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What Social and Community Service Managers Do About this section

Social and community service managers
Social and community service managers meet with community members and funding providers to discuss their programs.

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being. They direct workers who provide these services to the public.

Duties

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.

Work Environment About this section

social and community service managers image
Social and community service managers work in a variety of settings, including offices, clinics, hospitals, and shelters.

Social and community service managers held about 175,500 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of social and community service managers were as follows:

Individual and family services 29%
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 12
Nursing and residential care facilities 11
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 10
Community and vocational rehabilitation services 9

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.

Work Schedules

Most social and community service managers work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Social and Community Service Manager About this section

Social and community service managers
Social and community service managers typically need at least a bachelor's degree and work experience in a related occupation.

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.

Education

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.

Work Experience

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.

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 assess current programs as well as determine new initiatives.

Communication skills. Social and community service managers must be able to speak and write clearly. Public speaking experience is also helpful because these managers often participate in community outreach.

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

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

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

Pay About this section

Social and Community Service Managers

Median annual wages, May 2019

Other management occupations

$91,300

Social and community service managers

$67,150

Total, all occupations

$39,810

 

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.

In May 2019, the median annual wages for social and community service managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals $85,550
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 70,830
Nursing and residential care facilities 62,020
Individual and family services 61,920
Community and vocational rehabilitation services 60,180

Most social and community service managers work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week.

Job Outlook About this section

Social and Community Service Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2019-29

Social and community service managers

17%

Total, all occupations

4%

Other management occupations

3%

 

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.

In addition, employment growth is projected as people continue to seek treatment for their addictions and as people with substance abuse disorders are increasingly sent to treatment programs rather than to jail. As a result, managers who direct treatment programs will be needed.

Job Prospects

About 17,100 openings for social and community service managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Many of those openings are also expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment projections data for social and community service managers, 2019-29
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2019 Projected Employment, 2029 Change, 2019-29 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Social and community service managers

11-9151 175,500 205,400 17 29,800 Get data

Contacts for More Information About this section

For more information about social and community service managers, visit

The Network for Social Work Management

Council on Social Work Education

National Association of Social Workers

CareerOneStop

For a career video on social and community service managers, visit

Social and Community Service Managers

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Social and Community Service Managers

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