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Salary Range For Activity Directors

What is your Hourly Wage?  

350 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your Hourly Wage?

    • 7-9 dollars an hour
    • 10-12 dollars an hour
    • 13-15 dollars an hour
    • 17-19 dollars an hour
    • 20-22 dollars an hour
    • 22-24 dollars an hour
    • 25-27 dollars an hour
    • 27 or more

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Guest Brenna

:-) Activity Director wages vary from state to state and from area to area. i lived in a small rural town in California and made $8.00hr. I now live in Seattle and my wage has varied from facility-$10.00-$18.00. It all depends on how the activity department is rated (I think it really depends on the importance of the department in the facility no importance=low pay, more importance =better pay and budget) But as we all know in this field, it will always be low, I am not sure why, but it seems that way. Another factor is education, although not always. my friens is a CTRS and makes $8.50 hr.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree with all of you. We are unjderpaid and as long as nothing is said it will not change. I came into my situation where the present Resident Care Coordinator was the AD. She was not working out as AD, fresh out of college with an Geriantology degree and no experience. She is making big bucks right now and has to experience in nothing. Didn't know anything abour med's until she took the med's class recently. Now something is wrong with this picture when I have 19yrs Parks & rECREATION, 1 YR SKILL Nursing, 3 years ALF and I year Independent Living. I came on making $10 because census was 24. I was promised when census goes up to 32 I will go up to $12. Census is now 45 and they are increasing .50 and month instead of just giving me my money. I am so ready to quit but I know I have to stand still because I have a God who is watching out for me in his own timing. I will get mine sooner or later. I hope sooner than later.

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Guest Guest_Denise

I recently switched my major to therapeutic recreation, and I'm just curious, how much do graduates usually start out at if they apply for jobs at childrens hospitals as activities directors and not assistants?


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Guest Guest_linda



I just moved from Cary, Illinois, wwhich iss about aan hour away from chicago.

I worked at aa retireement home as a certified activity asssistant-i was making 11.50/hour. Noww that I am in Texasthe wagess here are different. I found out threw my searching, that nuring homes do not pay well, and the activity dept. iss the least dept. to get aa budget for purchasing supplies. A retiremeent home pays much more. But you should have exxperience andd it helpss if you are ceertified.

Threew my experience, you ddo not have to be certfied by the state you are living in. Depends on the retirremeent home you are with.

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Guest Catherine

I work as Activity Coordinator for an independent retirement community here in Branson, Missouri. I started this job a year ago. I am a CNA and a CMA. I was hired from within the company for this job with no experience or education for the position. Pay is about $8.00/hr, but if you consider the health ins., IRA account (they match), and the pure joy of doing nothing but good for others, this is the best job I could have asked for. I make my own schedule, have an office, eat out once a week, and see a show once a week. The facility I work for is independent so we don't have to follow the state rules. It is nice to be able to throw a wine and cheese party once a month. I am very blessed with my job and it's flexibilty!

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Guest Guest_mona

I agree, I am the Activity Director at a Personal Care home, it is run by the

Methodist Church, I am the only person I have no staff and a very small

office, I started in April and we have done so many things, we only have

25 residents, but they are housed in three separate houses, and range in

age from 30 (mentally challenged) to 87 years old with dementia. Since I

have started we have gotten so much publication from the local paper and

this year at Christmas the donations that came in were really big compared

to other years, however no one seems to think it is because of me.. and I

know it is, the residents and their families all love me, and some said they

have never danced since coming here until I came, or never went shopping

or alot of things... howver I only make 6.50 an hour and no benefits, and

no paid holidays or vacations unit I am there 1 year. I really need more

money, any suggestions as what I could do....

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Guest Guest_Kelly

:-) I am an AD in western PA and I think for the amount of time and effort put into my job I am way underpaid! I average 32,000 a year my assisstant AD is making currently $8.70 an hour which is very underpaid! I not only take care of planning and implementation of activities but also do much of the marketing such as hosting outside events for the community and families. My job also includes event planning within our facility(we have several rooms that we rent out such as ballroom and bed & breakfast rooms for families to come and stay or have a party for their loved ones). I also take care of transportation that requires me to make doctor appts. or any other transportation issues they might have for 120 people it gets quite overwhelming most of the time. I really don't think people know what an important part of health care that an activities department is.

