This series covers all classes of positions the duties of which are to manage or direct, or to assist in a line capacity in managing or directing, one or more programs, including appropriate supporting service organizations, when the paramount qualification requirement of the positions is management and executive knowledge and ability and when the positions do not require competence in a specialized subject-matter or functional area. (Positions in which specialized subject matter or functional competence is a necessary qualification requirement are classifiable to whichever specialized or general series is most appropriate.)
The federal government employs 14,122 program managers of which 173 work overseas . The Departments of the Army, Navy, Air Force and the DOD are the largest employers with 5,494 civilians employed. The Department of Homeland Security employs 1,629 and the Treasury Department employ1,495. All large cabinet level agencies and many large medium sized agencies employ this occupation.
Federal Job Requirements
- You must be a U.S. citizen to apply.
- The yearly salary for a NH-4 pay scale is $103,842.00 to $143,796.00 per year (this includes a 17.82% locality pay for Huntsville, AL) or $116,833.00 to $181,031.00 per year (this includes a 27.10% locality pay for the Washington D.C. metropolitan area).
Qualification requirements differ between agencies
The program manager USA Job announcements  used for this article were for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), which is part of the Department of Defense (Huntsville, AL) and the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)  (Washington, D.C.)
Thoroughly read the entire job announcement to determine the special skills and requirements for each position that you apply for. Each agency will have their own variations on what is required for that job occupation and you must tailor your application and federal style resume  to the job announcement’s requirements.
MDA (from USA Jobs announcement)
The Program Manager , serves as an advisor to agency management on critical acquisition processes such as acquisition strategies, market research, acquisition planning, source selection planning, request for proposal preparation for key agency programs.
Assess, manage and eliminate risk related to program cost, schedule and performance. Conducting acquisition planning and, in coordination with the technical program office, determine acquisition strategies to be used in the acquisition of a specific program element.
FAA (from USA Jobs announcement)
As Program Manager, incumbent serves as the Group Manager, Headquarters Administrative Services Group. In this capacity, incumbent will direct the work activities of five teams.
As Group Manager, incumbent exercises the full range of supervisory responsibilities, to include, but not limited to: assignment of work, setting priorities, selections, promotions, coaching, disciplinary actions, evaluating individual and organizational performance, and training. Uses advanced knowledge of budget policies and procedures to define, plan and organize staff, and other resources; which includes managing the budget, allocating/reallocating resources among subordinate teams, and requests for needed additional resources. Incumbent projects short/long term strategic planning and prepares justifications to support resource requirements.
MDA (from USA Jobs announcement)
- Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information, and draws logical conclusions. Analyzes and provides solutions to complex problems.
- Ability to apply systems acquisition processes, policies, procedures, and practices necessary to develop and assess technical and economic feasibility, including cost, schedule and performance.
- Ability to research, plan, coordinate and brief actions in support of leadership’s goals, objectives and vision.
- Experience working with and across executive staffs, joint staffs, commands, agencies and the services.
- Experience in acquisition of complex weapons systems and equipment or closely related systems and equipment development, procurement, and life-cycle management.
FAA (from USA Jobs Announcement)
- Experience with workforce planning, human resource policies, staffing and position classifications as it relates to analyzing the ATO’s future staffing requirements.
- Experience as a supervisor/manager, communicating the organization’s vision and objectives; setting priorities; assigning tasks and responsibilities; monitoring and evaluating performance; coaching and developing employee capabilities; approving leave; and recommending or approving corrective/disciplinary action as appropriate.
- Experience leading, managing, and strategic planning for an organization, as well as collaborating with agency program executives to meet agency objectives.
The duties of a program manager are varied depending upon the agency. They can range from total supervisory duties, to developing programmatic goals. Program managers play a vital role in executing programs within an agency.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS) the job outlook for mangers will grow approximately 6% between 2014 through 2024.
Helpful Career Planning Tools
- Applying For Federal Jobs  (Introduction)
- Federal Employee Benefits 
- Career Development Guide for Federal Employees 
- Federal Retiree’s Job Center 
- BLS Website 
The information provided may not cover all aspects of unique or special circumstances, federal and postal regulations, and programs are subject to change. Our articles and replies are time sensitive. Over time, various dynamic human resource guidance and factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM, the postal service or any federal entity. You should consult with school counselors, hiring agency personnel offices, and human resource professionals where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.
Last 5 posts by Betty Boyd
- An Interview with John Guenther (Aerospace Engineer & Blacksmith)  - August 29th, 2018
- Translator GS-1040-Working for the Federal Government  - July 26th, 2018
- Postal Inspectors - Working For the Federal Government  - May 24th, 2018
- Working for the Federal Government - Environmental Protection Specialist GS-0028  - April 23rd, 2018
- Material Engineer GS-0806 - Working For the Federal Government  - April 8th, 2018