City Manager Careers

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 ensures residents enjoy effective and efficient city services, such as water, sewage, and other utilities. He manages the city's budget. Furthermore, he represents the city during social functions and formal meetings with municipalities and government officials. Also, he serves as a spokesperson to the media on council activities. Additionally, he 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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a city manager. For example, did you know that they make an average of $56.93 an hour? That's $118,411 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 150,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a city manager, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.8% of city managers included customer service, while 7.3% of resumes included city staff, and 6.5% of resumes included human resources. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the city manager job title. But what industry to start with? Most city managers actually find jobs in the government and hospitality industries.

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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a city manager. When we researched the most common majors for a city manager, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on city manager resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a city manager. In fact, many city manager jobs require experience in a role such as manager. Meanwhile, many city managers also have previous career experience in roles such as general manager or operations manager.

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Average Salary
$118,411
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
84,967
Job Openings

City Manager Career Paths

Top Careers Before City Manager

Manager
11.8 %

Top Careers After City Manager

Manager
10.0 %

City Manager Jobs You Might Like

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a City Manager

City Managers in America make an average salary of $118,411 per year or $57 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $227,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $61,000 per year.
Average Salary
$118,411
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Best Paying Cities For City Managers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Yakima, WA
Salary Range115k - 216k$158k$158,173
Stockton, CA
Salary Range111k - 216k$156k$155,755
Virginia Beach, VA
Salary Range112k - 214k$155k$155,336
Eastpointe, MI
Salary Range88k - 176k$125k$125,206
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range88k - 167k$122k$121,615
Keller, TX
Salary Range84k - 170k$120k$119,970
Chicago, IL
Salary Range82k - 165k$117k$117,230
Portland, OR
Salary Range85k - 157k$116k$115,880
Westerville, OH
Salary Range80k - 159k$113k$113,442
Altoona, PA
Salary Range81k - 158k$113k$113,422
Denver, CO
Salary Range76k - 161k$111k$111,193
Atlanta, GA
Salary Range73k - 149k$105k$104,641
Dodge City, KS
Salary Range69k - 146k$101k$101,131
Las Cruces, NM
Salary Range68k - 137k$97k$97,122
Helena, MT
Salary Range56k - 117k$82k$81,753
$56k
$216k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Assistant City Manager
City of Visalia, Ca
08/04/2021
$171,04308/04/2021
City Manager
City of Lincoln City, Oregon
08/04/2021
$140,00008/04/2021
Assistant City Manager
City of Bakersfield, Ca
08/04/2021
$145,35208/04/2021
City Manager
City of Nogales, Arizona
08/04/2021
$130,00008/04/2021
Assistant City Manager
City of Hayward, Ca
08/02/2021
$205,23308/02/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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City Manager Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a City Manager. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a City Manager Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless City Manager resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View City Manager Resume Examples And Templates

City Manager Demographics

Gender

male

65.6 %

female

30.0 %

unknown

4.4 %

Ethnicity

White

80.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

6.8 %

Asian

6.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.0 %

German

5.0 %

Russian

5.0 %
Show More City Manager Demographics

City Manager Education

Majors

Business
30.8 %

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
Show More City Manager Education Requirements

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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%
  • See All City Manager Skills

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 Rhode Island, Washington, Virginia, and New York. City managers make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $166,906. Whereas in Washington and Virginia, they would average $151,057 and $145,631, respectively. While city managers would only make an average of $142,404 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. New York

Total City Manager Jobs:
739
Highest 10% Earn:
$231,000
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

2. Washington

Total City Manager Jobs:
261
Highest 10% Earn:
$237,000
Location Quotient:
0.94
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. Virginia

Total City Manager Jobs:
357
Highest 10% Earn:
$234,000
Location Quotient:
1
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

1. ICMA-RC
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$118,091
City Managers Hired: 
139+
2. The Hertz
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$80,477
City Managers Hired: 
75+
3. Greyhound Bus
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$71,405
City Managers Hired: 
40+
4. Brink's
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$69,150
City Managers Hired: 
27+
5. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$57,600
City Managers Hired: 
21+
6. Diamond Parking
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$68,504
City Managers Hired: 
21+

City Manager Videos

Updated August 18, 2021