A community development director is responsible for coordinating housing and economic development programs within a neighborhood, city or region. She helps improve communities by overseeing plans to add or revitalize infrastructure. The position requires a variety of managerial, technical and forecasting skills.
Community development directors perform a wide of range of duties and should have post-secondary training within the field. While a graduate degree is the desired qualification for most positions, a Bachelor of Science degree in urban planning, land-use planning or public administration is required by most employers.
Strong oral and written communication skills are necessary because the position requires extensive interaction with the public and the preparation of technical reports. Previous work history should include supervisory experience in the planning field.
Community development involves recommending possible locations for schools, housing and other infrastructure that support the needs of the growing population. Directors must take into account various social, economic and environmental factors to determine the best use of the land. They establish long and short term community planning goals while providing administrative direction for planning projects. Directors are also responsible for overseeing budgets related to development projects.
Directors must possess the ability to lead staff and maintain positive relationships with outside contractors. They will often serve as the liaison between community interest groups and public officials.
Compensation varies based on the director's level of education and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, as of May 2008 the median salary range for individuals employed in the planning field was $47,050 to $75,630. The highest 10% of individuals employed in this field earned over $91,520.
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