Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 08, 2014
version 3, draft 3

How to Become a Community Association Manager in the US

Community association managers oversee the daily operations of structured living centers such as planned communities and condominiums. They take care of the needs of the whole community and report to the association’s board of directors. This is unlike property managers who deal with individual tenants and report to the property’s owner.

Read on to find out what it takes to set your foot in this profession.

What Do Community Association Managers Do?

Although the specific duties of community association managers could vary from job to job, the following list highlights the general tasks aspiring managers can expect to perform:

  • Managing properties according to the policies established by the community association’s board
  • Serving as a liaison between the residents and the board
  • Supervising vendors and contractors, such as providers of landscaping services
  • Supervising other workers employed by the association, such as landscape technicians
  • Keeping the board updated by providing financial reports and forecasts in a timely manner
  • Maintaining up to date records of all the homeowners
  • Collecting fees from homeowners and attending periodic board meetings

Work Conditions

Community association managers have regular, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, work schedules. However, should there be an emergency when they are off duty, they must be prepared to respond immediately.

These managers are typically office-based, but they spend a significant amount of time inspecting properties or investigating any issues raised by homeowners.

Salary

Level of Seniority

Annual Pay

Beginning community association managers

$32,000- $45,762

Experienced managers

$45,762 - $55,000

Senior managers

$55,000 - $67,000

Source: Payscale

Education and Licensing

The educational requirements for community association managers also vary from association to association. While some employers hire high school graduates and train them on the job, many prefer individuals with college degrees.

As such, earning a bachelor’s degree in any of the following fields can help set you apart from other job seekers:

  • Finance
  • Business administration
  • Public administration

It is also possible to get started in an entry-level role, such as housing coordinator, and work your way up.

Depending on the state in which you want to work, you may be required to hold a professional license. The requirements for obtaining the license include having a clean criminal background and passing an examination.

Important Qualities

To perform all the duties of a community association manager competently, you should possess the following skills:

  • Outstanding project management skills
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Good speaking and writing skills
  • Good computer and math skills
  • The ability to prioritize tasks
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • The ability to understand financial reports

Career Development

Many professionals are always looking for a way to move a step ahead. As an ambitious community association manager, you have the potential to be hired as a development director or move into property management where you can establish your own management firm.

To get there, you must earn a vast amount of work experience and obtain a professional credential, such as the Community Association Managers International Certification Board’s Certified Manager of Community Associations. The Community Association’s Institute also offers relevant certifications.

Pursuing a master’s degree in business administration can also heighten your chances of meeting your progression goals.

Job Opportunities

The employers of community association managers include:

  • Community land trusts
  • Neighborhood associations
  • Developers of gated and planned communities

Finally, more people will continue moving into planned communities, senior housing facilities and condominiums in the future. According to the BLS, this will result in the creation of about 35,000 new jobs for these managers within the next 8 years. As long as you have all the qualifications, you should be able to easily secure a job.

 

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