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Social and Community Service Manager: Education and Career Information

If you are interested in helping the community and others through social service organizations, this may be the career move for you. This position can be highly analytical, requires a good grasp of budgets and mathematical ability, and be able to direct others to do their tasks. As a social service manager, this could be a very lucrative position that has a number of rewarding benefits that could help this career path move forward.

What does a social and community service manager do?

This position assists in the coordination and management of social service programs and community-based organization. They are the lead on most projects, directing staff who provide multiple services to the general public. This is usually a full-time position, and the hours may vary based on facility, need and role requirements. They work with budgets, help develop and maintain policies, program requirements and benefits. You can find these individuals in places like private for-profit social service organizations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other entities that serve the public.

How much does a social and community service manager earn?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, social and community service managers make about $60,000 per year, or over $28 per hour. This amount can vary or increase based on the years of experience they have, the state where they work, the type of facility and the amount of education they have obtained. Although this profession only requires a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree is required for advancement. This career field is expected to grow at least 21 percent by 2022, which is faster than the average for most occupations due to an increase in the elderly population and a need for health-related and other abuse-related services.

What skills does a social and community service manager need?

This is a very hands-on position. There are a number of skills needed to effectively manage and successfully carry out this role:

Time Management: Managing time is an essential component of this position, as this role has a number of things to complete and do. Being able to manage and direct a number of things at one time makes a tremendous difference in successfully navigating this position. Prioritization is essential.

Social Perceptiveness: Knowing how to be socially perceptive when navigating this role is key. There are government officials to meet and work with, as well as other professionals to handle business. It is important to be able to deal with a number of people on a number of social levels and adapt to a variety of different situations.

Critical Thinking: Being able to assess and critically think about an issue and provide solutions is essential. There are many situations when dealing with social service and governmental agencies that require deep thought and attention.

Reading Comprehension: This role requires an in-depth ability to read and understand large quantities of information. There are a number of reports that must be read, policies that must be read and broken down, and information that is consistently flowing through the office of this role. Being able to keep track of it all through effective reading comprehension is important.

Management of Personnel Resources: As a manager, there will be a number of employees to oversee, as well as the management of their records, benefits and other things. Being able to handle this, and perform the other tasks of this role is key.

Public Speaking: This role will be required to speak publicly to the public and other officials on a number of issues. Being able to speak clearly and succinctly is an essential part of this position.

Judgment and Decision Making: This role requires the capacity to make sound judgment and hard decisions to be effective and implement the items necessary to assist the general public.

Writing: Being able to write well is one of the most important aspects of this role. There are a number of reports, budget matters and other information that must be written in a clear and concise manner. Writing is one of the most essential elements of effective communication.

Management of Budgets: Management of budgets in a variety of areas is important. The amounts of money that must be managed can vary. This role must be accountable for every dollar spent and how it will be disseminated for the fiscal year.

Persuasion and Negotiation: This role must be able to successfully negotiate and persuade officials and the general public on a number of issues.

Leadership Skills: A manager must be a leader in a number of ways. They must be able to motivate their employees, manage the direction of the program, and be the front person for the organization.

Internship Requirements

Every program has their own internship requirements which depends on the program. A master’s program has an internship component that allows students to work with professionals in the field for hands-on experience. Hours required total at least thirty, but may be increased or decreased based on other program requirements.

Education requirements

A social and community service manager must pursue a bachelor’s degree, which is four years. The degree usually falls under social work, urban studies, public administration or a related field. Although a bachelor’s degree will allow an individual to work in this capacity, in order to move up the corporate ladder, a master’s degree in public or business administration, public health, or social work is required. Coursework includes program management, policy analysis, budgets, statistics, financial modeling, enterprise strategy, management and administration of nonprofit organizations.

Taking the time to explore a career as a social and community services manager can be beneficial. This can be a very demanding position, but is a good fit for someone who wants to make a change for the general community through policy making and working with officials to make things better. This is a position that puts the needs of others first, but can be lucrative as they move up the career ladder. Knowing how to navigate and properly position yourself to succeed in this position is key.

Social Work Scholarships

Presbyterian Church USA Student Opportunity Scholarships Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship Jewish Community Center (JCC) North American Graduate Scholarship
Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship CSWE Scholars Program American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund The Leopold Schepp Foundation National Association of Puerto Rican Hispanic Social Workers
UJA Federation – The Weiner Educational Center Bethesda Lutheran Communities Service Scholarship Maryland Graduate and Professional School Scholarship
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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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