By Matthew Green , CAMICB Associate Executive Director
If you love the idea of a job that offers opportunity, stability, and growth, community association management provides an excellent career path. It’s a great job choice for people who previously worked in the leisure and hospitality industries. Those sectors continue to lead U.S. job losses amid COVID-19, with experts predicting slow growth until at least 2023.
It wasn’t so long ago the hospitality industry was one of the most promising fields. It set people up for a successful career in people-facing jobs at hotels, restaurants, conference centers, major event venues, and more. Unfortunately, a boom in hiring came to a halt in mid-March 2020, as events were cancelled, and many restaurants and hotels closed their doors.
The good news is that though the coronavirus has dashed a lot of hopes for hospitality grads and veterans, the world of community association management is a bright spot. The field continues to grow and offers excellent opportunities for anyone who wants to continue in a people-oriented career.
Community Association Management Stats
The Community Associations Institute (CAI) reports that as of 2019, there were approximately 351,000 community associations in the United States. They house nearly 74 million residents, over 11 million more than just a decade ago. Twenty-six percent of people in the U.S. live in a community association.
It’s estimated there are about 8,000 community association management companies in the U.S. and up to 55,000 off and on-site community association managers. As the number of people living in community associations continues to rise, so does the number of jobs for community association managers. If you’re a people person who’s skilled in handling multiple tasks, a career in community management can be an incredibly rewarding career choice.
Community Association Management Career Outlook
Job prospects in the community association management sector are excellent. Though a college degree and professional designation are not necessary to land a position in the field, those who do command a higher salary when starting out. As of May 2020, the median wage for community association managers was $59,660 per year. In 2019, there were 367,900 jobs in the field. Employment in the industry is projected to grow seven percent from 2018 to 2028.
Job prospects and projected wages vary from state to state and community to community, so it’s a good idea to check out your area’s particulars.
CMCA – The Essential Credential
The key to building a successful community association management career is the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) credential. Holding the certification lets employers know you’re educated and competent in certain management practices. It also indicates your dedication to professional excellence, ethical business standards, and continuing education. Community management employers are continually looking for committed professionals. The CMCA certification can often make the difference between whether or not you land a first interview.
The CMCA credential is relatively easy to obtain and:
Earning the CMCA credential opens the door to earning additional credentials and up to 20% higher earnings than community association managers who are non-credentialed.
Is a Certified Manager of Community Associations Career Right for You?
If you were previously employed in the hospitality sector but were furloughed or had your job eliminated due to the pandemic, a community association management position could be an excellent career pivot for you. The work is interesting, varied, and highly satisfying. Your daily tasks can see you:
- Working closely with residents and Board members.
- Making visits to the community.
- Interacting with community leaders.
- Hiring and supervising outside vendors.
- and a whole lot more.
Requisite skills align well with those that people in the hospitality sector possess, such as attention to detail, flexibility, and good organizational skills. Top-tier community association managers also have excellent interpersonal skills and can effectively communicate with a diverse range of people.
All Work and No Fun?
A community association manager has a busy job, but it can also be a lot of fun. Along with the potential of receiving a great salary, you get to constantly learn new things and meet interesting people. The likelihood of ever being bored on the job is slim—there are just too many interesting things to do and people to meet!
While community association management is not for everyone, if you’re a real people person who possesses a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards life, gets excited about staying current with the industry’s regulatory changes, and can remain calm when others around you are stressed, you can’t ask for a more engaging and exciting career!
Becoming a certified manager of community associations isn’t merely a designation. It can truly be the journey of a lifetime. It elevates your credibility and assures employers they’re making the right hire.
Finally, it offers you a wealth of possibilities and growth in an exciting career that shows no sign of slowing down.