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Working As a Counseling Services Director

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $94,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Counseling Services Director Do

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage staff who provide social services to the public.

Duties

Social and community service managers typically do the following:

  • Work with members of the community and other stakeholders to identify necessary programs and services
  • Oversee administrative aspects of programs to meet the objectives of the stakeholders
  • Establish methods to gather information about the impact of their programs
  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of programs
  • Suggest and implement improvements to programs and services
  • Develop and manage budgets for programs and organizations
  • Plan and manage outreach activities to advocate for increased awareness of programs
  • Write proposals for social services funding

Social and community service managers work for a variety of social and human service organizations. Some of these organizations focus on working with a particular demographic, such as children, people who are homeless, older adults, or veterans. Other such organizations focus on helping people with particular challenges, such as mental health needs, the presence of chronic hunger, and long-term unemployment.

Social and community service managers are often expected to show that their programs and services are effective. They collect statistics and other information to evaluate the impact that programs have in their community or on their target audience. They are usually required to report this information to administrators or funders. They may also use evaluations to identify areas that need improvement for programs to be more effective, such as providing mentorship and assessments for their staff.

Although the specific job duties of social and community service managers may vary with the size of the organization, most managers must recruit, hire, and train new staff members. They also supervise staff, such as social workers, who provide services directly to clients.

In large agencies, social and community service managers tend to have specialized duties. They may be responsible for running only one program in an organization and reporting to the agency’s upper management. They usually do not design programs but instead supervise and implement programs set up by administrators, elected officials, or other stakeholders.

In small organizations, social and community managers often have many roles. They represent the organization to the public through speaking engagements or in community-wide committees; they oversee programs and execute their implementations; they spend time on administrative tasks, such as managing budgets; and they also help with raising funds and meeting with potential donors.

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How To Become A Counseling Services Director

Social and community service managers need at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience. However, many employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in social work, urban studies, public or business administration, public health, or a related field is the minimum requirement for most social and community service manager jobs. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Coursework in statistics, program management, and policy analysis is considered helpful.  

Work Experience

Work experience often is needed for someone to become a social and community service manager, and is essential for those wishing to enter the occupation with a bachelor’s degree. Lower-level management positions may require only a few years of experience, although social and community service directors typically have much more experience. Candidates can get this experience by working as a social worker or in a similar occupation.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Social and community service managers need to understand and evaluate data in order to provide strategic guidance to their organization. They must be able to monitor and evaluate current programs as well as determine new initiatives.

Communication skills. Social and community service managers must be able to speak and write clearly so that others can understand them. Working with the community and employees requires effective communication. Public speaking experience is also helpful because social and community service managers often participate in community outreach.

Interpersonal skills. Social and community service managers should have good interpersonal skills. When speaking with members of their staff or members of the community, they must be tactful and able to explain and discuss all matters related to services that are needed.

Managerial skills. Social and community service managers spend much of their time administering budgets and responding to a wide variety of issues.

Problem-solving skills. Social and community service managers must be able to address client, staff, and agency-related issues as they occur.

Time-management skills. Social and community service managers must prioritize and handle numerous tasks for multiple customers, often in a short timeframe.

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Top Skills for A Counseling Services Director

  1. Group Therapy Sessions
  2. Mental Health Services
  3. Crisis Intervention
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted weekly family therapy and group therapy sessions, and organized Family Day and summer camp activities and excursions for clients.
  • Designed protocol for outpatient mental health services in a community based centralized pharmacy.
  • Provided assessments, treatment planning, individual and couples therapy as well as crisis intervention and management after hours.
  • Provided individual and group therapy to federal/state probationers and parolees with a specific focus on substance abuse and cognitive intervention.
  • Liaised with mental health clinics for referrals and clinical supervision.

Counseling Services Director Demographics

Gender

Female

56.8%

Male

29.6%

Unknown

13.6%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

Arabic

22.2%

French

22.2%

Counseling Services Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.1%

Loyola University of Chicago

9.3%

Fordham University

7.4%

University of South Florida

5.6%

Duquesne University

5.6%

University of West Florida

5.6%

Kent State University

5.6%

Ohio State University

5.6%

University of Southern Maine

3.7%

Syracuse University

3.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

3.7%

Northern Arizona University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

Chapman University

3.7%

New York University

3.7%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

University of Bridgeport

3.7%

University of New Haven

3.7%
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Majors

Social Work

15.8%

Counseling Psychology

15.8%

School Counseling

13.9%

Psychology

8.4%

Mental Health Counseling

8.4%

Clinical Psychology

6.9%

Educational Leadership

5.9%

Business

5.0%

Law

4.5%

Family Therapy

2.0%

Rehabilitation Science

2.0%

Conflict Resolution

1.5%

Philosophy

1.5%

Interdisciplinary Studies

1.5%

History

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Sociology

1.0%

Public Health

1.0%

Nursing

1.0%

Human Resources Management

1.0%
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Degrees

Masters

57.6%

Doctorate

14.8%

Other

12.3%

Bachelors

10.2%

Certificate

3.0%

Associate

1.3%

License

0.8%
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Updated May 19, 2020