The majority of Senior Program Officers in the United States — a little more than half — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $53K to $161K per year, and the median is $82K annually. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Senior Program Officers who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 82 percent. Job satisfaction for Senior Program Officers is high. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$52,900 - $155,538
MEDIAN: $81,774

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$52,900 - $155,538  
$0.00 - $14,795  
Profit Sharing
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$53,193 - $160,771  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 161
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Job Description for Senior Program Officer

Senior program officers are typically responsible for a variety of high-level organizational and strategic planning efforts. Management of diverse program portfolios, as well as strong communication and collaboration skills, are essential for this position. Senior program officers build program capacity requirements, develop grantees and key partners, plan organizational events, develop relevant knowledge within the organization, and provide support for other officers and program directors. These officers generally work alongside other senior program officers, project managers, department managers, and directors in the organization. They must use outstanding interpersonal and organizational skills to interact with all levels of staff to perform all program responsibilities.


Senior Program Officer Tasks

  • Manage grant administration and investor/donor process.
  • Develop and manage program objectives and strategies based on research, field reports and organization-wide initiatives.
  • Supervise program's operations regarding its project portfolio.
  • Responsible for a program with a specific purpose such as a addressing a targeted social issue (e.g. poverty, homelessness, sexual orientation) or organizational function (e.g. fundraising, security) of a non-profit organization or government agency.
  • Document, distribute and disseminate program findings to headquarters and other branches of the organization.

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Pay by Experience Level for Senior Program Officer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

For many Senior Program Officers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $59K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $77K. For Senior Program Officers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $97K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $145K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $82,105

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Senior Program Officers that is 99 percent greater than the national average, Seattle offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Program Officers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+19 percent) and San Francisco (+10 percent). Senior Program Officers in Minneapolis report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 42 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. Below-median salaries also turn up in Boston and Washington (13 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Program Officer Salaries

up arrow 76%

National Average

Skills That Affect Senior Program Officer Salaries

National Average

Program Management
up arrow 3%

Project Management
up arrow 4%

Grant Management
up arrow 7%

Research Analysis
up arrow 15%

Proposal Writing
up arrow 22%

Budget Management
up arrow 32%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.


82 %
18 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 87%
medical benefits
Vision: 74%
dental benefits
None: 3%