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Social and community service managers salary & career outlook

There are few things more rewarding than filling a need in your community. Whether that's handing a sandwich to a homeless person or picking up trash on the sidewalk, helping out makes a difference in people's lives and is rewarding. If you have a heart for these kind acts, you may want to look into becoming a community service manager.

What social and community service managers do

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social and community service managers coordinate community organizations and social service programs. They're also responsible for supervising the staff in these programs or organizations (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). A community service manager may do any of the following:

  • Meet with members of the community to determine what services may be needed in the community
  • Create, oversee and improve upon community-wide programs
  • Manage budgets for programs and organizations
  • Gather statistics about the outcome of programs
A community service manager may work for a government program or a non-profit organization, such as an organization or program that assists homeless youth or the unemployed.

How to become a social and community service manager

Becoming a social and community service manager typically requires a bachelor's degree in social work, public administration, urban studies or a related field, according to the BLS (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). Many employers may require a master's degree in social work, public health, public or business administration, or a related field. If you only have a bachelor's degree, you may be required to have some previous work experience as well.

Important qualities that a social and community service manager may possess, according to the BLS (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012), are analytical skills, leadership skills, communication skills, people skills and managerial skills.

Social and community service manager salary trends

The BLS reports that the mean annual wage nationally for social and community service managers, as of May 2012, was $64,460 (BLS.gov/oes, 2013). The BLS data also shows that the highest 10 percent in the profession earned an annual wage of $99,150 and the lowest 10 percent earned an annual wage of $36,250 for that same year.

How much you earn may also be determined by which industry you're a community service manager in. Here are the annual mean wages in May 2012 for social and community service managers in the top paying industries, according to the BLS:

  • Local government: $74,470
  • State government: $66,980
  • Individual and family services: $59,770
Where you live may also play a factor in how much you earn as a community service manager. Here are the annual mean wages in May 2012 for social and community service managers in the top paying states, as reported by the BLS:
  • Rhode Island: $81,370
  • District of Columbia: $80,180
  • New Jersey: $77,730

Career outlook for social and community service managers

According to the BLS, employment of social and community service managers is expected to grow by 27 percent between 2010 and 2020 (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). This is due to the aging population that will need social services, such as adult day care and meal delivery.

The growth varies by industry, though. According to the BLS, between 2010 and 2020 the employment of social and community service managers in the industries employing the most people in the profession are expected to grow by the following percentages:

  • Individual and family services: 53 percent
  • Community and vocational rehabilitation services: 31 percent
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: 22 percent
  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional and similar organizations: 20 percent
  • State and local government, excluding education and hospitals: 7 percent

The BLS also points out that growth for social and community service managers could be limited by government budget cuts at the local and state level, which may be unpredictable.