What does a Resident Assistant do?
Resident Assistants typically work for assisted living facilities or retirement communities to provide support to residents and their quality of life. They coordinate with other staff members to ensure that residents receive the medical support and nutrition they need. Their job is to make residents feel valued by engaging in positive interactions with them and making an effort to provide them with fun activities and group programs. They may also be responsible for contacting a resident’s relatives to notify them of changes in their loved one’s health or behavior.
Resident Assistant skills and qualifications
Since this position involves regularly interacting with students and boosting morale, a Resident Assistant needs many skills to successfully do their job. Some of these skills and qualifications can include:
- Ability to act professionally at all times and as a strong role model for residents
- Personable, friendly and outgoing personality
- Effective communication and listening skills to interact with students
- Ability to maintain a calming presence in case of emergency events in order to direct and assist residents safely
- Good organization and planning skills
- Great time management
Resident Assistant salary expectations
Resident Assistants make an average of $12.08 per hour. In addition to hourly pay, some Resident Assistants may receive free or discounted housing since they are often required to stay in the dorms with residents. Pay rate may depend on geographical location and institution.
Resident Assistant education and training requirements
Since Resident Assistants are already enrolled in college courses, they don’t often require previous education besides a high school diploma. However, the university may require them to meet a specific GPA requirement when serving as an RA. Many RA candidates will attend a training course that involves engaging with residents and keeping them safe. This training may include earning a CPR certification and learning how to perform first aid.
Resident Assistant experience requirements
The experience requirements for Resident Assistants vary due to this being an entry-level position. Some employers may prefer applicants who have previously lived in the dorms so that they can apply this experience and knowledge when advising residents. It can also be beneficial for RAs to have experience working with others, so they may prefer candidates who participate in on-campus activities or clubs. Applicants who served in leadership roles such as a president of a club may also be strong candidates.
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