Social and Community Service Managers

Career, Salary and Education Information

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a social or community service manager with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 3 Social Service Manager Jobs

  • Case Manager / Coordinator - Social Services - Search, Inc. - Mount Prospect, IL

    Ensure timely and accurate adherence to procedures related to house budgets, Link cards, petty cash, and consumer trust funds, • Convene the

  • Inside Sales Representative - vCita - Bellevue, WA

    Make outbound calls to prospects who have expressed interest in learning more about vCita.\ • Follow

  • Development Associate - Aspire Developmental Services - Lynn, MA

    Oversees gift acknowledgement, processing and reporting. • Manages the ongoing development and organization of a volunteer program

See all Social Service Manager jobs

What Social and Community Service Managers Do[About this section] [To Top]

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 of Social and Community Service Managers

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.

Work Environment for Social and Community Service Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Social and community service managers hold about 147,300 jobs. The largest employers of social and community service managers are as follows:

Individual and family services 27%
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 12
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 11
Nursing and residential care facilities 11
Community and vocational rehabilitation services 10

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.

Social and Community Service Manager 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; about 1 in 4 work more than 40 hours per week.

How to Become a Social and Community Service Manager[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Social and Community Service Managers near you!

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 for Social and Community Service Managers

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 for Social and Community Service Managers

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.

Important Qualities for Social and Community Service Managers

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 evaluate current programs as well as determine new initiatives.

Communication skills. Social and community service managers must be able to speak and write clearly so that others can understand them. Public speaking experience is also helpful because social and community service managers often participate in community outreach.

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

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

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

Social and Community Service Manager Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for social and community service managers is $64,680. 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 $39,770, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $110,970.

The median annual wages for social and community service managers in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals $79,680
Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations 66,170
Nursing and residential care facilities 60,320
Individual and family services 59,140
Community and vocational rehabilitation services 58,270

The majority of social and community service managers work full time. They may work extended hours to meet deadlines or when preparing new programs; about 1 in 4 work more than 40 hours per week.

Job Outlook for Social and Community Service Managers[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of social and community service managers is projected to grow 16 percent over the next ten years, 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 for Social and Community Service Managers

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

Employment projections data for Social and Community Service Managers, 2016-26
Occupational Title Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Social and community service managers 147,300 170,400 16 23,100


*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Explore more careers: View all Careers or Browse Careers by Category

Search for jobs: