Residence counselors are professionals who are responsible for providing services such as one-to-one therapy and crisis support to clients who are living in group homes or assisted-living facilities. These counselors must assist adults with moderate intellectual disabilities to find employment while monitoring their work performance. They must facilitate and supervise daily personal care and activities for developmentally disabled adults. Residence counselors must also encourage clients to participate in community activities that can contribute to the development of skills necessary for independent living.

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Residence Counselor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real residence counselor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead recreational activities for adolescents with ADHD and other behavior disorders.
  • Provide direct care, behavior management techniques, medication administration and CPR.
  • Design and supervise day to day activities for patients and construct a social program that provide opportunities for social rehabilitation.
  • Provide first aid and CPR, and minor medical assistance to residents.
  • Ensure medication compliance, maintain accurate medication logs, and assist in the development of ADL skills.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of counseling programs and patients' progress in resolving identify problems and moving towards define objectives.
  • Develop weekly group programs and maintain accurate data collection and program implementation to fulfill community inclusion and ADL goals.
  • Provide leadership and direction to new and existing staff members; identify training development assuring that training/certification are obtained and maintain.

Residence Counselor Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, residence counselor jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 36%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a residence counselor?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of residence counselor opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 1,185,800.

On average, the residence counselor annual salary is $34,931 per year, which translates to $16.79 an hour. Generally speaking, residence counselors earn anywhere from $28,000 to $43,000 a year, which means that the top-earning residence counselors make $18,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a residence counselor. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a mental health associate, treatment specialist, mental health worker, and counselor internship.

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Residence Counselor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Residence Counselors are proficient in Developmental Disabilities, CPR, and Community Resources. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Integrity, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Residence Counselors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Developmental Disabilities, 17%

    Developed teaching, training and supportive situations to assist adult women with developmental disabilities to achieve outcomes leading toward independent living.

  • CPR, 12%

    Completed Direct Service Provider (DSP) training - Completed CPR & First Aid, Medical Certification, and SCIP-R training

  • Community Resources, 8%

    Provided one-on-one support to individuals with a metal health diagnosis resulting in better utilization of community resources & community integration.

  • Patients, 6%

    Designed and supervised day to day activities for patients and constructed a social program that provided opportunities for social rehabilitation.

  • Mental Illness, 6%

    Delivered quality residential and support services to senior clients with a significant history of mental illness and physical disabilities.

  • Medication Administration, 5%

    Supervised medication administration and maintain appropriate documentation.

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Some of the skills we found on residence counselor resumes included "developmental disabilities," "cpr," and "community resources." We have detailed the most important residence counselor responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a residence counselor to have in this position are detail oriented. In this excerpt that we gathered from a residence counselor resume, you'll understand why: "home health aides and personal care aides must adhere to specific rules and protocols and carefully follow instructions to help take care of clients" According to resumes we found, detail oriented can be used by a residence counselor in order to "create goal oriented service plans to aid in the transition of residents to independent living. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform residence counselor duties is the following: integrity. According to a residence counselor resume, "home health aides and personal care aides should make clients feel comfortable when they tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe." Check out this example of how residence counselors use integrity: "coach individuals to reach goals through skill building organize & facilitate group therapy promote & build trust to strengthen relationships"
  • Interpersonal skills is also an important skill for residence counselors to have. This example of how residence counselors use this skill comes from a residence counselor resume, "home health aides and personal care aides must work closely with clients" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "supported individuals with developmental disabilities to lead independent lives and maintaining interpersonal relationships"
  • In order for certain residence counselor responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "physical stamina." According to a residence counselor resume, "home health aides and personal care aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "provide individualized care for adults with developmental and physical disabilities promoting independence medication administration and direct care accurate attendance and annual trainings"
  • See the full list of residence counselor skills.

    We've found that 57.1% of residence counselors have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 10.7% earned their master's degrees before becoming a residence counselor. While it's true that most residence counselors have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every seven residence counselors did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The residence counselors who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and criminal justice, while a small population of residence counselors studied human services and social work.

    Once you're ready to become a residence counselor, you should explore the companies that typically hire residence counselors. According to residence counselor resumes that we searched through, residence counselors are hired the most by Prime Healthcare, Mission Regional Medical Center, and Partners Healthcare Solutions Inc. Currently, Prime Healthcare has 32 residence counselor job openings, while there are 16 at Mission Regional Medical Center and 8 at Partners Healthcare Solutions Inc.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, residence counselors tend to earn the biggest salaries at McLean Hospital, Santa Clara University, and State Of Illinois - Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Take McLean Hospital for example. The median residence counselor salary is $45,439. At Santa Clara University, residence counselors earn an average of $43,074, while the average at State Of Illinois - Illinois Student Assistance Commission is $40,914. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on residence counselor salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a residence counselor include CampCo, Ymca, and Private Practice. These three companies were found to hire the most residence counselors from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    In general, residence counselors fulfill roles in the non profits and health care industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the residence counselor annual salary is the highest in the education industry with $35,988 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the professional and government industries pay $35,913 and $34,463 respectively. This means that residence counselors who are employed in the education industry make 9.2% more than residence counselors who work in the health care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious residence counselors are:

