Education Portal is now Study.com! We still offer the same great content and features, with more added every day, just under a new name. Learn more x

City Manager: Job Description, Duties and Salary

City managers require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

View 6 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

City managers oversee all administrative tasks necessary for city operations. Hired by the city council, they supervise city departments, maintain the city budget and represent the municipality in a variety of settings. They research issues important to the city and advise the mayor and council on the best course of action. Most have a bachelor's or master's degree in public administration, business administration or other relevant area of study.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in public administration or other relevant field
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022) 11% for all top executives*
Median Salary (September 2014) $85,386**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com.

Job Description

A city manager is responsible for directing a variety of administrative processes that allow a city to operate. It is their job is to implement and oversee policies crafted by city council. They are also responsible for documenting and presenting the city budget as well as interfacing with the community to develop new programs.

Job Duties

Depending on the size of the city they work for, the duties of a city manager may vary. Those working for larger municipalities usually have a staff to help them with their workload, while managers of smaller cities perform a wider variety of tasks. Regardless of the size of their city, managers are generally responsible for budget management, department oversight, internal affairs and external relations.

City managers monitor, report on and make recommendations regarding the city budget. They typically work with the mayor and heads of each department to make sure that city finances remain balanced. Managers prepare budget reports and deliver information to city leaders and the public regarding the fiscal state of the municipality.

The leader of each city department reports to the city manager. The oversight of these department heads allows for continuity of standards and policies across all city departments. Departments include parks and recreation, fire, police, water and transportation. In many cases, city managers appoint the head of each department.

City managers direct internal city operations and external relations. Externally, city managers are responsible for hearing the concerns and requests of their community and bringing them to the government. City managers must anticipate municipality needs and create programs to address them. Internally, they are responsible for implementing and overseeing policies to ensure all procedural requirements are followed. Based on research and community insight, they advise the city council and the mayor.

Salary

Salaries for city managers vary based on municipality size. According to data collected by PayScale.com, salaries for most city managers ranged from $48,020-$149,929 annually as of September 2014. Pay also varies based on level of education and years of experience. PayScale.com reported in September 2014 that entry-level city managers earned a median of $67,000, while managers with 10-20 years of experience earned a median salary of $100,000.

Show me popular schools

Related to City Manager: Job Description, Duties and Salary

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Can You Become a City Manager With a Bachelor's Degree?

City managers, also known as chief executives, are responsible for establishing government policies and developing laws, rules...

Do You Need an MPA Degree to Become a City Manager?

City managers plan, organize, coordinate and implement services and solutions to advance the development of a growing city,...

Making Libraries Better: Study.com Speaks with Daisy Porter, Manager of Innovation

Still deciding on a career path? How does 'Manager of Innovation' sound? Education-Portal.com recently caught up with Daisy...

Construction Manager Vs. Architects: What's the Difference?

Although construction management and architectural design both play a significant role in the building of residential homes,...

How to Be a Tour Manager: Education and Career Information

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in General Studies
    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • Master of Science in Management - Public Administration
        • Master of Business Administration - Global Leadership
    • Associate
        • Associate of Science in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
      • Theological, Religious, and Ministerial Studies

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics