You might be someone who aims for getting things done for your community. Or, you find delight in getting involved in local politics simply because you love serving the public, including politicians. A City Manager does exactly that.

City Manager Job Description, Job Duties, Salary, Resume

City managers serve a dual purpose – as a public administrator and as the Chief Executive Officer of the local government unit. You must have the skill and experience in directing the city’s bureaucracy to help the council make sound decisions. You must also possess the qualities of a good public administrator in order to carry out those decisions (e.g. government policies) made by the council.

Does the description sound like what you want to do so far? Read on to find out how to be a qualified city manager.

City Manager Education Requirements

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to a city manager’s educational qualifications, as city managers tend to come from various educational backgrounds, including criminology, finance, and accounting. However, if you want to improve your chances at getting hired as one, you should get a degree in Public Administration.

However, if you think you will excel more in taking a corporate role, you might want to consider going for Business Administration. Do consider taking an advanced degree in your chosen college major as many city managers, even the more experienced ones, have to pursue graduate studies just so they can be more competitive in the job market.

City Manager Sample Job Description

Under a council-manager form of government, its members can get to decide who’s going to be the city’s manager via a series of interviews. The council may hire the service of a headhunting firm to recruit the most qualified candidates for the position so the selection process may be difficult to get through.

Thus, it only makes sense to read this job description carefully before anything else.

City Manager Qualifications:

  • At least five years of experience in local government
  • A bachelor’s degree in political science, business administration, public administration, or any other related field. A Master’s Degree (MPA /MBA) is preferred.
  • Must possess good character and integrity
  • Strong planning skills
  • Customer-oriented
  • Experience in community development
  • Able to manage a diverse team of subordinates and department heads
  • Strong oral and written communication skills

City Manager Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Among the rest of appointed positions in a local government unit, the city manager takes the top spot. You will be very much involved in the council’s decision-makings as you are their chief advisor, but you essentially do not have any voting power on laws legislated by the group. And as a public administrator, you will be implementing these laws or policies in your city.
  • Being a manager obliges you to supervise the daily operations of the government departments, its heads and staff members. The task may include, but not limited to hiring, suspending, enforcing necessary disciplinary actions, and firing of the staff member(s).
  • Holding meetings with the citizens, private groups, and other members of the community is also a top priority in a city manager’s to-do list. So understand that you may be required to go visit different towns, and sometimes stay there for more than 3 weeks. This is also one way of gaining a better understanding of how the cities in your state function together. Thus, this also allows you to be innovative in your approach to optimizing the performance and day-to-day operations of your staff members.
  • Perform administrative tasks like budgeting, recommendations, attend council meetings, among other duties and responsibilities that the council may assign to you.

City Manager Skills

Just to be clear, the role of a city manager is far from what an entry level job would require you to do. To be even qualified for this position, you must have a prior managerial experience in any local government. Thus, it’s the department heads and/or assistant city managers that are likely to assume the said role in the future. To get there is definitely an uphill climb but with the right skillset, educational background and personality, there’s no reason why you should not be a city manager.

A few examples of skills that the councils may look for in a city manager include but not limited to the following:

  • Managerial skills (i.e. planning, designing, optimizing and implementing technologies that will help team members improve productivity and performance)
  • Solid financial skills
  • Able to come up with creative ideas for solving issues related to the city’s limited resources
  • Strategic and visionary

City Manager Salary

A city manager may earn between $40,000 and $200,000 annually, depending on the size of the municipality. The salary also depends on the city manager’s educational background and level of expertise. An employment agreement will likely be part of the hiring process.

City Manager Job Outlook

The demand for city managers is expected to increase by 10% between 2012 and 2022, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, due to budget cuts, there may be a slower rate of increase in some states and cities.

City Manager Resume Sample

Need some help with your government resume but don’t know where to begin? Here’s a sample resume for the position of City Manager.