Program Director Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

Program directors manage and coordinate programs for an organization. They plan, assign, and directly supervise program staff and implementation, including program preparation, evaluation, and budgeting. Program directors must ensure programs meet business objectives, minimize risk, and maximize benefits. 

Sample job description #1

Role overview:

The Program Director of ABC Company essential job duties below (other duties may be assigned):

  • Meeting weekly with each clinician and Youth Development Counselor (YDC) Supervisor for individual supervision and documents each supervisory meeting
  • Has weekly group supervision with the YDC Supervisors as well as clinicians
  • Work closely with the Youth Development Counselors to ensure the safe, healthy emotional, and physical development of the residents
  • Ensuring that clear/measurable objectives and interventions are identified in every client treatment plan (CTP) and Needs and Services Plan (NSP) and are clearly documented
  • Responsible for ensuring that all residents are receiving appropriate treatment, i.e., clinical, education, vocational, and work programs
  • Demonstrating an understanding of trauma informed, DBT oriented, relationship based, culturally/SOGIE sensitive approach in engaging with youth/non-minor dependents and treatment team and provides support and training to staff in this area
  • Spends time on floor coaching
  • Responsible for facilitation of unit meetings, supporting CFT meetings, as well as cottage meetings
  • Responsible for on-going evaluation and planning for residents with regards to discharge/aftercare services
  • Serves as Administrator and is responsible for the following
  • Budgeting and management of expenditures
  • Organization of the work of the facility and delegation of staff
  • Assessment of the faculty operations and program; reporting to the licensee and making recommendations to address identified problems
  • Recruitment, appointment, evaluation, training, and termination of staff
  • Review of and response to complaints made by children or their authorized representatives
  • The CTF’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
  • Observing and interacting with staff, youth, and other individuals, as necessary to ensure the quality of care for children and program services
  • Serves as the Head of Service/Administrator for the Community Treatment Facility (CTF)
  • Maintaining a safe, healthy, and therapeutic environment in the residential unit
  • Ensuring that each child admitted to the program has a mental health assessment
  • Ensuring that each child in the unit has commonality of needs with the other youth in the unity including whether the youth’s presence is averse to the safety or mental health needs of the youth or other youth admitted to CTF
  • Ensuring that the mental health services identified on each client treatment plan/NSP are provided and appropriate to meet the individuals needs of the youth
  • Monitoring the quality of the mental health services provided to children
  • Ensuring that arrangements are made, including transportation, for youth to receive mental health services that cannot be provided by the CTF including arrangements for special provision of mental health services to youth with disabilities including visual and auditory impairment
  • Ensuring that documentation and record keeping requirements are met
  • Development of mental health staff schedules, and any other schedules for the operation of the CTF mental health program

What you bring to ABC Company:

  • Master’s Degree in social work, psychology, marriage, and family counseling
  • Licensed PhD, PsyD, LCSW, LMFT required. Must be registered through the BBS
  • Licensed at least 4 years
  • At least 5 years of experience working in residential treatment preferred
  • At least 4 years of serving in a supervisorial capacity
  • Certified as a CTF and/or Group Home Administrator preferred
  • Clearly demonstrated leadership competence, including competence in staff supervision
  • An aptitude for treating the youth in the specified residential program
  • Ability to relate practice and theory
  • Ability to communicate clearly with peers, line supervisors, frontline staff, and youth
  • A successful experience in residential work with youth
  • Ability to hear and verbally communicate with others
  • COVID Vaccination Card (fully vaccinated) + booster required

Sample job description #2

Have you been looking for a fantastic role to continue your career path in Social and Human Services? Look no further. This role is critical to our success and exemplifies the wonderful mission driven work we do here every day.

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of one to four programs in a community including organization and implementation of direct supports, person-centered planning, and implementation, health care, advocacy, stakeholder relations, regulatory compliance, recruiting, retention, staffing, training, safety, financial management, and maintenance of the physical environment
  • Manage program staff members including performance evaluations, scheduling, and orientation
  • Make recommendations and/or decisions on employee hires, transfers, promotions, salary changes, corrective action, and terminations
  • Manage the implementation of program planning; monitor delivery of services and supports; ensure services are consistent, engaging, and relevant to the individuals served
  • Must be available on-call to support staff, find coverage, or cover shifts as needed


