Program Administrator Job Description

A Program Administrator plans, directs and coordinates a particular program or service of an organization. Their specific responsibilities vary depending on the organization and industry; Program Administrators can be found in educational, social services, community and non-profit organizations.

Due to the important role of Program Administrators in a wide variety of organizations, job growth for this career is strong. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects jobs for Administrative Services Managers, a category that includes Program Administrators, will grow 8 percent by 2024.


Program Administrator Duties and Responsibilities

To accomplish their primary goal of ensuring that the program or project for which they are responsible is successful and effective, Program Administrators perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Program Administrator duties and responsibilities.

Manage Program Staff

Program Administrators are responsible for selecting the staff to carry out a program or project. They supervise the staff and monitor their work, as well and coaching and mentoring them in their daily duties.

Manage Program Budget

Program Administrators must manage the budget for their program, accounting for expenditures. In some cases, they may need to write grant reports or find funding to support the program or a particular project.

Evaluate Program Success

To evaluate how successful a program is, Program Administrators observe program activities, collect data and create reports of their findings. They then report these findings to senior management, a board of directors or a funder.


Program Administrator Skills

A successful Program Administrator must have a well-rounded arsenal of managerial, budgeting and leadership skills. Well-organized and forward thinking, they can inspire and lead a group to programmatic success. In addition to these general skills and personality traits, employers are seeking Program Administrator candidates with the following skills.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Program Administrators with these core skills. If you want to work as a Program Administrator, focus on the following.

  • Possess strong time management and prioritization skills
  • Ability to manage a team and establish cooperative working relationships
  • Possess good written and verbal communication skills
  • Possess problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Skill in using personal computers and a variety of software applications

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Program Administrator toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • Familiar with project management disciplines
  • Experience with MUNIS ERP
  • Skilled in Sharepoint administration, including uploading document and managing sites and libraries.


Program Administrator Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Program Administrator. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

PMStudent – An excellent resource written specifically for those who are new to the world of Program administration.

Eight to Late – This smart blog provides scholarly takes on program management.

A Girl’s Guide to Program Management – This blog has won multiple awards for providing top-notch insights from the point of view of a female Program Administrator.

On LinkedIn

PM Community – Product/Portfolio/Program/Project Manager – A large community for professionals such as Program Administrators to connect with peers who face similar challenges and goals.

PMO Practices — Best Project Manager Group for Project, Program, & Portfolio Management Offices – Join the discussion about best practices for Program Administration and Management.

Program Administrator Books

Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager – This book offers practical, real-world insights for effective Program Administration and guides you through the essentials of the people and project management process.

Project Management: Secrets Successful Project Managers Know And What You Can Learn From Them – Tips and tricks from program management experts.

Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams – Provides a step-by-step process with an interactive thinking tool that takes a strategic approach to designing projects and action initiatives, to make you a more successful Program Administrator.


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