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Career and Education Opportunities for Residential Life Directors in Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for residential life directors. The national trend for residential life directors 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.

A person working as a residential life director can expect to earn about $13 hourly or $28,800 per year on average in Rhode Island and about $11 per hour or $23,410 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for residential life directors are better than in the overall category of Child Care in Rhode Island, and better than the overall Child Care category nationally.

There are fifty-five schools of higher education in the Providence area, including two within twenty-five miles of Providence where you can get a degree to start your career as a residential life director. The most common level of education for residential life directors is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Providence include:

  • Animal Trainer. Train animals for riding, harness, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.
  • 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.
  • Recreation Coordinator. Conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Residential Life Director Training

Three Rivers Community College - Norwich, CT

Three Rivers Community College, 574 New London Turnpike, Norwich, CT 06360. Three Rivers Community College is a small college located in Norwich, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,025 students. Three Rivers Community College has a less than one year program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated one student in 2008.

Johnson & Wales University - Providence, RI

Johnson & Wales University, 8 Abbott Park Place, Providence, RI 02903-3703. Johnson & Wales University is a large university located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,488 students and an admission rate of 72%. Johnson & Wales University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated 146 and forty-five students respectively in 2008.


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: Providence, Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island photo by Flickr_upload_bot

Providence is situated in Providence County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 171,557, which has shrunk by 1.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Providence, 105, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Providence are valued at $75,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, seventeen new homes were constructed in Providence, down from forty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Providence are educational services, health care, and miscellaneous manufacturing. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and miscellaneous manufacturing. The average travel time to work is about 20 minutes. More than 24.4% of Providence residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Providence is 14.5%, which is greater than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Providence residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 63.6%, is more than both the national and state average. United Pentecostal Church, United Presbyterian Church and Providence Assembly of God Church are some of the churches located in Providence. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Providence is home to the Fall River Iron Works and the Broadway-Armory Historic District as well as Burnside Park and Customhouse Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Silver Lake Plaza Shopping Center, Shopperstown Shopping Center and Corliss Landing Shopping Center. Visitors to Providence can choose from Historic Jacob Hill Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn, Agora Restaurant & Bar and Old Court Bed & Breakfast for temporary stays in the area.