Primarily, city managers close the gap between politics and the daily administration of city services. In most cities, the city manager manages all departments and reports to the city council. He/She ensures residents enjoy effective and efficient city services, such as water, sewage, and other utilities. He/She manages the city's budget. Furthermore, he/she represents the city during social functions and formal meetings with municipalities and government officials. Also, he/she serves as a spokesperson to the media on council activities. Additionally, he/she supervises municipal projects and delegates tasks to the city operational managers of departments and city employees.

The minimum educational requirement for a city manager is a bachelor's degree. Candidates need to obtain a Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification. You must also have up to eight years of relevant work experience. Key skills include communication, organization, critical thinking, public speaking, and people skills. City managers make about $76,693 annually. This ranges from $40,000 to $148,000.

What Does a City Manager Do

There are certain skills that many city managers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, management skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a City Manager does

How To Become a City Manager

If you're interested in becoming a city manager, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 63.2% of city managers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.3% of city managers have master's degrees. Even though most city managers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a City Manager

City Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a City Manager

City Managers in America make an average salary of $76,188 per year or $37 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $142,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $40,000 per year.
Average City Manager Salary
$76,188 Yearly
$36.63 hourly
$40,000
10 %
$76,000
Median
$142,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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City Manager Education

City Manager Majors

30.8 %

City Manager Degrees

Bachelors

63.2 %

Masters

16.3 %

Associate

11.7 %

Top Colleges for City Managers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

6. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

7. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

8. George Washington University, The

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,230
Enrollment
12,161

9. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

Top Skills For a City Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.8% of city managers listed customer service on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and management skills are important as well.

  • Customer Service, 8.8%
  • City Staff, 7.3%
  • Human Resources, 6.5%
  • Emergency, 5.6%
  • Economic Development, 5.6%
  • Other Skills, 66.2%

Choose From 10+ Customizable City Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use City Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your City Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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City Manager Demographics

City Manager Gender Distribution

Male
Male
70%
Female
Female
30%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among city managers, 30.4% of them are women, while 69.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among city managers is White, which makes up 81.6% of all city managers.

  • The most common foreign language among city managers is Spanish at 65.0%.

Online Courses For City Manager That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Co-Creating Sustainable Cities
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Around the world, major challenges of our time such as population growth and climate change are being addressed in cities. Here, citizens play an important role amidst governments, companies, NGOs and researchers in creating social, technological and political innovations for achieving sustainability. Citizens can be co-creators of sustainable cities when they engage in city politics or in the design of the urban environment and its technologies and infrastructure. In addition, citizens...

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The Smart Cities course charts a journey across New Zealand to understand how smart cities are shaping up from Christchurch in the South to the capital city Wellington all the way to Hamilton in the North. You’ll learn from real live smart city projects such as LED lighting, solar powered waste management solutions and more allowing you to better comprehend how New Zealand is paving new paths to harness technology to create social change. You will analyse the role of various stakeholders in the...

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Over the past few years, advancements in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have significantly challenged the traditionally stable landscape of urban infrastructure services. The result is an increasing interest in the transitioning of cities towards so-called “smart cities” – an interest expressed both by technology vendors and public authorities. Although such “smart technologies” can provide immense opportunities for citizens and for service providers alike, the ICTs often...

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Best States For a City Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a city manager. The best states for people in this position are California, Washington, Nevada, and New York. City managers make the most in California with an average salary of $108,870. Whereas in Washington and Nevada, they would average $107,683 and $97,844, respectively. While city managers would only make an average of $94,079 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total City Manager Jobs:
94
Highest 10% Earn:
$171,000
Location Quotient:
1.18 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total City Manager Jobs:
739
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.51 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total City Manager Jobs:
1,140
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
1.03 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For City Managers

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Top City Manager Employers

Most Common Employers For City Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Citi$125,228$60.2115
2Icma-rc$108,658$52.24140
3Crete Carrier$68,852$33.104
4Brink's$65,666$31.5726
5Parking Management$64,212$30.875
6Homejoy$62,832$30.2111
7City of Gretna, Louisiana$59,799$28.755
8Diamond Parking$55,201$26.5421
9City$54,236$26.0766
10Hertz Global Holdings$54,151$26.0322

City Manager Videos

Becoming a City Manager FAQs

City Manager vs. Mayor

A city manager is a hired executive officer of a municipality who works outside of the political realm to keep operations running smooth, while a mayor is an elected official who represents voters in any given city.

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