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Guest stella
:lol: does anyone know where I can take on line course to be a certified astivities director ?
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Hi Doedoe,

Well first off I would like to say that I hope that I am never at the facility where you work because honestly, you sound like you are totally overworked!! :-o

As far as Activity Directors "getting off their butts and getting the residents ourselves", doesn't it make it easier for the aides if you just drop the residents off at the activity then you can do other duties instead of helping them.Also,I found your whole post itself to be very rude and offensive.I have never done your job, but in turn, you have never done our jobs and have NO CLUE how much time and preparation goes into to planning and implementing a recreation program and how much time we spend at home and otherwise that we DO NOT GET COMPENSATED FOR!!!! I totally understand that this business takes its toll on ALL the staff, but for you to say that we are all overpaid and essentally lazy is just WRONG. :-(

Try to have a good day. Gina :-)

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Hi I have to agree with eveyone else that we are all unpaid. AD asst. in ohio {the part i am from} make about 7-8.50 a hour... not great.. but farther out they can make 12-15 a hour.. thats more then I make as a AD. We all desire to be paid for the jobs we do.. and that job is usually ours and alot of others peoples work that is passed to us because... we have soooo much free time!! :-P

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I am currently at $14.20 an hour, but I also am the Lifeline program manager and the Employee Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator. My location is rural southwest wisconsin :-)

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Hi! I work in Prairie du Chien, live in Wauzeka. Prairie is about an hour directly south of Lacrosse right on the Mississippi. Sorry about the long name, you know us activity people, we have to be unique! hahaha :-D

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I have to agree with gina on the january 5, 2005 post regarding the laziness of AD's and the negative sounding post of the other individual.

I also have problems sometimes with the patients coming to activities becasue they aren't brought out of bed by the cna's. I realize that there are days in which it is very busy, and those days I am informed of this so I can plan accordingly. I have issues when the census is down, there are no pressing duties, the aides are lounging around and then the patients don't attend activities. These days do not occur daily, but when they do, they are frustrating. I also hear comments like "I wish I could get paid to do crafts or play games", which is also frustrating, because we are way more than a bingo caller or a leader of crafts. I do not it let it affect my program, by being positive about the situation. Being angry and snide to others will not help at all and will get you no where but in a bad mood also. I do encourage you to speak up for yourself if you are being treated rudely. I did one day, after an aide made a comment to me about getting paid to play games, do puzzles, crafts, etc. I explained to her that I really do more than what she sees (2nd shift). She really only sees me for about an hour of my whole day. I believe she felt embarrassed that she made the comment, but I was professional and calm about the whole matter. Anyway...........

I am not sure of the rules where this person works, but I technically cannot get these patients out of bed and transfer, etc. to get to activitites, because of the facility regulations and the training and such. I could easily do this (and would be glad to) as a Home and Community Based Program Manager/QMRP, I worked in a facility for developmentally disabled children and adults for over 10 years performing every daily living task from transferring manually and with lifts, using behavioral management techniques to divert escalating situations, bathing, cooking, cleaning up waste, vomit, you name it. But, this is not my position as of now in the facility I work in, that is the purpose behind job descriptions, I believe. This person may need to reflect upon why he/she chose the profession he/she did.

Unfortunately, anywhere you work you will find things you don't care for. My suggestion for anyone is to practice self-control and professionalism. When something is thrown my way that is upsetting, I take a few deep breaths, think about it, and see how it can be turned into a positive experience. I always try to remain professional, but sometimes, I need to put on my thick skin.

I apologize for the long post. I encourage everyone to create a good day! 8-) :-D

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Hi! I work in an assisted living home for memory care in NY. Our building has the capacity of 52 but only are half filled. I get paid $15/hr and I do everything from programs to paperwork. I have an assistant, but she's only there when I'm off to keep programs running 7 days a week.

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;-) Hi everyone...In Texas, the pay is from $8.00 to $10.00. I worked for 8.00 for six years. Then I finally got a raise to 10.00. That is not enough, but I love my job. So I do it. We are very underpaid. My families and others love me, and I deal with alot of residents, like social workers do. I don't get paid for that. I wish it would all change for AD's. We need more, but if you work for a coropation like I do. They will not pay you, what you deserve. Oh well. Life goes on.

I do love all my resident's, all the families, I deal with. God will reward me some day. Later....actpro...in Texas

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Guest Guest_Debbie

HI there I am an activity director in Ohio. I have been in the activity profession for 10 years now and I am making around $11 an hour but that in no way compares to the love the residents bring to my heart. AD and AAD are defintely underappreciated and most of the time taken for granted for the work that we do by our employers. But the residents are the true joy in our jobs and they should always be our number one priority!! Good luck to all of you and Happy National Activity Professionals Week. You are all appreciated for the work you do!!

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Guest Stacie

In respose to a couple of postings: I'm the DOA in our LTC facility (which is connected to a hospital), I've been here, not quite 10 years & am a CTRS - my hours rate is $18.36. (Rural Minnesota - very happy w/ my salary, I might add). My aides start (w/ no expierence at $8.51/ hour & go up from there.) I do have an assistant at $14.60/ hour, but she has been here, well, frankly, longer than dirt, & I wish I couple pay her more!


