 2024

A long-term care administrator walks with an assisted living facility resident.

Long-Term Care Administrator Salary and Job Description

Long-term care refers to services that help people meet their everyday health or personal care needs when they can no longer do so on their own. With the aging of the U.S. population, this type of care is in high demand, and so are the professionals who help provide it.

While people of any age may need the long-term care that illness or injury can require, older adults are more likely to experience these issues. With the U.S. Census Bureau projecting that the number of Americans age 65 and older will grow from 58 million to 82 million between 2022 and 2050 — a 47% increase — the need for long-term care will likely increase as well.

The increasing older adult population is a key reason for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting that management positions in medical and health services, such as long-term care administrators, will be faster than average between 2022 and 2032. Median salaries for long-term care administrators and other medical managers also outpace the average pay for all roles the bureau tracks.

For those interested in pursuing an important, rewarding career as a long-term care administrator, a bachelor’s degree in health administration can be a good first step toward achieving that goal.

Job Description: Long-Term Care Administrator

Long-term care administrators are responsible for managing and providing care for those living in long-term care facilities. The type of assistance these facilities offer can range from primarily providing housekeeping help to focusing on personal and medical services. Long-term care administrators typically work full time and, depending on the facility, may work during nights and weekends.

These administrators may work in one of the following types of long-term care facilities:

  • Nursing Home: This type of home, also called a skilled nursing facility, offers a broad array of health and personal care assistance, with a greater emphasis on medical services than other types of long-term care.

  • Assisted Living Facility: This type of facility provides assistance with daily care, but its services aren’t as extensive as those that a nursing home provides, focusing more on personal care and recreational activities.

  • Continuing Care Retirement Community: This type of facility, also known as a life care community, often offers independent housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing care on one campus.

Long-Term Care Administrator Responsibilities

Administrators at long-term care facilities are responsible for overseeing all services that the home provides. They establish and direct plans for providing high-quality medical care and safe and comfortable living arrangements. The tasks that long-term care administrators perform include the following:

  • Developing and meeting the facility’s goals for patient satisfaction and quality of care

  • Admitting residents and communicating with families about their loved ones’ care

  • Ensuring that residents receive appropriate and equitable health care and nutritional support

  • Hiring and training staff to provide medical and personal care assistance

  • Scheduling staff services and overseeing contractors’ work

  • Resolving day-to-day issues related to resident care

  • Monitoring care to ensure that it meets legal and regulatory requirements

  • Preparing budgets and managing finances

  • Maintaining records of services the facility provides

Long-Term Care Administrator Salary and Job Outlook

Salaries can vary according to various factors, such as the location of the position and the experience and education levels of the professional. According to Payscale, the median annual salary for long-term care administrators was around $88,300 as of October 2023, with the top 10% of salaries reaching more than $122,000. The median salary for those with between one and four years of experience was about $81,820.

These salaries are well above the 2023 national median annual salary of $48,060 for all jobs that the BLS tracks.

The outlook for job growth is also strong for long-term care administrators. The BLS projects that all medical and health services manager roles will increase by 28%, or about 54,700 each year, between 2022 and 2032.

The BLS notes that the aging U.S. population and its demand for more medical services are reasons for this projected growth. The BLS also reports that the increasing use of electronic health records (EHRs) will leave long-term care facilities with a need for administrators who can oversee the implementation and use of these systems.

How to Become a Long-Term Care Administrator

The requirements for becoming a long-term care administrator typically start with earning a bachelor’s degree in health administration or a related field, such as nursing or business. Below are some important steps in pursuing this career.

Earn a Degree

Most long-term care administrator roles require at least a bachelor’s degree, although some will accept an associate degree or require a master’s degree. Those preparing for this career should seek a degree program that focuses on business and health care topics, such as:

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Nutrition

  • Health care roles

  • Management

  • Medical ethics and laws

The degree program should also help aspiring long-term care administrators develop the skills in leadership and communication that are vital for working with staff, residents, and families.

Although requirements vary by state, a master’s degree is a common prerequisite for becoming a licensed nursing home administrator. Those pursuing master’s degrees should seek programs that help them build on their expertise in health care administration and long-term care.

Gain Experience

Anyone pursuing a role as a long-term care administrator can benefit from experience in a health care setting, and positions that require work in a long-term care facility or in management are especially helpful. Gaining experience can not only open doors for job seekers but also lead to higher salaries for long-term care administrators.

Degree programs that provide opportunities for experience in the field can help prospective long-term care administrators sharpen their on-the-job skills.

Pursue Licensing

Long-term care administrators often hold licenses or other certifications. A common credential for these professionals is a nursing home administrator license, administered by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards. Licensing requirements vary by state but typically focus on education, experience, and passing state and national exams.

Prepare for a Career Leading Optimal Long-Term Care

A bachelor’s degree that helps students develop their health administration knowledge and skills, while also focusing on offering equitable care to all patients and residents, can be helpful preparation for prospective long-term care administrators. The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Administration program offers this equity-focused education.

The program’s courses in managerial and clinical subjects help students establish themselves as future administrators, adept at managing services that address the health care needs of everyone in their community. The program features NCCU Online’s immersive and supportive experience, with instruction from faculty with industry knowledge.

Discover how the NCCU Online’s BS in Health Administration program can help you achieve your career goals.

Recommended Readings

How Nurse Advocates Protect Patient Health

How to Measure Health Equity

Why Intercultural Competence in Nursing Matters


Indeed Career Guide, “How to Become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator (LNHA)”

National Institute on Aging, Long-Term Care Facilities: Assisted Living Nursing Homes, and Other Residential Care

National Institute on Aging, What Is Long-Term Care?

Payscale, Average Long-Term Care Administrator Salary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers

U.S. Census Bureau, 2023 National Population Projections Tables: Main Series

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