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Residential Advisors Career

Career Description

Coordinate activities in residential facilities in secondary and college dormitories, group homes, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May assist residents with problem solving or refer them to counseling resources.

What Job Titles Residential Advisors Might Have

  • Residence Hall Director
  • Residence Life Director
  • Resident Assistant
  • Resident Director

What Residential Advisors Do

  • Enforce rules and regulations to ensure the smooth and orderly operation of dormitory programs.
  • Provide emergency first aid and summon medical assistance when necessary.
  • Mediate interpersonal problems between residents.
  • Make regular rounds to ensure that residents and areas are safe and secure.
  • Observe students to detect and report unusual behavior.
  • Communicate with other staff to resolve problems with individual students.
  • Counsel students in the handling of issues such as family, financial, and educational problems.
  • Collaborate with counselors to develop counseling programs that address the needs of individual students.
  • Develop and coordinate educational programs for residents.
  • Develop program plans for individuals or assist in plan development.
  • Provide requested information on students' progress and the development of case plans.
  • Hold regular meetings with each assigned unit.
  • Supervise students' housekeeping work to ensure that it is done properly.
  • Administer, coordinate, or recommend disciplinary and corrective actions.
  • Confer with medical personnel to better understand the backgrounds and needs of individual residents.
  • Answer telephones, and route calls or deliver messages.
  • Determine the need for facility maintenance and repair, and notify appropriate personnel.
  • Supervise, train, and evaluate residence hall staff, including resident assistants, participants in work-study programs, and other student workers.
  • Oversee departmental budget.
  • Supervise the activities of housekeeping personnel.
  • Compile information such as residents' daily activities and the quantities of supplies used to prepare required reports.
  • Chaperone group-sponsored trips and social functions.
  • Process contract cancellations for students who are unable to follow residence hall policies and procedures.
  • Provide transportation or escort for expeditions, such as shopping trips or visits to doctors or dentists.
  • Order supplies for facilities.
  • Assign rooms to students.
  • Direct and participate in on- and off-campus recreational activities for residents of institutions, boarding schools, fraternities or sororities, children's homes, or similar establishments.
  • Accompany and supervise students during meals.
  • Sort and distribute mail.
  • Inventory, pack, and remove items left behind by former residents.

What Residential Advisors Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Residential Advisors Should Be Interested In

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

What Residential Advisors Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
Sun iconThis career has a bright outlook.
Median Salary: $25,570

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.