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25 Highest-Paying Jobs in Senior Living

25 Highest-Paying Jobs in Senior Living

In 2024, Goodwin Recruiting marked 25 years in business. One of the things we’re doing this year is creating content that’s all about the number 25.  

As a talent recruiting firm that places professional- and executive-level experts with employers throughout the United States, we have extensive data about salary ranges for different positions in multiple industries. 

After digging into that data and combining it with that of other leading salary guides, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we isolated the 25 highest-paying jobs in the senior living industry, which is one of the core markets we serve.  

Our intent in providing these annual salary rankings is two-fold:  

  1. We want to help employers in the senior living industry explore, affirm, or possibly adjust salaries for specific roles to remain or become more competitive in the hiring market. 
  2. We want to give job seekers a view of high-paying jobs in senior living to help inform their career paths, planning, and searches in the job market.  

About the salary ranges 

Many factors determine average salaries and salary ranges for middle management to executive and C-suite roles in the senior living industry. You’ll see that the data reflects a wide range of salaries for each position listed. Here are a few reasons the annual salary range for a full-time professional is broad:  

  • Salaries can vary by sector. Data includes but is not limited to salaries for top jobs within the most common and fastest-growing senior living concepts and sectors, from independent living to luxury senior living, 55+ communities, assisted living, continuing care retirement (also called life-care communities), senior housing, long-term care, memory care, and nursing homes.  
  • Senior living communities comprise all types and sizes of accommodations, health care and other services, and amenities, and they widely vary by organizational size and structure. Ownership type also impacts salary ranges, depending on whether an organization is privately or publicly owned, or has a nonprofit status. 
  • Regional and city differences: As in any industry, salaries can vary based on the location of the job and organization. 
  • Education requirements and years of experience: Most high-paying roles require a minimum of an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, and a good number require advanced degrees, such as master’s degrees or doctorates, particularly for medical professionals. Specializations, certifications, licensures, and years of experience in these and related fields, such as health care facilities, the hospitality industry, and other health care-related fields, can impact annual salaries.  
  • It’s also important to consider that these annual salary ranges do not typically include compensation beyond base annual pay, such as bonuses or profit sharing, which can increase or decrease base pay.  

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/President: $265,000 – $800,000 

This position is responsible for the strategic operational and financial performance of the organization in ways that drive the organization’s mission, strategic goals, values, and success in the industry. These professionals are ultimately responsible for overseeing and working in concert with the entire leadership team to successfully and consistently deliver a culture of accountability, hospitality, integrity, compliance, quality, transparency, resident satisfaction, and profitability. 

2. Chief Medical Officer (CMO): $401,815 – $533,863

These C-suite leaders are licensed medical doctors who manage medical staff and develop policies for clinical programs, oversee quality and performance improvements, and maintain compliance with HIPAA and other regulations. They stay on top of medical care innovations, recommend new practices and procedures, and advise chief executive officers, presidents, and medical teams on pertinent patient care matters.

3. Chief Strategy Officer (CSO): $160,000 – $500,000 

As the title implies, CSOs lead the development of an organization’s strategic planning process, providing insights, knowledge, direction, and guidance to the CEO. They direct organizational interests, work to inspire staff across all units of the organization and are responsible for driving organizational change and transformation. CSOs work closely with the CEO to advance the organization’s vision and mission.  

4. Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Chief People Officer (CPO): $295,000 – $450,000

CHROs and CPOs oversee comprehensive human resource strategies, including talent acquisition, retention, management, development, and job training, as well as employee engagement, compensation, benefits, payroll, labor relations, employee support services, and more. They develop complete human resources programs and functions, including needed technology resources to facilitate regulatory compliance, recordkeeping, transaction processing, and analysis of workforce metrics.  

5. Vice President and Senior Vice President: $170,000 – $392,001

There are many vice president and senior vice president roles within the senior living industry. These roles and their titles are specifically dedicated to operations, health care, wellness, clinical services, dining and hospitality, human resources, technology, business development, sales, marketing, construction, and many more.  

6. Chief Financial Officer (CFO): $100,000 – $350,000  

CFOs provide and oversee direction of all financial functions, from accounting to budgets, payroll, credit, insurance, tax, treasury, banking relationships, and more. They ensure financial controls are in place and that transactions conform with applicable laws and regulations. They also conduct auditing, prepare financial statements, occupancy reports, balance sheets, tax returns, and state/federal agency reports.  

7. Chief Technology Officer (CTO): $125,000 – $324,000 

CTOs conduct ongoing analyses of IT infrastructures, architectures, networks, data and systems security, and specialized software and applications, and devise customized plans, budgets, and business cases for the technology solutions and services needed to meet the growing, enterprise-wide, digitized needs of their organizations, communities, and residents and their families. 

8. Chief Nursing Officer (CNO): $82,000 – $238,000

CNOs are the top executives in nursing and the delivery of patient care in senior living communities. As key members of the executive leadership team, they guide their organizations in strategic health care planning, organizational assessment, program development and evaluation, policy development, and evaluation, with oversight of all these functions. 

