How do I Become a City Administrator?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2019
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If you want to become a city administrator, you should plan to have a relatively advanced education. In addition to having a bachelor's degree in public administration or a business discipline, you will more than likely also need to have a master's degree in one of those fields as well. Most of these jobs do not require applicants to have professional certifications of any kind. You may, however, need to become a member of a city or county management association. In some cases, you will be able to delay membership in one of these organizations until after you have obtained a job.

People who apply for these positions are normally already quite experienced at working on the local government level. The positions that are likely to help you become a city administrator are city manager, some type of senior management position, or assistant city manager. In fact, it is often quite helpful for people who ultimately want this kind of job to try to start out on a lower government level, to gain some initial experience. Most professionals believe that having this basic governmental experience is almost as important as having sufficient educational credentials.


Many of these jobs will require candidates to have impressive leadership skills. If you are able to adequately illustrate the kinds of experience you have during a job interview, it will certainly be helpful. Many government employers, however, want to be able to see the kind of experience applicants have on a resume. For this reason, having a very strong curriculum vitae is important when trying to obtain one of these jobs.

To become a city administrator and have a successful career, it is essential that you have an excellent reputation. As a general rule, people who hold leadership positions within government agencies are typically expected to maintain a high degree of ethical integrity. City administrators are not an exception to this rule.

Candidates for these jobs should be prepared, from the beginning, to be active, enthusiastic members of the local community. Not only is this a good idea for basic community relations, many city governments expect this type of local interaction from their high-ranking employees. In addition to cultivating professional relationships within the community, applicants should also be prepared to foster healthy working relationships with various staff members. For the most part, candidates who want to become a city administrator should also have some supervisory or management experience, as they will probably be in charge of a certain number of people.



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