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Become A Program Officer

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Working As A Program Officer

  • 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

  • $67,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Program Officer 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 Program Officer

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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Program Officer Career Paths

Program Officer
Consultant Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Consultant Account Manager Client Services Manager
Client Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Program Director Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager General Manager President
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Case Manager Program Director
Director Of Program Services
8 Yearsyrs
Manager Property Manager Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Assistant Director Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Case Manager Social Work Supervisor
Director Of Social Work
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Property Manager Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager President
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Lead Teacher House Manager
Housing Director
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Senior Consultant Engagement Manager
Engagement Director
10 Yearsyrs
Program Analyst Program Control Analyst Budget Analyst
Grant Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Policy Analyst Contracts Specialist Grant Writer
Grants And Programs Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Officer Communications Manager Communications Project Manager
Communications Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Director Director Of Quality
Chief Program Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Principal Education Director
Director Of Communications And Outreach
8 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Case Manager Assistant Program Director
Director Community Programs
7 Yearsyrs
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Program Officer Demographics

Gender

Female

45.1%

Male

40.8%

Unknown

14.0%
Ethnicity

White

52.6%

Black or African American

14.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Asian

11.3%

Unknown

6.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.7%

French

21.4%

Arabic

6.6%

Portuguese

5.1%

Russian

4.6%

German

4.4%

Hindi

4.0%

Mandarin

3.2%

Chinese

3.0%

Urdu

2.7%

Japanese

2.4%

Italian

2.2%

Korean

2.0%

Swahili

1.5%

Dari

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Amharic

1.0%

Cantonese

0.8%
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Program Officer Education

Schools

George Washington University

14.0%

American University

13.0%

Georgetown University

8.3%

New York University

7.5%

University of Phoenix

6.0%

Johns Hopkins University

5.4%

Columbia University

5.3%

George Mason University

5.1%

University of Washington

4.7%

Harvard University

4.7%

Howard University

3.5%

Boston University

3.4%

Strayer University

2.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

2.5%

Walden University

2.5%

Syracuse University

2.3%

Webster University

2.3%

University of Southern California

2.3%

University of New Mexico

2.3%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

2.2%
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Majors

Business

20.6%

Political Science

7.4%

International Relations

6.6%

Public Health

6.1%

Management

6.0%

Economics

5.2%

Public Administration

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.5%

Law

4.0%

Sociology

4.0%

Psychology

3.9%

Education

3.9%

Finance

3.6%

Social Work

3.3%

Communication

3.0%

Global Studies

2.8%

Area Studies

2.8%

Accounting

2.7%

Project Management

2.4%

English

2.4%
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Degrees

Masters

47.3%

Bachelors

27.0%

Other

10.3%

Doctorate

7.0%

Certificate

4.9%

Associate

2.1%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$67,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Medical Care Development
Highest Paying City
Urban Honolulu, HI
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Program Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Program Officer in the United States is $67,352 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $115,000.

Real Program Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Program Officer The Ford Foundation New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $175,400
Program Officer for International Relief & Resilience Margaret A Cargill Philanthropic Services LLC Eden Prairie, MN Jan 16, 2016 $163,100
Program Officer, Wild Salmon Ecosystems Initiative Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation Palo Alto, CA May 13, 2016 $149,200 -
$223,800
Conservation Program Officer Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Palo Alto, CA Feb 01, 2016 $149,200 -
$223,800
Conservation Program Officer, Andes-Amazon Initiat Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Palo Alto, CA Jan 02, 2015 $141,800 -
$212,700
Academic Program Management Officer University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, CA Nov 09, 2015 $135,000
Program Officer, Strategic Partnerships Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Apr 04, 2016 $131,123 -
$166,669
Program Officer, Digital Financial Services at Scale Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Nov 20, 2015 $127,000 -
$167,483
Program Officer, Strategy for Integrated Delivery Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 31, 2015 $124,571 -
$166,670
Program Officer, Data, Analytics and Evidence Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 02, 2016 $124,571 -
$166,669
Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 03, 2015 $121,888 -
$161,710
Program Officer, Data for Improved Delivery Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jul 13, 2015 $120,598 -
$270,530
Program Officer Open Society Institute New York, NY May 15, 2016 $120,000
Associate Program Officer, Dpaf, Country Finance Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Washington, DC Sep 26, 2016 $88,000 -
$132,000
Associate Program Officer, Innovation & Research Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Apr 29, 2016 $88,000 -
$123,600
Associate Program Officer, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 10, 2016 $87,550 -
$131,127
Program Officer-International Harm Reduction Devel Open Society Institute New York, NY Jan 02, 2015 $86,184
Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Feb 05, 2016 $85,000
Program Officer Open Society Institute New York, NY Jan 07, 2016 $84,907
Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Mar 15, 2016 $84,115 -
$90,000
Program Officer, East Asia Program Open Society Foundations New York, NY Oct 19, 2015 $83,653
Program Officer Pathfinder International Watertown Town, MA Aug 25, 2015 $70,500 -
$85,500
Program Officer, Open Government Partnership Tides Center Washington, DC Sep 03, 2015 $70,158
Learning Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Apr 13, 2015 $70,000
Program Officer, Asia International Budget Partnership Washington, DC Aug 22, 2016 $70,000 -
$85,000
Program Officer, Latin America International Budget Partnership Washington, DC Jan 05, 2016 $70,000 -
$80,000
Program Officer Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Washington, DC Aug 22, 2016 $70,000
Program Officer, Advocacy & Services International Planned Parenthood Federation/WHR New York, NY Jun 15, 2015 $70,000
Program Officer for Egypt International Budget Partnership Washington, DC Aug 01, 2015 $70,000 -
$85,000

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Top Skills for A Program Officer

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Technical Support
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reported quarterly financial statements to investors.
  • Worked closely with principal investigators/clinicians and grantees/scientists as the Institute's representative for guidance, technical support, and scientific leadership.
  • Provided program and project management responsibilities, made decisions affecting the basic content and character of quality improvement analysis activities.
  • Developed targeted training programs for institutional capacity building of implementing partners which enhanced the reintegration program of over 50,000 ex-combatants.
  • Evaluated proposals presented by NGOs and civil society groups geared to reduce discretionary practices in private businesses and public institutions.

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Top 10 Best States for Program Officers

  1. Washington
  2. Rhode Island
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. New Jersey
  6. New York
  7. Alaska
  8. Minnesota
  9. Michigan
  10. Maryland
  • (591 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (1,400 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (538 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (174 jobs)
  • (188 jobs)
  • (431 jobs)

Top Program Officer Employers

Jobs From Top Program Officer Employers

Program Officer Videos

Lena Muldavin, Program Officer at IntraHealth

Ken Thompson, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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