What does a Program Officer do?

Program officers are critical to a foundation or nonprofit organization as they oversee program development, seek grants and proposals, oversee budgets, and manage projects. They ensure the organization's activities and programs align with a foundation or nonprofit’s goals and mission statement. They will staph a development team and head project management as well as implement daily management of activities. Working closely with other managers, vendors, and financial supporters, they develop, maintain, and ensure adherence to budgets, including reviewing and executing grant proposals.

Program officers build and maintain partnerships and relationships that interact with other organizations. This could include nonprofits, community organizers, or federal agencies, assist with expanding services, raise funding, and educate the public about the foundation's work. They inform a foundation or nonprofit about program developments and ongoing activities through reports including an annual report or a weekly, monthly, or quarterly update. Program officers need a bachelor's degree in business administration or related fields and a minimum of five years of professional experience in managing projects and teams, and a fundraising and nonprofit industry background.

What responsibilities are common for Program Officer jobs?
  • As required, collaborate with financial staff to ensure compliance.
  • Analyze, research, and be familiar with the region's political and economic landscape, identifying opportunities for CIPE programs and partners.
  • Foster peer-to-peer learning in network through conference calls, newsletters, facilitation of conferences.
  • Establish and maintain regular communication with project partners and other stakeholders.
  • Maintain correspondence and operational records regarding CIPE-funded programs in the assigned portfolio.
  • Disseminate the results of research and other activities.
  • Ensure staff are appropriately trained and plans for staff development.
  • Carry out other responsibilities as assigned by management.
  • Manage grants and contracts and engage their performers.
  • Write quarterly and annual reports, with input from other colleagues.
  • Work with partners to refine proposals, monitoring and evaluation plans, and project budgets.
  • Serve in a supporting role for proposals such as pricing, coordinating, recruiting, and writing.
  • Identify and solicit potential participants and develop agendas, logistics and summaries.
  • Review due diligence for loans including environmental assessments, appraisals, project financing term sheets, and other third-party reports.
  • Liaise with funders upon request and assist with new business development efforts as assigned.
  • Collaborate closely with project managers to support partner development, particularly for hosting fellows.
What are the typical qualifications for Program Officer jobs?
  • GED/High School Degree or Bachelor's Degree in computer science, political science, information technology or civil engineering.
  • A leader and problem solver.
  • Skilled at providing advocacy and technical assistance.
  • Strict attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated strength in program design and editing.
  • Skilled at budget analysis and frameworks.
  • Demonstrated ability with decision making.
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Program Officer make?

$92,417 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Program Officer Career Path

Learn how to become a Program Officer, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
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Program Officer Insights

Read what Program Officer professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
Program Officer
Aug 3, 2021

“I also had an opportunity to cover regional portfolio and that was good for my career”

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
Program Officer
Jun 19, 2022

“I am paid well and the benefits are top notch but I know some people are paid unevenly.”

United NationsUnited Nations
Project Officer
Nov 17, 2020

“It provides a good platform for learning and networking and that's probably the best part.”

Project Officer
May 6, 2021

“There is no clarity in how governance works and no opportunity for personal growth or career progression.”

Hong Kong PolytechnicHong Kong Polytechnic
Project Officer
Apr 26, 2022

“Career path not good and difficult to get promotion”

Grants Officer
Aug 2, 2020

“career development at DAI is key and fudamental”

Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing
Project Officer
Jun 8, 2022

“Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) is the best place to consider as a stepping stone to better opportunities”

Project Officer
Jun 30, 2021

“Best environment to work and good”

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Program Officer Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Program Officer

The most similar professions to Program Officer are:
  • Coordinator
  • Program Coordinator
  • Technical Project Manager
  • Program Manager

Related Careers

No skills overlap
Program Coordinator
No skills overlap
Technical Project Manager
No skills overlap
Program Manager
No skills overlap

Program Officer Jobs