  • Bachelor’s degree and two to three years of related experience in the Human Services Industry preferred
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Other education, experience, training, licensure, or certification per state requirements or as required by applicable regulations
  • Current driver’s license, car registration, and auto insurance
  • Strong attention to detail, organizational skills, and the ability to multitask to meet deadlines
  • Effective communication skills to manage relationships
  • A reliable, responsible attitude and a compassionate approach

Sample job description #3

Responsible for the strategic leadership and operational management and oversight of assigned programs. Coordinates and supervises with faculty and staff. Accountable for the fiscal management, administration, and coordination of programs Identifies and supervises staff.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Develops long-range goals, objectives, priorities, and recommendations
  • Monitors various projects to insure maximum effectiveness and compliance
  • Acts as a College liaison for programs and services with outside agencies or community leaders. Communicates program information internally. Consults and advises within area of expertise
  • Advises students and faculty on departmental issues and requirements. Assists instructors with specific needs as requested
  • Responds to complex inquiries from all levels of employees or external sources regarding a variety of questions, such as clarification of College or Campus policy and procedures
  • Participates in various meetings and committees. Travels to meetings, between College locations, and for other purposes
  • Publicizes available student courses and programs and identifies contact specific target students
  • Guides, leads, reviews, verifies, observes, and manages the work of people reporting directly to you. Coordinates the activities of one or more staff. Assists in scheduling and administrative requirements. This may include student workers, part-time, full-time, temporary, and volunteers
  • Analyzes and interprets data that is regularly available on programs and performance
  • Conducts needs assessment to identify knowledge, skills, behaviors, and competencies required in selecting or designing curriculum to meet customer needs
  • Identifies, writes, and prepares as necessary related curriculum, instructor guides, student guides, handouts and other associated materials for classroom delivery and to promote the program
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned

Education and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Four years of related experience

Knowledge of:

  • Microsoft Office Suite or similar applications

Skilled in:

  • Delivering a high level of customer service
  • Attention to detail while maintaining effective time and task management

Ability to:

  • Implement and manage programs
  • Interact in a positive manner with diverse populations and varying education levels of students, faculty, staff, and the public
  • Organize and prioritize multiple, competing priorities to maximize personal and team effectiveness
  • Effectively communicate verbally and in writing on a regular basis with internal and external customers, build relationships, manage customer expectations, and take responsibility for a high level of service

Licenses, registration, certifications, or special requirements:

  • Regular physical attendance required

Preferred qualifications:

  • Related experience in machining, HVAC or welding
  • Earned Industry-recognized credential in AWS, NIMS, HVAC Excellence, or NCCER
  • State License within one of the disciplines of responsibility
  • Community college teaching or administrative experience

Work environment and physical demand:

  • Lift, carry, push, pull, install, or remove objects weighing 20 to 49 pounds
  • Reach and grasp objects
  • Stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, or crawl
  • Stand for extended periods of time
  • Use of video display terminal
  • Use of manual dexterity and fine motor skills
  • Communicate information orally and in writing
  • Receive and understand information through oral and written communication
  • Proofread and check documents for accuracy
  • Work a fluctuating schedule

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a program director is $76,500 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$76,100$102,950
Los Angeles, California$85,850$116,150
Denver, Colorado$71,550$96,800
Washington, DC$87,150$117,900
Miami, Florida$71,200$96,350
Orlando, Florida$65,700$88,850
Tampa, Florida$66,350$89,750
Atlanta, Georgia$69,600$94,150
Chicago, Illinois$80,000$108,200
Boston, Massachusetts$86,500$117,000
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$68,950$93,250
New York City, New York$91,050$123,150
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$74,150$100,300
Dallas, Texas$72,200$97,650
Houston, Texas$71,550$96,800
Seattle, Washington$83,250$112,600
National Average$65,050$88,000

Sample interview questions

  • Do you have any previous experience managing a non-profit organization or similar team?
  • Are you confident in your leadership and delegation skills?
  • As a program director, what would be your ideal method by which to inspire your team?
  • How would you screen new staff members before hiring them?
  • What would you say the most important responsibilities are for a program director?
  • Can you tell me a little bit about a time you put some problem-solving and conflict resolution skills to use?
  • How would you go about ensuring a successful marketing campaign for [Your Organization Here]?
  • When your organization makes a mistake, it may fall on you. How would you handle a mistake made under your direction?
  • What is different about managing a non-profit business versus a for-profit business?
  • Are you passionate about our cause?

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