Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Residential Life Directors in Fort Smith, Arkansas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for residential life directors in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. About 560 people are currently employed as residential life directors in Arkansas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 24% to 700 people employed. This is better than the national trend for residential life directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.1% over the next eight years. Residential life directors generally coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments.

Income for residential life directors is about $10 per hour or $21,730 annually on average in Arkansas. Nationally, their income is about $11 per hour or $23,410 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Child Care, people working as residential life directors in Arkansas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Child Care nationally.

There are nine schools of higher education in the Fort Smith area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fort Smith where you can get a degree to start your career as a residential life director. Given that the most common education level for residential life directors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a residential life director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Residential Life Director

Residential Life Director video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, residential life directors coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments. They also order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings.

Residential life directors mediate interpersonal problems between residents. They also communicate with other staff to deal with problems with individual students. Equally important, residential life directors have to decide on the need for facility maintenance and repair, and notify appropriate personnel. They are often called upon to enforce rules and regulations to insure the smooth and orderly operation of dormitory programs. They are expected to make regular rounds to insure that residents and areas are safe and secure. Finally, residential life directors hold regular meetings with their assigned units.

Every day, residential life directors are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for residential life directors to 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. They are often called upon to furnish emergency first aid and summon medical assistance when needed. They also design program plans for individuals or help in plan development. They are sometimes expected to collaborate with counselors to evolve counseling programs that address the needs of individual students. Somewhat less frequently, residential life directors are also expected to enforce rules and regulations to insure the smooth and orderly operation of dormitory programs.

They also have to be able to answer telephones, and route calls or deliver messages and hold regular meetings with their assigned units. And finally, they sometimes have to chaperone group-sponsored trips and social functions.

Like many other jobs, residential life directors must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fort Smith include:

  • Child Care Worker. Attend to children at schools, businesses, and child care institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, and overseeing play.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Residential Life Director Training

Carl Albert State College - Poteau, OK

Carl Albert State College, 1507 S McKenna, Poteau, OK 74953-5208. Carl Albert State College is a small college located in Poteau, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,454 students. Carl Albert State College has an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Residential Child and Youth Care Professional: A certified staff provides evidence of the value you place on the role of the direct care worker in service delivery.

For more information, see the National Resource Center for Youth Services website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas photo by Infrogmation

Fort Smith is located in Sebastian County, Arkansas. It has a population of over 84,716, which has grown by 5.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Fort Smith, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Fort Smith are priced at $151,400 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, two hundred one new homes were constructed in Fort Smith, down from two hundred ninety-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Fort Smith are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is food, construction, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 17 minutes. More than 18.6% of Fort Smith residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Fort Smith is 8.1%, which is greater than Arkansas's average of 6.9%.

The percentage of Fort Smith residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 68.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Mallalieu United Methodist Church, Loves Chapel Seventh Day Adventist Church and King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church are among the churches located in Fort Smith. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Fort Smith is home to the Fort Smith Trolly Museum and the Fort Smith Inter-Faith Community Center as well as Riverfront Park and Kay Rodgers Park. Shopping centers in the area include Laville Shopping Center, Maybranch Shopping Center and Midland Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Fort Smith can choose from Patel P L, Westark Inn Motel and Stonewall Jackson Inn for temporary stays in the area.