Residential counselors, also known as residential advisors, coordinate the day-to-day operations at group-living facilities. They work in preparatory schools, college dormitories, group homes, hospitals and other medical facilities. They order supplies, determine if the facility needs repairs or furnishings, and, in some circumstances, assign rooms and manage household records. Although residential advisors can help residents solve routine problems, they are not licensed therapists or counselors, so their counseling responsibilities are limited. However, they can refer residents to professional counseling services.
In 2012, residential advisors earned a median wage of $11.79 per hour, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hourly wages varied between $8.35 and $18.52, depending on education, experience, employer and geographic location.
Pay By Industry
Residential advisors who worked for hospitals enjoyed the highest mean wages in 2012, $17.63 per hour. This was followed by technical and trade schools, $16.48 per hour. Unfortunately, these employers hired a mere fraction of the industry. The biggest employers of residential advisors -- mental health and substance abuse facilities and other residential care facilities -- offered mean hourly wages between $12.41 and $12.71.
Pay By Region
The state that paid residential advisors the highest mean wage was Wyoming, $16.29 per hour. This was followed by New Jersey, $16.02 per hour and Minnesota, $15.36. Other high-paying states included California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. The states that paid the lowest were largely found in the South, but also included Montana and South Dakota.
There were 72,600 residential advisors working in the United States in 2010. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 25 percent job growth in the industry through 2020, equaling 18,100 new jobs. Job prospects will be best for individuals who are calm, diplomatic and work well with others. Some employers prefer to hire those who have completed college credits or have earned degrees.
Candice Mancini has always loved matching people with career paths. After earning her master's degree in education from the University at Albany, she spent a decade teaching and writing before becoming a full-time writer. Mancini has published articles and books on education, careers, social issues, the environment and more.