Resident assistants typically work in long-term care and retirement facilities. As a resident assistant, your job is to care for and serve the residents who live in these facilities. Typically, it's normal everyday things that we take for granted, like getting dressed, taking a bath, and even eating.

For the most part, there aren't any formal education requirements for this job. Sometimes an employer will require you to complete some specialized training and earn a state certification before you're able to work. While other employers just require some on-the-job training.

What Does a Resident Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many resident assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed organizational skills, problem-solving skills and time-management skills.

Learn more about what a Resident Assistant does

How To Become a Resident Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a resident assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.7% of resident assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.3% of resident assistants have master's degrees. Even though most resident assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Resident Assistant

Resident Assistant Career Paths

Average Salary for a Resident Assistant

Resident Assistants in America make an average salary of $29,971 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $39,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Resident Assistant Salary
$29,971 Yearly
$14.41 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Resident Assistant

The role of a resident assistant includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general resident assistant responsibilities:

  • Assist the resident with personal cares which may include all or some of the following: shampooing of hair, assist with shower, rubbing with lotions, transfers, incontinence cares, dressing, grooming, medication administration, redirection of a confused resident
  • Individuals serving in the position of residential assistant at st. camillus place are responsible for discovering new elements of a person’s life that he/she can influence
  • Assistance with transporting residents in wheelchairs only (no sba), passing of linen, making beds, tray delivery

There are several types of resident assistant, including:



A resident is a freshly graduated medical student, completing a physician fellowship under the supervision of medical professionals. Residency is a regular phase of medical education that lasts for three to seven years, depending on the specialization. In fact, there is around one resident for every five physicians active in healthcare facilities.

Residents are involved in patient care, do rounds and attend seminars, complete medical records, and perform any task assigned to them by healthcare staff. They examine patients and assess their health status, develop treatment plans, and assist in medical procedures and surgery.

As a new resident on the job, you are likely to feel a bit overwhelmed in the beginning. But not to worry, according to the latest regulations, the workload is limited to 80 hours a week, and the maximum length of shifts first-year residents are allowed to take is 28 hours.

  • Average Salary: $60,589
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Resident Advisor


Resident assistants are enrolled students of universities and colleges who live on campus. They are responsible for helping their peers to get comfortable in their student residences and contribute to organizing community life on campus. They give a hand with studying and make sure everyone in the residence feels safe. Resident assistants will be the ones notified upon emergencies, and they are there to resolve any personal problem as well.

In most cases, as a resident assistant or RA, you will receive a discount or full waiver on your housing fees. It is a rewarding job that will allow you to make many connections during your studies. It might be a bit challenging to make time for your duties while not neglecting your studies, and sometimes you have to deal with serious problems like drugs, conflicts, or even violence.

Still, it is a great way to make the best of your college years while saving money on housing.

  • Average Salary: $25,324
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Resident Assistant Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active resident assistant jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where resident assistants earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Resident Assistant Jobs By State

Resident Assistant Education

Resident Assistant Majors

13.2 %
9.3 %

Resident Assistant Degrees


59.7 %

High School Diploma

15.3 %


11.1 %

Top Colleges for Resident Assistants

1. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




3. California State University - Dominguez Hills

Carson, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Resident Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.2% of resident assistants listed home health on their resume, but soft skills such as organizational skills and problem-solving skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Resident Assistant Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Resident Assistant templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Resident Assistant resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Resident Assistant diversity

Resident Assistant Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among resident assistants, 66.0% of them are women, while 34.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among resident assistants is White, which makes up 58.3% of all resident assistants.

  • The most common foreign language among resident assistants is Spanish at 54.6%.

Online Courses For Resident Assistant That You May Like

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3. Crisis Intervention Seminar


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Best States For a Resident Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a resident assistant. The best states for people in this position are California, Connecticut, North Dakota, and Alaska. Resident assistants make the most in California with an average salary of $34,915. Whereas in Connecticut and North Dakota, they would average $33,924 and $33,888, respectively. While resident assistants would only make an average of $32,819 in Alaska, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Dakota

Total Resident Assistant Jobs: 59
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total Resident Assistant Jobs: 68
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Minnesota

Total Resident Assistant Jobs: 938
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Resident Assistants

How Do Resident Assistants Rate Their Jobs?


5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

Resident Assistant Reviews

May 2022

Not training


Sweatpants women an jeans 👖 for men long sleeve shirt 👕 on the time

Oct 2020

I like participating in the building up of a person. Also I like helping them to develop a success story for their lives.


I don't like working when there is no structure, such as rules. And standards are not provided for those who lack basic daily living principles.

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Top Resident Assistant Employers

Most Common Employers For Resident Assistant

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1University of Connecticut$55,903$26.88121
2Florida State University$41,972$20.18111
3University of Delaware$34,803$16.73137
4University of Pittsburgh$33,294$16.01105
5Hofstra University$32,808$15.77116
6West Virginia University$31,300$15.05127
8Boston University$29,546$14.20135
9Rutgers University$29,497$14.18142
10Miami University$29,477$14.17130

Resident Assistant Videos

Becoming a Resident Assistant FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Resident Assistant?

It takes one year or less to become a resident assistant. That is the time it takes to learn specific resident assistant skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education. If you include the normal education requirements to complete a college degree, then it takes 4 to 6 years years to become a resident assistant.

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