Residential Advisors Career Video
Description: Coordinate activities in residential facilities in secondary 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.
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.