What Is an RCFE Administrator?

As you know, RCFE stands for Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. Thus, it stands to reason that an RCFE Administrator is someone who runs such a facility. Yes, in a nutshell, that’s right, but there is more to it than that. For starters, an RCFE Administrator must be onsite at the board and care facility to oversee both the care and management of the facility.

In California, each licensed residential care facility will assign an individual to manage the location. That individual must be certified by the state and is liable for signing off on the required paperwork. It’s a serious job. It requires experience and education.

Companies with multiple locations or larger board and care facilities will have RCFE Assistant Administrators as well. Today in CA they make upwards of $75,000 per year plus benefits. Executive Directors of facilities will often make over $100,000 per year.

Becoming RCFE Administrator certified is pretty straight forward. First, you’ll need a high-school diploma or GED. You must be 21-years or older in age. You are required by the State of California to complete a certification course. Expect 80-hours of intense classroom instruction. Next, you have to pay for and pass the California State RCFE Administrator test, there are 100-questions, but luckily it is an open book test. This is a timed certification test, so you’ll still need to know the material.

Contrary to popular belief you do not need a college degree or a master’s degree to get an RCFE Administrator Certification. If you wanted to get a Nursing Home Administrator License, that’s when you’d need the master’s degree. Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly operate on a much different set of guidelines and rules. They are not the same.

Why is an RCFE Administrator Certificate so coveted? Well, for a few reasons. The first being that in California there are nearly 8,000 facilities and that number is growing, so RCFE Administrators are in high demand. So too are RCFE Assistant Administrators as there is a bit of consolidation in the board and care facility sector, and each location will need an individual there specifically to oversee the care and manage the facility.

Both Indeed and Glassdoor noted that RCFE Administrator job listings had increased by double digits in the last 3-years alone. The prediction is continued demand for administrators for at least the next 10-years. Is it a hard job? It depends.

If your dream job is to get paid well for helping people, it won’t seem hard. There is lots of compliance, scrutiny, and a bit of paperwork along with the challenge of maintaining a safe, secure, and reputable residential care facility for the elderly. Not to mention a strong career trajectory.