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Career and Education Opportunities for Residential Life Directors in Charleston, South Carolina

Residential life director career and educational opportunities abound in Charleston, South Carolina. There are currently 640 jobs for residential life directors in South Carolina and this is projected to grow by 14% to about 720 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for residential life directors are expected to grow by about 9.1%. Residential life directors generally coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments.

Residential life directors earn about $10 hourly or $21,710 per year on average in South Carolina and about $11 per hour or $23,410 per year on average nationally. Residential life directors earn more than people working in the category of Child Care generally in South Carolina and more than people in the Child Care category nationally.

There are fourteen schools of higher education in the Charleston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston 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, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Charleston 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

Trident Technical College - Charleston, SC

Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC 29423-8067. Trident Technical College is a large college located in Charleston, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,758 students. Trident Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Hotel/Motel Administration/Management which graduated twenty-one and sixteen 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: Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina photo by AudeVivere

Charleston is situated in Charleston County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 111,978, which has grown by 15.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston cost $157,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, five hundred eight new homes were built in Charleston, down from eight hundred seventy-eight the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 37.5% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 10.5%, which is less than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 42.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Plymouth Congregational Church, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charleston is home to the United State Department of Agriculture and the The Center as well as Harmon Field and Stoney Field. Shopping malls in the area include Church Creek Plaza Shopping Center, Citadel Mall Shopping Center and South Windermere Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from French Quarter Inn, Fulton Lane Inn and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.