What does a Resident Assistant do?

Learn all about Resident Assistant duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Resident Assistant.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A resident assistant is a student leader who lives in the residence halls and works with the professional staff to create a positive living and learning environment for residents. RAs are responsible for promoting community standards, assisting with roommate conflicts, planning educational and social programming, and being a resource for residents.

Resident Assistant job duties include:

  • Greeting residents and guests, providing directions or assistance as needed
  • Maintaining orderliness and cleanliness in common areas
  • Informing residents of building policies and procedures
  • Organizing and leading resident activities
  • Conducting room inspections and documenting maintenance needs
  • Documenting and investigating incidents
  • Completing administrative tasks such as paperwork and data entry
  • Building positive relationships with residents
  • Referring residents to appropriate campus resources

Resident Assistant Job Requirements

A Resident Assistant (RA) is a student leader who lives in the residence halls and works with the professional staff to create a positive living environment for all residents. RAs are expected to be role models and leaders within the community, and to uphold the standards of the university. RAs are also expected to be knowledgeable about campus resources and to be able to refer students to the appropriate offices when necessary. In order to be an RA, students must have completed one semester at the university, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, and must be in good standing with the university. RAs must also complete an application process and interview with the Residence Life staff.

Resident Assistant Skills

  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Organizational skills
  • Conflict resolution
  • Active listening
  • Empathy
  • Patience
  • Respectful
  • Resourceful
  • Flexible
  • Team player

Related: Top Resident Assistant Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Resident Assistant

The first step to becoming a Resident Assistant is to research the position and make sure it is the right fit for you. Once you have decided that being a Resident Assistant is something you are interested in, the next step is to complete an application. Many schools have online applications, but some may require you to submit a paper application. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill out the application completely.

After you have submitted your application, the next step is usually an interview process. This gives you an opportunity to meet with someone from the school who can ask you questions about your experience and why you are interested in becoming a Resident Assistant. Be prepared for your interview by thinking of examples of times when you have displayed leadership or helped others in a difficult situation.

If you are offered the position of Resident Assistant, congratulations! The next step is to complete any necessary training before beginning your new role. This training will help you understand your responsibilities and how to best support the students who live in your residence hall.

Becoming a Resident Assistant can be a rewarding experience, both personally and professionally. It is an excellent way to gain leadership experience, build your resume, and make new friends. If you are dedicated to helping others and making a positive difference on your campus, then being a Resident Assistant may be the perfect fit for you!

Related: Resident Assistant Resume Example

Related: Resident Assistant Interview Questions (With Example Answers)