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The Salary of a Food Service Manager in Assisted Living

by Rick Suttle

Assisted living facilities provide necessary services for residents, including bathing, dressing and running errands. Many have food service managers who oversee the food ordering process, which provides meals to residents. Assisted living food service managers also schedule the hours of cooks and other kitchen employees and manage the food budget. If you want to become a food service manager in an assisted living facility, expect your salary to vary by the size of your employer and the state in which you work.

Lower Average Salaries

The average annual salary for an assisted living food service manager was $32,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Simply Hired. If you worked as a food service manager in an assisted living facility, you'd earn approximately $20,000 less than the $52,580 average salary for all food service managers in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS salary is elevated by grocery stores, hospitals and larger establishments. Many assisted living facilities are relatively small. Fifty percent of assisted living facilities had four to 10 beds in 2010, according to the latest available data from the National Center For Assisted Living.

Salary by State

Average salaries for assisted living food service managers varied most significantly in the South region, according to Simply Hired, where they earned the lowest salaries of $25,000 in Mississippi and the highest of $51,000 in Washington, D.C. Those in the West made $26,000 to $37,000 per year in Montana and California, respectively. If you were an assisted living food service manager in Maine or Massachusetts, you'd earn $29,000 or $39,000, respectively, which represented the lowest and highest earnings in the Northeast. In the Midwest, you make the most in Minnesota or Illinois or least in South Dakota -- $34,000 or $25,000, respectively.

Contributing Factors

Assisted living food service managers earn more in California, New York and Washington, D.C., because it's more expensive to live in those locations. For example, if you earned $30,000 as an assisted living food service manager in Tampa, you'd need to make $37,197 in Sacramento, Calif., to maintain your living standard, according to the CNN Money "Cost of Living" calculator. In Rochester, New York, you'd have to earn $33,261 to enjoy the same living standard as in Tampa, or approximately 11 percent more. You'd also earn more in a larger assisted living facility, which would have more financial resources to support your higher salary.

Job Outlook

The BLS forecasts a 3 percent decline in employment for food service managers from 2010 to 2020. A better indicator for assisted living facilities is the 22 percent increase in jobs the BLS projects for medical and health services managers during the same decade. Population increases among the elderly may increase jobs for medical and health services managers and food service managers who work in assisted living facilities.

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