At dormitories across the country, anxious first-year students and residents find a friendly face in their residential advisor, as well as problem solving, advice, and, if necessary, disciplinary measures. Residential advisors, or RAs, help run dormitories in private schools, colleges, group homes, and other live-in establishments. They are responsible for many aspects of the home-away-from-home living conditions of their wards, many of whom have never lived away from family before. While rowdy college students may think of their RA as someone who enforces rules, resident advisors provide a wide variety of services from coordinating activities, to mediating conflicts between residents, to helping residents solve unfamiliar life problems. They also request repairs and order supplies. RAs in colleges may be students, but many are adult employees of a college’s housing and residence life department. Residential advisors often live in the dormitories they oversee and tend to work more than 40 hours a week. The job can be stressful as RAs may have 24/7 responsibility for facilities and residents, and seek to ensure that all residents have a positive experience. Many residential advisors have a bachelor’s degree, but completing college is not necessarily required.
What they do:
Coordinate activities in resident facilities in secondary school 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.
On the job, you would:
Communicate with other staff to resolve problems with individual students.
Observe students to detect and report unusual behavior.
Supervise, train, and evaluate residence hall staff, including resident assistants, participants in work-study programs, and other student workers.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Education and Training
teaching and course design
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
understanding people's reactions
changing what is done based on other people's actions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Word processing software
Electronic mail software
some college or bachelor's degree usually needed
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.