Program Specialist Job Description
A program specialist is responsible for overseeing various programs within a given organization. The job description of a program specialist will involve communicating with providers and gathering the resources needed in order to carry out a particular operation.
Within a given organization, the program specialist acts as a subject-matter expert in developing, implementing, and executing programs that are designed to resolve certain problems or raise awareness about different issues.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Program Specialist
- Plans all the details concerning a particular plan, to include who will benefit from it
- Names a goal for the program to achieve in order for it to be successful
- Solicits funding from outside sources for the implementation of the plan
- Advertises and markets a program in order to gain participation in it
- Administers all the aspects of a program, or supervises others who assist with it
- Coordinates the efforts of outside groups or agencies if needed
- Provides feedback to company executives concerning the success or failure of a particular program
- Requests that changes be made to a program in order to make it more effective
- Develops teaching material to be used in carrying out a program
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Has excellent organizational skills
- Is a strong communicator with people from all walks of life
- Possesses special technical knowledge within a given field
- Has strong leadership capabilities
- Possesses good public speaking skills
- Displays enthusiasm for the program, and is able to actively engage others in it
- Is able to motivate others to reach a common goal
- Is driven to reach the goals established by a particular program
Education and Experience
The amount of experience needed to become a program specialist will vary based upon the type of program being implemented. In some industries, a Bachelor’s degree in a related discipline may be sufficient, while other cases will require at least a Master’s degree. In addition to the right education, program specialists need to have a certain amount of practical experience in a given field as well. This will also vary based upon the type of program, but is generally somewhere between two and five years.
Program specialists can work in offices, health care facilities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. The type of work they do will be directly related to the type of program they are overseeing. Those who are overseeing sports programs could be very physically active, while specialists who are managing educational programs might spend most of their time sitting. This line of work may be full time or part time, and can even be seasonal in many cases as well.
The salary of a program specialist is somewhere around $45,000 annually. This amounts to an average hourly wage of around $21.63. One’s salary can vary based upon the type of industry, with healthcare and educational program specialists earning more on average than those who oversee recreational programs in nursing homes or community centers.