Cool Job of the Month

City Manager

Does the idea of overseeing the activities of a city excite you? Do you enjoy improving your community? As a City Manager, you would have the opportunity to change your city the way you've always wanted.

Why it's cool

  • You are in charge of hiring and dismissing city staff.
  • The opportunity to make positive changes in your community.
  • In charge of the city's money through the yearly budget.
  • Responsible for planning, directing and supervising the activities of city employees.
  • Assist with special projects assigned by the city council.

Requirements for the Job

  • Ability to manage a large staff in a hectic work environment.
  • Communicating well with others to effectively convey information, whether it be through written work or verbally.
  • Critical Thinking and the ability to identify and solve problems.
  • Good Judgment and decision making skills.
  • Active listening skills.
  • Coordinating groups of individuals to accomplish tasks.


To become a City Manager you must obtain a Bachelor's degree or higher, plus relevant work experience. You do not have to follow a specific educational direction. Many current City Managers have explored various pathways and yet share the same career. A few options to be considered are as follows:

  • Business Administration and Management, General
  • Community Organization, Resources and Services
  • Enterprise Management and Operation, General
  • International Business
  • Public Administration
  • Public Administration and Services, Other
  • Public Policy Analysis

Career Path/Average Salaries

A City Manager's salary ranges between $45,000 and $146,000. Salary often depends on the size of the city and the city manager's experience.

Related Occupations

  • Education Administrators, Postsecondary
  • Treasurers, Controllers, and Chief Financial Officers
  • Postmasters and Mail Superintendents
  • Food Service Managers
  • Instructional Coordinators
  • First-Line Supervisors, Administrative Support
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Natural Sciences Managers

JVIS Report

  • You should consider this job if you score above average on the following Basic Interest Scales: Finance, Business, Office Work, Supervision, and Human Relations Management.
  • Your JVIS Report should show one or all of the following occupation groups under your Top 3: Occupations in Law and Politics, Administrative and Related Occupations, Personnel/Human Management, or Occupations in Accounting, Banking, and Finance.

For more information contact:

  • The International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
    777 North Capitol St., NE, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20002
  • The United States Conference of Mayors
    J.Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
    1620 Eye Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20006
  • ASPA National Office
    1120 G Street, NW Suite 700
    Washington, DC 20005