In response to the posting regarding the laziness of Activity Professionals, I don't even know where to start. My first thought is, what is the current situation in that facility for activity personnel? Maybe it's a dept. that needs a boast or re-vamping? Around here, the staff KNOW they need me & my staff & truely appreciate all we do. We are the people you aides call when you have a resident who is agitated, restless, crying, angry, bored, etc. I'm not familiar w/ that situation, but I have activity staff in the building 7 days a week, including holidays! We are here before 8 a.m. to help serve breakfast, we help serve snacks, noon meal, & coffee in the afternoon, but our day does not end there. I also have staff that help transport to supper, serve supper, & transport from supper. (This is along w/ all the bingo calling we do! ;-) We also provide an activity at 7 p.m. in our facility. My staff work on Saturdays & Sundays, & holidays (2:30 - 7:45 on Sundays & holidays). So I really take offense to the comments that we don't work weekends, holidays, etc.


Sorry I've rattled on, but I just don't think that individual has a clear picture of what an assesst to the facility the activity staff can & should be!!

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I work in an Assisted Living and Alzheimer's Care in Dallas, TX. There are 70+/- residents. I have been an AD for almost a year (have worked with senior and develomentally challenged people for years). My first position as an AD was in Independant Living and I made 11 an hour, part time. A place owned by the same company hired me part time as an activity assistant and driver for the same pay...how can an assistant and a Director (even though it was the same person) make the same? Whatever, right...


The job I have now with AL and Alzheimer's Care pays 15.50 an hour full time with wonderful benifits and education reimbursment. I do not have an assistant but we keep wonderful volunteers coming back every day and on weekends (coordinating volunteer schedules is a big part of my job). There is also a part time driver. We have activities 7 days a week and at night. The AL and Alzheimer's callendars are seperate.


It is company policy that EVERYONE, aides, directors, ....everyone.... do activities. Even the OT and PT do activitiies. Everyone has a special talent, right? I have found this to be the hardest part of my job. I personally like to do the activities myself but have supplies to order, paperwork, outings, entertainers to book, research to do on future activities, networking with ither ADs for ideas, department head meeting to sit thru (even if they have NOTHING to do with your department), family councels and support groups to hold, and so on.... not to mention different activities going on at the same time so everyone is doing something and one on one visits and such. I am not complaining. I do not want to leave at the end of the day, I like being here, as I am sure we all do.


I think it is very disrespectful that an aide would speak to a director in such a way...to call you lazy. Would that aide talk to the Healthcare Director or the Exec Director that way? I never think that I am above anyone but professional respect and courtesy should always be shown. I would never call an aide lazy, I know all of the work they do...I was an aide at one time. I would respect his / her position just as he /she should respect ours. If that person "I wish I could get paid to do crafts or play games"...well get off your tail end and do what needs to be done to get a job as an Activity Professional....but be assured that you will get a job doing so much more than "crafts or play games".



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Hey All,


I just wanted everyone to know the messages posted by the CNA I have deleted off.

Since s/he would not register but signed in as guest goes to show that s/he is probably a very unhappy person on the job & probably in their home life. We have all gone to the break room or outside to have a cig. & there is someone mouthing off, trying to stir up stuff, petty things. Most people don't enjoy hearing this constant complaing it just makes for misable day & work enviroment. These negative vibes are felt by others, staff, family members, residents etc. It makes the facility look bad.

I have very little time or patience for people like this.

I know that just about all of us work as a team & respect each other no matter their postion.

So now AD's let carry on with the orignal topic here of money, money, money ;-)


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Guest JillAnnb

I make 15 an hour in an Texas Assisant Community I work asa Certified AD :pint:

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Hi, this is my first time on the site and I would like to tell you. That alot of Activity Directors are very well underpaid. For example, I am one of the Activity Directors that is underpaid. I know some ask why do you stay at that job. Simple, I love my residents and they love me.

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Guest Mary Roaten

After 8 years of Activities Directing I have decided to stay home until I can find someone that will pay what AD's are worth. I still have friends from the first facility I worked at 8 years ago so that shows that I am a people person that does not forget her friends. I am tired physically too because when something needs doing and nobody wants to do it "activities can do it" is the common answer. No time for planning and care givers that do not want to take the time to help bring the folks to activities either so you have to take the first 30 minutes of an activity to round them up and the first ones coming have left because you were not there to start on time and Administration gets upset because you did not start on time. You can bring down 90% of residents and that is still not enough but, activities should be something they want to come to and not a "job" they have to do at a certain time every day. I miss my folks but, unobtainable goals are being put on the Activities Directors and some good folks will change careers because of that.


Mary Roaten AD/TXC

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I guys, I am going to try to make this as blunt as possible.


I am not thrilled about hearing from posts of people who have nothing but bad things to say about Activities.


Ms. Roaten, we try to keep our thoughts about our jobs as positive as possible and encourage each other with our positions in the nursing home through this website. It is much appreciated that we share these thoughts and ideas about our pay and our trials with our jobs in a manner that is still encouraging and not frustrating for another reader to have to endure.


Since you are no longer an Activity Director due to harsh feelings about the job, please don't bring everyone else down. We work with what we have every day and understand our jobs are not perfect in any way shape or form. But by the strength God gives us every day, we touch the lives of our residents.


God bless all of us in the lives we influence!

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