9. Chief Operating Officer (COO): $127,000 – $237,000  

The duties of COOs in senior living surround daily planning and coordination of operational services for residents. They ensure positive resident experiences in living accommodations, dining facilities and delivery, recreational activities, and facility maintenance. COOs work with health care staff to ensure residents receive good care and develop and monitor quality control standards, handle health and safety regulations, and oversee medication management and emergency response protocols. 

10. Chief Information Officer (CIO): $65,000 – $233,000 

Advanced, customized IT solutions are in growing demand within the senior living sector. CIOs oversee the IT operations and solutions of their senior living communities, with the continuous goal of enhancing internal efficiency. These leaders create strategies and budgets and implement and manage the adoption of innovative solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of their organizations. 

11. Director of Nursing: $79,000 – $190,000 

These leaders are responsible for supervising all aspects of on-site nursing programs and units. They are responsible and ultimately accountable for nursing care received by residents. They are also responsible for implementing policies, procedures, and resident care plans, as well as budgeting, hiring, firing, and staff development, and ensuring units comply with local, state, and federal regulations. 

12. Executive Chef: $76,000– $175,000 

Senior living executive chefs oversee kitchen operations, menu development and testing, purchasing, inventory, cost control, sanitation, and staff hiring and job training, all in compliance with safety and food sanitation laws and regulations. 

13. Corporate Counsel: $140,000 – $170,000  

These legal professionals research and draft requisite communications supporting their organizations’ business objectives and ensure compliance with applicable laws. They assist in the development and administration of policies, procedures, and programs, and provide training and support to senior living communities on legal issues and matters of compliance. 

14. Sales Specialist/Account Executive: $65,000 – $158,000 

Sales representatives help to design and implement marketing and sales initiatives to attract new residents to their communities, all designed to support organizational growth. They research markets, trends, competition, and market pricing, and work to target and convert desired prospective residents. 

15. Director of Lifestyle Services: $36,508 – $155,531 

Lifestyle directors plan, implement, and supervise social, educational, recreational, spiritual, therapeutic, and entertainment activities, as well as transportation services for community residents. 

16. Chief Clinical Officer: $113,500 – $153,000 

These chiefs exercise their expertise in clinical risk management, regulatory compliance, and governance, while providing daily oversight and leadership in consistent standards of care and implementing strategies that ensure clinical quality and patient safety, enhance patient experiences, and promote long-term partnerships with physicians.

17. Health Care Administrator: $100,000 – $150,000  

These specialists create long-term plans for the operations of community or facility clinics. On a day-to-day basis, they have a leadership role in patient care, quality assurance, legal compliance, communications, and public health, among other areas of operation, with responsibility for developing programs and policies, controlling and coordinating health services, and managing teams and budgets. 

18. Health Services Director: $66,400$135,400  

These specialists are responsible for high-level management of clinical operations. This includes ongoing quality improvements to ensure efficient use of resources and streamlined patient flow. They collaborate with senior and executive-level clinic and programming staff, and government regulators. 

19. Senior Physical Therapist: $105,500– $125,060 

These specialists create individualized treatment plans and treat patients using exercises, stretching, hands-on therapy, equipment and other methods. They evaluate and treat patients recovering from injury, disease, surgery, or other ailments, and maintain detailed patient goals and records. 

20. Executive Director: $65,000 – $120,000  

Senior living executive directors create, develop, execute, and lead plans for daily operations, as well as community relations and community development programs and management. They strive to create positive, nurturing environments for residents, their families and friends, and team members, while maintaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations. 

21. RN Supervisor: $92,200 – $118,800 

Senior living RN supervisors plan and supervise the work of nursing staff and coordinate activities with other patient care units. Their duties include monitoring patient record keeping for accuracy, completion, and compliance with regulations, and some perform patient care themselves.  

22. Senior Living Administrator: $54,300 – $98,000 

These professionals represent a senior living community to government agencies, professional organizations, community groups, and other entities. They participate in employee onboarding, job training, and staff management. They also manage scheduling and budgets and ensure residents receive quality care. Some also oversee security and resident transportation, and some are involved in sales. 

23. Registered Nurse (RN): $71,100 – $92,000

Senior living registered nurses collaborate with clinic and medical teams, and patient residents and their families to coordinate and provide care and assessments. They perform administrative functions for documenting patient conditions, progress, and follow-up care, and provide referrals for spiritual or psychosocial support needs.  

24. Memory Care Director: $59,200$80,000 

In charge of an assisted living facility for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other memory-related problems, these specialists oversee staff, monitor patients, and manage day-to-day operations. They are the primary liaison between staff, patients, and patient families. 

25. Assisted Living Manager/Community Manager: $61,500 – $79,230 

These professionals manage the day-to-day operations of a community’s residential living units, ensuring proper, satisfactory, and safe accommodations for every resident. They serve as resident ambassadors, primarily responsible for building strong relationships with residents and their families. They also participate in resident assessments to help identify needs and changes in their conditions, monitor safety protocols, address complaints, and resolve problems.  

Get deeper insights from a senior living recruiting specialist  

For more in-depth information about senior living salary ranges for specific jobs in a particular region or city, contact Goodwin Recruiting for more insights. You can also browse top-paying jobs by industry and location here 

Whether you’re exploring a new job in senior living or need assistance in identifying the right talent and salary range for an open position on your team, connect with us today.