Job Description of a City Manager


City managers take on the challenging task of directing the administration of an entire locality. From the supervision of employees to interaction with citizens, it is a position of authority and significant responsibility. With knowledge of city government and a knack for business, you can have a distinguished career as a city manager.

City Management Skills

  • City managers complete numerous tasks on a daily basis, which requires multi-tasking skills. On any given workday, the city manager may lead project meetings, present to elected officials or speak with the press. Excellent communication skills are necessary to present verbal and written information to a variety of audiences. City managers direct a staff of employees, which requires the abilities to supervise and delegate. They also spend a considerable amount of time developing solutions to issues within the city government, so critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential to the position.

Daily Management Duties

  • City managers oversee the administrative responsibilities of the city and ensure that each department operates properly. They often serve as department heads, and hire employees as needed. City managers frequently meet with staff members and elected officials to discuss current issues and problems facing the locality. The city manager develops strategies to meet the city's strategic goals and then supervises the projects though to completion. He also reviews municipal expenditures to ensure that fiscal goals are met and finances are handled appropriately.

Planning The Future

  • Planning is also part of the city manager's responsibilities. Along with local citizens and elected officials, the manager helps develop strategies for the best use of land and establishes development goals. She's involved in creating local ordinances to regulate businesses and new construction. These tasks require regular meetings with stakeholders, including business leaders and real estate developers. The city manager participates in the creation of the locality's budget. She gathers information about every expenditure in the city and uses those numbers to allocate funding for the upcoming year.

Getting The Job

  • City manager positions require a bachelor's degree in a field related to government or management. However, applicants with a master's degree in public administration or urban management have a greater opportunity for employment in this field. At least five years of managerial experience are also required, along with extensive knowledge of public works and urban politics. Students should seek out internships within local governments to gain valuable work experience. Applicants who have completed college should look for employment within a locality to gain knowledge of city government.

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