A residential supervisor’s job may involve varied activities for a wide range of possible employers. Working with individuals who cannot live on their own or in a family situation, residential supervisors typically oversee the activities, residents and staff of a group home. Preparing for a residential supervisor career may begin with enrolling in a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment growth in the healthcare and social service sectors will outpace the national average (7%) from 2014-24. Growth rates will vary based on the specific job function and discipline, and candidates with advanced educational qualifications and specialized training should have stronger prospects.
Numerous factors are spurring the creation of new jobs, including expanded access to health insurance and an aging population.
Job Duties for Residential Supervisors
Specific residential supervisor job duties depend on the type of facility and its residents. The work can include overseeing client routines in areas such as personal care, housekeeping, chores, banking and shopping. Residential supervisors also observe and document clients’ behavior, physical condition and emotional development. Some residential supervisors provide training for group home residents according to each individual’s prescribed plan. They may specialize in working with children, the elderly, persons with disabilities or at-risk youth.
Meeting with clients and their families and referring them to social services are additional job duties of residential supervisors. They also write reports and meet with social workers and other community members to help meet client needs.
Residential supervisors may work in any type of facility, including private or government-funded group homes in residential neighborhoods. They might work in a halfway house for juvenile offenders or a home for young mothers or developmentally challenged adults. Residential supervisors are often part of a care team of psychologists, social workers and teachers.
Due to the nature of the work, the residential supervisor’s job can be challenging but rewarding, as it involves helping others on a daily basis.
Potential Salary Range
Like employment opportunities, earning potential is determined by a variety of factors, including a candidate’s educational attainment and work history, employer type and size, and regional market conditions.
For example, the BLS reports that residential advisors nationwide had an annual average wage of $27,690 as of May 2016. By comparison, healthcare social workers employed by nursing care facilities had an average wage of $50,200.
Education and Training
Education and training requirements for residential supervisor jobs vary by employer. Managing a group home usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree plus experience in residential care.
For individuals interested in a residential supervisor career working with children and teens, the first step can be a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology with a concentration in child advocacy. Coursework typically includes introduction to psychology, substance abuse, lifespan development and psychology, learning and motivation, and critical issues in child advocacy.
An applied psychology education program should prepare graduates to:
- Understand theories and major concepts in applied psychology
- Recognize psychological principles and theories pertaining to children and youth
- Work with individuals of differing socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
Many employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It may be possible for eligible employees to gain an entry-level job with a bachelor’s degree and use an employer’s tuition assistance program to pay for a master’s degree.
Considering a Career as a Residential Supervisor?
Individuals who are patient, mature and sensitive may be strong candidates for residential supervisor jobs. These professionals must also possess a desire to help people, the flexibility to handle diverse environments and the ability to deal with a range of human behavior. Advocating for their clients’ needs is another important skill for those pursuing a residential supervisor career.