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
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Program Officer make near United States?

$73,521 /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.

Program Officer

Years of Experience Distribution

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

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 FundAfrica Enterprise Challenge Fund
Program Officer
Aug 3, 2021

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

Environment and Climate Change CanadaEnvironment and Climate Change Canada
Junior Project Officer (Co-op)
Sep 14, 2023

“I learned a lot more about the subject and enjoyed the projects I worked on.”

NSW Department of Communities and JusticeNSW Department of Communities and Justice
Senior Project Officer
Jun 14, 2023

“15 years in this org and I've had overall great support and career progression.”

Project Officer
May 6, 2021

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

Project Officer
Feb 2, 2023

“Salary is generous As a foreigner I was not required to work overtime (nor expected to)”

Community College of PhiladelphiaCommunity College of Philadelphia
Assistant Program Officer
Mar 7, 2023

“This new supervisor didn't understand that non union salary employees were not obligated to work 80 hours a week.”

Advance CharityAdvance Charity
Community Keyworker
Nov 16, 2022

“Good starting salary to to have when I had no previous experience in the field.”

Hong Kong PolytechnicHong Kong Polytechnic
Project Officer
Apr 26, 2022

“Career path not good and difficult to get promotion”

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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