Social Service Manager Job Description

Salary: $43,600 – $75,600 Number of Jobs: 130,560
Hourly Rate: $20.97 – $36.36 Employment Outlook: Normal
Green Job: No Education: Bachelor’s degree

What do Social Service Managers do?

Social service managers work for social service organizations. These organizations focus on helping a particular group of people (like veterans or children), or try to make a positive impact on a social problem (like unemployment or hunger).

The responsibilities for social service managers vary greatly depending on the size of the organization they work for. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this occupation, you should think about the types of responsibilities you’d like to have before you choose to work for a particular organization.

Social service managers who work for small organizations often have a lot of freedom. They are sometimes able to design and implement new programs, and are responsible for doing what needs to be done to make them succeed. They may also be in charge of fundraising efforts and managing the organization’s budgets.

In a large organization, social service managers typically have less freedom. Often times, they are only able to perform tasks that are delegated to them by upper management. They typically only work on one part of a single project, and may have little or no say in the input into the design of the programs.

Regardless of where they work, social service managers are usually responsible for hiring and supervising a staff of social workers who work directly with the public.

If you have a strong desire to help people and you love a good challenge, then a career as a social service manager might be a good choice for you.

Work Environment and Schedule

Social service managers work in many different environments, including shelters, hospitals, offices, and clinics. They are often employed by nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and social service companies.

Since social service managers often work with people who are going through a tough period in their life, this can be an emotionally draining occupation. It’s not easy to see people going through hard times.

This can be a stressful occupation as well. Money for social service programs is often very limited, so social service managers have to create reports that demonstrate the effectiveness of their program on the community. The data they gather is often used in fundraising efforts, which many programs rely on to stay in operation.

This can be a very political occupation as well, particularly while fundraising. Sometimes funding goes to the people who are closest friends with the powers that be, rather than to the people who are doing the most to help others. The political aspect can be frustrating, but it’s sometimes part of the job.

The majority of social service managers work full time. They are often able to keep a regular working schedule, but working overtime may be required during times when a lot of people need their help.

How to Become a Social Service Manager

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for becoming a social service manager. Popular college majors for people in this profession include public administration, urban studies, and social work.

After you earn your degree, you will need at least a few years of work experience before you’re qualified for a position as a social service manager. Most people get their experience by working as a social worker, and then naturally move up into a management role as they become more experienced.

Even though you can get a job in this occupation with a bachelor’s degree, many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in business administration, social work, public health, or a related field. With a master’s degree, the amount of work experience needed to advance into management positions is normally greatly reduced.

Employment Outlook

There are currently 130,560 social service managers in the United States, with 4,820 new social service manager job openings created each year.

Social Service Manager jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.

Overall Salaries

Social Service Manager salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most social service managers make between $43,600 – $75,600 per year, or $20.97 – $36.36 per hour.

Education / Training Requirements

Bachelor’s degree is normally required for social service manager jobs.

Updated: 09/02/2017

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