Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage workers who provide social 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 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. Others focus on helping people with particular challenges, such as substance abuse, mental health needs, 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 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 must 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; 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.

Is This the Right Career for You?

Not sure how to choose the best career for you? Now, you can predict which career will satisfy you in the long term by taking a scientifically validated career test. Gain the clarity and confidence that comes from understanding your strengths, talents, and preferences, and knowing which path is truly right for you.

Take The Test

 

 

 

 

 

Work Environment

Social and community service managers held about 168,800 jobs in 2018. The largest employers of social and community service managers were as follows:

Individual and family services 29%
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations                             11
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, private for-profit social service companies, and government agencies. They also work in a variety of settings, including offices, clinics, hospitals, and shelters.

Work Schedules

The majority of social and community service managers work full time. They may work extended hours to meet deadlines or when preparing new programs.

Education and Training

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

Most social and community service manager jobs 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. 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, substance abuse counselor, or in a similar occupation.

Personality and Interests

Social and community service managers typically have an interest in the Helping and Persuading interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counseling, or teaching other people. The Persuading interest area indicates a focus on influencing, motivating, and selling to other people.

If you are not sure whether you have a Helping or Persuading interest which might fit with a career as a social and community service manager, you can take a career test to measure your interests.

Social and community service managers should also possess the following specific qualities:

>

Analytical skills. Managers need to understand and evaluate data 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. Working with the community and employees requires effective communication. Managers must be able to speak and write clearly so others can understand them. Public speaking experience is also helpful because they 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.

Leadership skills. Social and community service managers must motivate and lead their employees and set the overall direction of the program.

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

Problem-solving skills. Managers must be able to effectively address client, staff, and agency related issues as they occur.

Time-management skills. Social and community service managers must be able to prioritize and handle numerous tasks for multiple customers, often in a short timeframe.

Pay

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

The majority of social and community service managers work full time. They may work extended hours to meet deadlines or when preparing new programs.

Job Outlook

Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, 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 and meal delivery, creating demand for social and community service managers. Employment of social and community service managers is expected to increase the most in industries serving the elderly, such as services for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

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

Job Prospects

Job prospects are expected to be good because of the continued expected demand for individual and family social services.

For More Information

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

 

FAQ

Where does this information come from?

The career information above is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. This excellent resource for occupational data is published by the U.S. Department of Labor every two years. Truity periodically updates our site with information from the BLS database.

I would like to cite this page for a report. Who is the author?

There is no published author for this page. Please use citation guidelines for webpages without an author available. 

I think I have found an error or inaccurate information on this page. Who should I contact?

This information is taken directly from the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Truity does not editorialize the information, including changing information that our readers believe is inaccurate, because we consider the BLS to be the authority on occupational information. However, if you would like to correct a typo or other technical error, you can reach us at help@truity.com.

I am not sure if this career is right for me. How can I decide?

There are many excellent tools available that will allow you to measure your interests, profile your personality, and match these traits with appropriate careers. On this site, you can take the Career Personality Profiler assessment, the Holland Code assessment, or the Photo Career Quiz.

Find Jobs Near You