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. Community association managers work with homeowners and service providers to take care of the many aspects and operations of condominiums, HOAs, and cooperatives. 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. 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 Foundation for Community Association Research reports that as of 2020, there were approximately 355,000 community associations in the United States. They house over 74 million residents, over 12 million more than just a decade ago. Twenty-six percent of people in the U.S. live in a community association. More than 60 percent of new housing completed and over 75 percent of new housing sold is in a community association.
There are over 8,000 community association management companies in the U.S. and up to 60,000 community association managers. Further, there is an additional 100,000 individuals employed by management companies and onsite for associations with staff. 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 and growth is stable. 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. 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:
- Requires limited time and money investments.
- Demands just a few days of prerequisite course work, some time to study, and one day for the exam.
- Is relatively low-cost for such a valuable investment in your career and future.
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.
Studying for the Exam and Earning the Credential
Several resources are available on the Exam Preparation Resources page of the CAMICB website. You’ll find these items and more:
- CMCA Handbook
- CMCA Study Guide
- CMCA Exam Preparation E-Learning Course
- Community Association Management Best Practices Reports
- Community Association Institute’s M-100: Essentials of Community Association Management Course Material Information
- Community Association Institute’s Guides for Association Practitioners (GAPs)
- CMCA Practice Exam
- CMCA Examination Quizlet
Becoming a Certified Manager of Community Associations is not merely a designation; it can lead to the career journey of a lifetime. It elevates your credibility as a community association manager and makes employers more confident in hiring you. Finally, it offers you a wealth of opportunity, stability, and growth potential in an exciting career that currently shows no sign of slowing down.