Program Manager

Plan, direct or coordinate the activities of a program or organization. Oversee budget and policies regarding participant involvement, program requirements and benefits. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, you may want to pursue a career working as a program manager.

​​​​​​​What Does Working as a Program Manager Look Like?

Do you have people skills? Are you able to grasp the wider objectives of a program? Program management requires strong leadership and management skills, knowledge of budgeting and resource allocation and excellent problem-solving skills.

Program managers typically perform some or all of the following tasks:

  • Day-to-day supervisory tasks as needed to keep projects, employees, volunteers and events running smoothly.
  • Define and execute program goals.
  • Create plans, monitor progress and check in with project managers and stakeholders.
  • Manage the budget and use of manpower or resources, which may sometimes entail fundraising efforts.
  • Train employees and volunteers.

Program Manager Career Salary and Forecast

Experienced program directors and managers can expect to earn somewhere between $47,000 and $91,000. Salaries vary considerably by employer, industry sector, experience and level of responsibility.

Job opportunity growth for this career is forecasted to increase at a rate of 9.5% per year nationally. Demand is forecasted to grow at an even faster rate in North Carolina, where program manager positions are anticipated to increase at a rate of 13.7% per year. 

What Education is Required to Work as a Program Manager?

Most program managers have a bachelor’s degree, but some positions require a master’s degree or graduate work. Most of these organizations hire from within or hire people with experience working or volunteering with a similar organization. You will want to volunteer or pursue internships while in school. You may need to gain additional on-the-job experience within an organization before you will be considered for a manager position.

The Leadership in the Public Sector degree provides the foundation needed to build a career as a program manager. This degree program is designed for working professionals, so it is possible to pursue this degree while working full-time. 


Program Manager Job Opportunities

If you go into this field, you may find the following job titles also appeal to you:

  • Director of Child Welfare Services
  • Director of Social Services
  • Program Director
  • Program Manager
  • Social Services Director

Explore program manager jobs.

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