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    What Mental Health Associates Do

    As a mental health associate, you will assist the medical team members in diagnosing and treating individuals with mental, developmental, and behavioral conditions. You may be tasked to facilitate individual and group therapy sessions, help patients with their day-to-day activities such as self-care and hygiene, and assist in administering medications prescribed by physicians. Other duties include planning and leading program activities, attending treatment rounds, and assisting with the physical care of patients. The qualifications and skills required for this role include a bachelor's degree in social science or psychology, previous work experience, and certification on basic life support.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take mental health associate for example. On average, the mental health associates annual salary is $1,579 higher than what residence counselors make on average every year.

    Even though residence counselors and mental health associates have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require cpr, community resources, and patients in the day-to-day roles.

    As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a residence counselor responsibility requires skills such as "developmental disabilities," "english language," "medication administration," and "cerebral palsy." Whereas a mental health associate is skilled in "customer service," "safety checks," "immunization," and "cpi." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

    Mental health associates receive the highest salaries in the professional industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $37,746. But residence counselors are paid more in the education industry with an average salary of $35,988.

    On average, mental health associates reach similar levels of education than residence counselors. Mental health associates are 1.9% more likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Treatment Specialist?

    The duties of a treatment specialist depend on their line of work or industry of employment. In the medical industry, a treatment specialist is primarily responsible for developing treatments according to the needs and conditions of a patient. They gather and analyze a patient's medical history and records, conduct extensive tests and examinations, coordinate with other medical experts, and discuss the extent of treatments to patients. Furthermore, a treatment specialist must maintain an active communication line with staff for a smooth and efficient workflow.

    The next role we're going to look at is the treatment specialist profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $18,742 higher salary than residence counselors per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of residence counselors and treatment specialists are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "developmental disabilities," "cpr," and "community resources. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that residence counselor responsibilities requires skills like "english language," "patients," "medication administration," and "direct patient care." But a treatment specialist might use skills, such as, "mental health," "criminal justice," "social histories," and "drug abuse."

    On average, treatment specialists earn a higher salary than residence counselors. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, treatment specialists earn the most pay in the non profits industry with an average salary of $44,419. Whereas, residence counselors have higher paychecks in the education industry where they earn an average of $35,988.

    In general, treatment specialists study at similar levels of education than residence counselors. They're 4.3% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 0.3% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Mental Health Worker Compares

    A mental health worker is a professional who provides basic care and therapy to patients who are inflicted with mental disabilities or developmental disabilities. Mental health workers assist patients with their daily activities, monitor their conditions, and administer therapeutic care. They may be directly supervised by a registered nurse and can work in facilities such as psychiatric hospitals and residential mental health facilities. They may also help develop treatment plans and strategies with other staff members to best meet patient needs.

    The third profession we take a look at is mental health worker. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than residence counselors. In fact, they make a $6,150 higher salary per year.

    Using residence counselors and mental health workers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "developmental disabilities," "cpr," and "community resources," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a residence counselor is likely to be skilled in "english language," "cerebral palsy," "community integration," and "direct support," while a typical mental health worker is skilled in "patient safety," "mental health," "excellent interpersonal," and "therapeutic relationships."

    Additionally, mental health workers earn a higher salary in the professional industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $39,268. Additionally, residence counselors earn an average salary of $35,988 in the education industry.

    When it comes to education, mental health workers tend to earn similar education levels than residence counselors. In fact, they're 1.1% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Counselor Internship

    When it comes to Counselor Internship, among the primary responsibilities is to assist in dealing with various activities such as preparing and verifying necessary documentation, observing consultations and outreach programs, guide clients and help develop multiple helpful strategies, and provide assessments. Furthermore, one can conduct counseling and consultation only under supervision. It is also essential to track the information gathered and coordinate with assigned personnel to adhere to the company's regulations and policies.

    Now, we'll look at counselor interns, who generally average a higher pay when compared to residence counselors annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $10,569 per year.

    According to resumes from both residence counselors and counselor interns, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "community resources," "mental illness," and "crisis intervention. "

    Each job requires different skills like "developmental disabilities," "cpr," "english language," and "patients," which might show up on a residence counselor resume. Whereas counselor internship might include skills like "intake assessments," "substance abuse issues," "group therapy sessions," and "family therapy."

    Counselor interns earn a higher salary in the finance industry with an average of $51,629. Whereas, residence counselors earn the highest salary in the education industry.

    In general, counselor interns reach higher levels of education when compared to residence counselors resumes. Counselor interns are 8.7% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.