By CAMICB Staff
Earning the CMCA credential represents an investment of time, effort and resources which is recognized – and rewarded – in the employment market: CMCAs earn up to 20 percent more than non-credentialed managers. Community Associations Institute (CAI) estimates that as of 2018, there are approximately 347,000 community associations in the United Sates housing over 73 million people. Further, there are approximately 8,000 association management companies and up to 55,000 off and on-site community managers in the United States alone. That’s a significant number of community associations and management companies that need qualified, dedicated professionals to oversee their communities.
Margey Meyer, CMCA, PCAM, President and CEO, CADRExperts LLC (Community Association Dispute Resolution Experts), speaks about the shortage of community association managers in the profession, “I consult with managers, vendors, board members and management company executives and the one refrain I continue to hear is we need more qualified managers,” said Meyer. She also expressed, “This is such a unique profession in that it does not require a college degree to be successful. Community association managers can earn their CMCA credential and then pave their own way through education and by earning additional industry related designations and certifications. This means managers are well-positioned to be selective about which job offers to accept. In addition, credentialed managers have the opportunity to attend hundreds of webinars and onsite, online, and virtual classes to increase their knowledge about managing community associations. There is no limit to how far a manager can advance in their career – including owning their own management company.” Meyer is also a long-standing member of the CAI faculty and a nationally recognized educator, trainer, speaker, advocate and author in the field of leading, managing and developing community associations.
A Stable and Rewarding Career
In April, CAI surveyed community association managers in a COVID-19 & Community Association Employment Survey. Of the more than 1,000 community association managers surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic, 91.1 percent say their level of employment has not been impacted. This data confirms that community association management is a stable career, not affected by economic downturns.
Data from the Foundation for Community Association Research also highlights many important benefits enjoyed by community association managers, including:
— more than half of employers offer medical, life, dental and vision insurance;
— most companies support employee professional development by paying for membership dues, chapter event participation, and course fees;
— most employers offer an average of three weeks paid vacation leave, paid holidays and sick leave; and,
— most companies offer retirement plans such as 401(K).
Meyer adds that community association management is not just a desk job – it also involves site visits and regular interaction with homeowners, board members, contractors, co-workers and others. She also notes, “It’s an opportunity to problem solve and resolve conflicts; it’s a chance to mentor others new to the profession, and there are plenty of volunteer and networking opportunities with other industry professionals and service providers.”
Community association management is a rewarding profession and can be a very fulfilling career path. Community association managers continue to be in high demand. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many sectors of the economy, including the hospitality and event management industries. Many of the skills required to succeed as a community association manager are comparable to the skills required to succeed in these and other fast-paced professions that offer a wide range of responsibilities and require an ability to manage a number of competing priorities at one time.
CAI Launches Workforce Program for 2020 College Graduates
Another group hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are the millions of 2020 college graduates who continue to face economic and financial uncertainty as they attempt to enter the workforce. Many college graduates already possess some of the essential skills needed to excel in field of community association management, such as strong people and communications skills, and the ability to problem solve.
CAI recently launched a three-step training and certification program – the Community Management Training and Certification Program – that introduces this group of young professionals to the growing field of community association management. This self-paced curriculum provides candidates a hands-on approach that explores the responsibilities of property maintenance; best practices for developing, managing, and balancing association budgets; preparing contractor proposals; and understanding a community association reserve study. CAI is offering recent college graduates a special College Grad Package through November 30. This savings of $150 includes a Student Membership for one year and registration for the M-100 course.
Whether you are a seasoned professional looking for a career change or a recent college graduate, community association management is a growing and rewarding profession for individuals who are eager to understand the many diverse business operations involved in being a community association manager.