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A community association manager is a person who works on behalf of a community association, managing residences that fall under its authority. Generally, a person who wants to become a community association manager needs a high school diploma or general educational development (GED) diploma at minimum. Many employers prefer candidates who have earned college degrees, however. Additionally, many employers prefer to hire job applicants who have management backgrounds.
Some neighborhoods, condominium properties, and groups of residences have organizations called community associations that represent and oversee the interests of the residents in the community. These entities typically have community association managers who have the job of managing and maintaining common areas of the community, such as common grounds, pools, and recreation facilities. Besides seeing to the maintenance of a community, a community association manager may have a range of other responsibilities. For example, he may be responsible for helping to ensure the overall safety of the community and handling resident complaints and suggestions. An individual in this field may also create budgets for the community he oversees and collect association fees from residents.
The education a person needs to become a community association manager often depends on the unique preferences of his employer. In some cases, a high school education will be enough, but most employers often expect applicants to have college degrees. Often, employers view those with business, finance, and real estate degrees most favorably. They may seek applicants with accounting degrees as well. An individual may be successful at securing a job in this field after earning a bachelor's degree, but those with master’s degrees may have an edge over other job applicants.
Usually, employers prefer to hire community association mangers who have previous experience. This doesn’t mean the applicant has to have previous experience as a community association manager, however. Often, previous management experience is acceptable, even if it is in another industry. Property management experience may be particularly helpful, however. In most cases, a new community association manager will receive some training from his employer, as he will have to learn the policies and needs that are unique to the community.
An individual who wants to become a community association manager may take some voluntary steps to ensure his success in this career. For example, a person in this field may seek a professional designation or certification. Additionally, he may work to stay up to date on advances and changes in the industry. These efforts may help him stand out among other applicants and also remain a valuable employee long after he has become a community association manager.
In Florida you must be licensed to be a community association manager or CAM. The state requires an 18-hour pre-licensure course that can be taken online.
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