Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being.
What they do
Social and community service managers direct workers who provide these services to the public.
Social and community service managers typically do the following:
- Work with community members and other stakeholders to identify necessary programs and services
- Oversee administrative aspects of programs to meet the objectives of the stakeholders
- Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of programs
- Suggest and implement improvements to programs and services
- Plan and manage outreach activities for increased awareness of programs
- Write proposals for social services funding
Social and community service managers work for a variety of organizations. Some of these organizations focus on working with a particular demographic, such as children, people who are homeless, older adults, or veterans. Others focus on helping people with particular challenges, such as substance abuse, mental health needs, and chronic hunger.
A routine part of social and community service managers’ job is to show that their programs and services are effective. They collect statistics and other information to evaluate the impact their programs have on the community or their target audience. They are usually required to report this information to administrators or funders. They may also use evaluations to identify opportunities to improve their programs, 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 recruit, hire, and train new staff members. They also supervise staff, such as social workers, who provide services directly to clients. Additionally, they may perform some of the services of the workers they oversee.
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 their organization through public speaking engagements or in communitywide committees; oversee programs and execute their implementations; spend time on administrative tasks, such as managing budgets; and help with raising funds and meeting with potential donors.
Social and community service managers work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. They also work in a variety of settings, including offices, clinics, hospitals, and shelters.
How to become a Social and Community Service Manager
Social and community service managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and work experience. However, some positions also require a master’s degree.
Social and community service manager jobs typically require a bachelor’s degree in social work, public or business administration, public health, or a related field. However, some positions also require a master’s degree.
Workers usually need experience in order to become a social and community service manager, and it is essential for those with a bachelor’s degree. Candidates can get this experience by working as a social worker, substance abuse counselor, or in a similar occupation.
The median annual wage for social and community service managers was $67,150 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $41,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $112,480.
Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 17 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Much of the job growth in this occupation is the result of an aging population. An increase in the number of older adults will result in a need for more social services, such as adult daycare, creating demand for social and community service managers. Employment of social and community service managers is expected to increase the most in industries serving older adults.
Similar Job Titles
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Human Resources Manager, Training and Development Manager, Education Administrator-Elementary and Secondary School, Medical and Health Services Manager, Clergy
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- American Counseling Association
- American Nurses Association
- American Public Human Services Association
- American Society for Public Administration
- Catholic Charities USA
- International Childbirth Education Association
- National Association of Social Workers
- National Rehabilitation Association
- Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care
Magazines and Publications
- Social Work Today
- The New Social Worker
- Community Manager Newsletter
- Common Ground Magazine
- Ungated (blog)
Every community needs an advocate, and many communities are fortunate to have social and community service managers fulfill that purpose. These professionals are sensitive to community needs, developing plans and raising funds to help serve children, the elderly, immigrants, ex-offenders, the homeless, and other groups within the community. Social and community service managers work closely with government offices, non-profit agencies, and other groups that represent their clients to ensure their organization’s services will meet community needs. They also raise money to pay for program costs by writing grant proposals and speaking at fundraising events. When they’re not out meeting with community members and donors, they may be found in the office developing program budgets, designing and analyzing surveys to identify service needs or measure program outcomes, or working on strategies to promote their programs. These managers work in many sectors including nursing, residential, religious, and rehabilitation. They usually work full time, with overtime hours expected when needed to meet important deadlines. Most have a bachelor’s degree in social work, urban studies, public health, or a related field. Many have extensive experience providing direct service before managing a program.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org