Senior Program Officer Salary

Senior Program Officers in the United States can expect wages of $78K annually on average. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most Senior Program Officers survey respondents are women (76 percent). The majority of Senior Program Officers claim high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$47,980 - $150,977

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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.
$47,980 - $150,977  
$0.00 - $10,271  
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).
$47,346 - $155,955  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 233
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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.

Senior Program Officer Job Listings

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Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Strategic Planning, Grant Management, Project Management, and Program Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 12 percent. Those listing Budget Management as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Proposal Writing and Research Analysis also typically command lower compensation. Those with knowledge of Program Management tend to be skilled in Project Management as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Program Officer

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

Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $55K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $68K. Senior Program Officers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $94K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $129K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

Seattle is home to an above-average pay rate for Senior Program Officers, 95 percent higher than the national average. Senior Program Officers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+16 percent) and New York (+6 percent). Senior Program Officers in Minneapolis make 31 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers also pay below the national average in Washington (9 percent lower) and Boston (8 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Senior Program Officer Salaries

up arrow 66%

National Average

up arrow 29%

Skills That Affect Senior Program Officer Salaries

Strategic Planning
up arrow 12%

Grant Management
up arrow 10%

Project Management
up arrow 4%

National Average

Research Analysis
up arrow 17%

Proposal Writing
up arrow 18%

Budget Management
up arrow 28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 37 votes.


76 %
24 %

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: 93% dental benefits Dental: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 7%