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Become A Senior Program Officer

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Working As A Senior Program Officer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Program Officer Do

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Duties

Producers and directors typically do the following:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the postproduction process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Large productions often have associate, assistant, and line producers who share responsibilities. For example, on a large movie set an executive producer is in charge of the entire production, and a line producer runs the day-to-day operations. A TV show may employ several assistant producers to whom the head or executive producer gives certain duties, such as supervising the costume and makeup team.

Similarly, large productions usually employ several assistant directors, who help the director with tasks such as making set changes or notifying the performers when it is their time to go onstage. The specific responsibilities of assistant producers or directors vary with the size and type of production they work on.

Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, film and video editors, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and they are ultimately responsible for the final product.

Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsals, they work with the actors to help them more accurately portray their characters. For nonfiction video, such as documentaries or live broadcasts, directors choose topics or subjects to film. They investigate the topic and may interview relevant participants or experts on camera. Directors also work with cinematographers and other crew members to ensure the final product matches the overall vision.

Directors work with set designers, costume designers, location scouts, and art directors to build a project’s set. During a film’s postproduction phase, they work closely with film editors and music supervisors to make sure that the final product comes out the way the producer and director envisioned. Stage directors, unlike television or film directors who document their product with cameras, make sure the cast and crew give a consistently strong live performance. For more information, see the profiles on actors, writers and authors, film and video editors and camera operators, dancers and choreographers, and multimedia artists and animators.

Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.

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How To Become A Senior Program Officer

Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience in an occupation related to motion picture, TV, or theater production, such as an actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.

Education

Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Others major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater and some go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting. As of May 2015, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited more than 180 programs in theater arts.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Producers and directors might start out working in a theatrical management office as a business or company manager. In television or film, they might start out as an assistant or another low-profile studio job.

Advancement

As a producer’s or director’s reputation grows, he or she may work on larger projects that attract more attention or publicity.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.

Creativity. Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.

Leadership skills. A director instructs actors and helps them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, who are responsible for the behind the scenes work.

Time-management skills. Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

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Average Yearly Salary
$78,000
Show Salaries
$43,000
Min 10%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$142,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
National Academy of Sciences
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
New York
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Senior Program Officer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Program Officer in the United States is $79,013 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Senior Program Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Program Officer, Drug Discovery-Therapeutics Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 05, 2016 $188,344 -
$270,529
Senior Program Officer, Cereal Crops Supply Chain Specialist Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Nov 17, 2014 $179,670 -
$215,000
SR. Program Officer, Development Policy & Finance, Multilateral Financing Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Washington, DC Mar 16, 2016 $160,000 -
$270,530
Senior Program Officer, Clinical Service Delivery Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Oct 17, 2016 $159,994 -
$222,000
Senior Program Officer, Seed Systems Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 14, 2016 $159,411 -
$270,529
Senior Program Officer, Program Advocacy and Communications Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Sep 26, 2016 $156,000 -
$234,000
Senior Program Officer-Global Development Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 02, 2013 $155,126 -
$282,220
Senior Program Officer, Drug Discovery-Therapeut Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA May 01, 2013 $155,126 -
$269,954
Senior Program Officer, Global Development Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 14, 2013 $155,126 -
$228,454
Senior Program Officer, Decision Sciences Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jul 11, 2016 $148,000 -
$222,000
Senior Program Officer, Interventions, Consumers & Markets Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Sep 08, 2015 $146,474 -
$270,530
Senior Program Officer, Pneumonia Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 04, 2016 $146,474 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Country Action Acceleration Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 02, 2016 $146,474 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Digital Solutions Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Apr 01, 2016 $138,371 -
$270,560
Senior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning & Evaluation Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Nov 16, 2015 $138,370 -
$270,529
Senior Program Officer, Global Health Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Sep 01, 2014 $138,000 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Policy Development and FIN Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 04, 2014 $138,000 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Development Policy and FIN Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 04, 2014 $138,000 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Regulatory Affairs Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Dec 16, 2013 $130,458 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Animal Health Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Apr 01, 2014 $130,336 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer United States Institute of Peace Washington, DC Nov 10, 2013 $105,211
Senior Program Officer Open Society Institute New York, NY Jan 11, 2016 $102,801
Senior Health Systems Program Officer Path Seattle, WA Jun 26, 2016 $100,776 -
$181,398
Senior Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Nov 01, 2013 $97,828
Senior Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Mar 21, 2016 $97,074 -
$101,282
Senior Program Officer Nuclear Threat Initiative, Inc. Washington, DC Feb 03, 2013 $95,243 -
$110,000
Senior Program Officer Open Society Foundations New York, NY Jan 02, 2015 $95,000
Senior Health Systems Program Officer Program for Appropriate Technology In Health Seattle, WA Jun 26, 2013 $95,000 -
$120,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Program Officer

  1. Financial Management
  2. Technical Assistance
  3. Ngos
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided expert budget and financial management (approximately $1.5 Million) that passed every audit since 2004.
  • Organized capacity-building training program and provided technical assistance to dozens of African legislatures, political parties, and civic organizations.
  • Led the development and implementation of over 35 sub-agreements and budgets, with partner NGOs.
  • Maintained institutional relations with civil society organizations and political actors in both countries.
  • Designed and implemented projects in agriculture, skills development, entrepreneurship, vocational training, and small business development.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Program Officers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. California
  3. New York
  4. Maryland
  5. New Jersey
  6. Connecticut
  7. Georgia
  8. Virginia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Hawaii
  • (293 jobs)
  • (1,673 jobs)
  • (506 jobs)
  • (336 jobs)
  • (251 jobs)
  • (131 jobs)
  • (234 jobs)
  • (616 jobs)
  • (213 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)

Senior Program Officer Demographics

Gender

Female

47.0%

Male

39.5%

Unknown

13.5%
Ethnicity

White

53.1%

Black or African American

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.1%

Asian

10.3%

Unknown

6.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.2%

French

18.6%

Russian

9.3%

Arabic

7.6%

Italian

5.9%

Chinese

3.4%

German

3.4%

Portuguese

2.5%

Japanese

2.5%

Turkish

1.7%

Serbian

1.7%

Mandarin

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Kurdish

1.7%

Croatian

1.7%

Swahili

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Lakota

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Ukrainian

0.8%
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Senior Program Officer Education

Schools

American University

11.5%

George Washington University

8.8%

Georgetown University

8.1%

Columbia University

8.1%

New York University

7.4%

Harvard University

4.7%

University of Phoenix

4.7%

University of Maryland - University College

4.1%

University of Washington

4.1%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.1%

Teachers College of Columbia University

4.1%

California State University - Northridge

4.1%

San Francisco State University

4.1%

Tulane University

3.4%

Brandeis University

3.4%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.4%

Tufts University

3.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.4%

Syracuse University

2.7%

Johns Hopkins University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

18.7%

Political Science

10.9%

International Relations

6.9%

Public Health

6.6%

Public Administration

6.3%

Finance

5.4%

Management

4.5%

Psychology

4.5%

Law

4.2%

Economics

3.9%

Human Resources Management

3.6%

Education

3.0%

Global Studies

3.0%

History

3.0%

Sociology

3.0%

Social Work

2.7%

English

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.4%

Public Relations

2.4%

Public Policy Analysis

2.1%
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Degrees

Masters

52.1%

Bachelors

19.8%

Doctorate

10.3%

Other

9.8%

Certificate

5.0%

Diploma

1.6%

Associate

1.2%

License

0.2%
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