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Become A Senior Program Officer

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Working As A Senior 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

  • $87,500

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Program Officer jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Program Manager 3.4 years
Country Director 2.9 years
Program Lead 2.0 years
Top Employers Before
Consultant 7.2%
Internship 5.7%
Teacher 3.3%
Volunteer 3.0%
Instructor 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 17.1%
Director 7.9%
President 2.9%
Manager 2.9%
Liaison 2.9%
Monitor 2.5%

Senior Program Officer Demographics

Gender

Female

51.6%

Male

44.9%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

73.6%

Asian

10.9%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

4.6%

Black or African American

1.2%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.3%

French

21.0%

Italian

6.7%

Arabic

5.7%

Russian

4.8%

Chinese

3.8%

German

3.8%

Japanese

2.9%

Serbian

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Kurdish

1.9%

Turkish

1.9%

Croatian

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Swahili

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Lakota

1.0%

Dutch

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%
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Senior Program Officer Education

Schools

American University

12.8%

Georgetown University

11.6%

George Washington University

8.1%

California State University - Northridge

7.0%

Columbia University

5.8%

San Francisco State University

5.8%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.7%

New York University

4.7%

Syracuse University

3.5%

University of Washington

3.5%

Harvard University

3.5%

Brandeis University

3.5%

University of California - Berkeley

3.5%

New School

3.5%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.5%

Cornell University

3.5%

Tufts University

3.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.5%

University of Southern Maine

2.3%

Southwest University

2.3%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Political Science

11.0%

International Relations

7.5%

Public Health

6.9%

Psychology

6.4%

Public Administration

5.8%

Human Resources Management

5.2%

Management

4.0%

Economics

4.0%

Sociology

4.0%

Global Studies

3.5%

Finance

3.5%

History

3.5%

Law

3.5%

Communication

2.9%

Anthropology

2.3%

Social Work

2.3%

Project Management

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Theology

2.3%
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Degrees

Masters

51.2%

Bachelors

18.2%

Doctorate

13.1%

Other

10.4%

Certificate

4.0%

Associate

1.7%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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, Global Development Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 14, 2013 $155,126 -
$228,454
Senior Program Officer, Drug Discovery-Therapeut Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA May 01, 2013 $155,126 -
$269,954
Senior Program Officer, Decision Sciences Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jul 11, 2016 $148,000 -
$222,000
Senior Program Officer-Epidemiology, Malaria Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 24, 2015 $146,474 -
$270,000
Senior Program Officer, Pneumonia Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Jan 04, 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, Policy Development and FIN Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Aug 04, 2014 $138,000 -
$248,100
Senior Program Officer, Global Health Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, WA Sep 01, 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 Nuclear Threat Initiative, Inc. Washington, DC Feb 12, 2016 $95,000 -
$118,000
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

TechnicalAssistanceFinancialManagementPolicyNgosInitiativeCivilSocietyDevelopmentStrategicPlanPartnerCapacityBuildingDevelopmentProgramsCountryProgramLogisticsEmergencyUSDChildStateDepartmentGovernmentOfficialsProgramManagementEuropeanCommissionIDPSuperviseProgramOfficers

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Top Senior Program Officer Skills

  1. Technical Assistance
  2. Financial Management
  3. Policy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided technical assistance to nonprofit clients, and developed curriculum and developed training's on permanent supportive housing development.
  • Provided expert budget and financial management (approximately $1.5 Million) that passed every audit since 2004.
  • Participated in reviews of Mission program and project proposals that involved significant institutional policy issues.
  • Designed and conducted trainings with political parties and NGOs in Peru and Colombia.
  • Collaborated with other program areas on education of foster youth and college access and success initiatives.

Top Senior Program Officer Employers