How Do I Become a Community Development Manager?

D. Nelson

Community development managers work for businesses and organizations that aim to reach out into various neighborhoods and demographics. For instance, community development managers who work for architectural firms might communicate with local residents and business owners who live and work where construction might take place to find out about their concerns and how they can earn their support. When community development managers work for community service organizations, on the other hand, they might be responsible for learning about problems facing communities and how their organizations might be able to provide solutions. To become a community development manager, it almost always is essential to have an undergraduate degree, preferably in a field such as management or marketing, as well as excellent communication skills. In other cases, a person who wants to become a community development manager in a specific field, such as architecture or civil engineering, should have a background in that field.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Regardless of in which field you would like to work, if you want to become a community development manager, it is important that you have good communication skills. This means that you should be able to write clearly and concisely and that you should posses excellent verbal skills. In some cases, you might need to communicate with community members to discover what they need from your organization. Other scenarios might require you to sell the benefits of working with your organization to community members. As in all positions in which communicating with the public is a primary task, it also is necessary to work with individuals who might be terribly upset or angry and who hold your organization responsible.

It also is common for community development managers to work long, variable hours. Unlike people who have set schedules, a person who wants to become a community development manager should plan on working at different hours each day. For instance, a community development manager might have a meeting with local business owners in the morning, then at night have to attend a public works committee meeting.

In most cases, a person who wants to become a community development manager should have years of experience in his or her field. Aside from being excellent communicators, community development managers also should have strong understandings of their fields or industries. For instance, a community development manager for an architectural firm might have to explain complex principles of building science to community members who have concerns about how a certain project is performed.

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