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Chief Administrative Officer

Chief administrative officers manage the affairs of municipal governments including cities, counties, towns, villages, summer villages, municipal districts and specialized municipalities.

  • Avg. Salary $142,272.00
  • Avg. Wage $75.71
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

City Manager, Commissioner, Local Government Manager, Municipal Administrator

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Senior Government Managers and Officials (0012) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Senior Government Managers and Officials (A012) 
  • 2011 NOC: Senior government managers and officials (0012) 
  • 2016 NOC: Senior government managers and officials (0012) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Chief Administrative Officer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Senior Government Managers and Officials

Interest in synthesizing information to approve programs; to recommend, review, evaluate and approve documents, briefs and reports submitted by middle managers and senior staff members; and to co-ordinate departmental activities with other senior government managers and officials


Interest in ensuring systems and procedures are developed and implemented to provide budgetary controls


Interest in negotiating with senior government committees to formulate programs and procedures for the organization

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 02, 2021

Chief administrative officers are the administrative heads of municipalities. In small or sparsely populated municipalities, they may work part time. In larger municipalities, they may manage a sizable staff.

In general, chief administrative officers are responsible for:

  • Recommending policies, services, and actions to the municipal council
  • Managing the day-to-day operations of the municipality
  • Promoting and maintaining good public relations
  • Preparing and keeping records including minutes, bylaws and accounts
  • Providing input into strategic planning
  • Carrying out the council's directives and policies
  • Directing the general administrative functions of the municipality, including staff supervision and purchasing procedures
  • Preparing budgets and managing finances
  • Administering human resources programs
  • Ensuring that bylaws are enforced
  • Collecting property taxes and other revenues
  • Conducting local government elections
  • Overseeing the management of community infrastructure such as roads, water lines, and public buildings

Chief administrative officers participate in all meetings of the municipal council and council committees. However, they do not have the right to vote unless put on a committee and authorized to vote by council. Chief administrative officers are the liaison between a municipality’s elected council and administrative staff, and are responsible for carrying out all council directives.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Chief administrative officers usually work in an office environment. They often are required to attend evening meetings and may also attend meetings at municipal locations. Sometimes they may be required to work longer than the usual 40-hour week.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Chief administrative officers need:

  • An ability to understand and interpret legislation
  • Leadership and interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work alone or in a team
  • Communication skills
  • An ability to handle stress

They should enjoy coordinating information and making decisions, negotiating and finding innovative solutions to problems, and administering and controlling budgets.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Chief administrative officers come from various academic backgrounds, including:

  • Public administration
  • Business administration
  • Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Urban planning
  • Recreation administration

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 02, 2021

There is no certification requirement to have a career as a chief administrative officer. However, it is common for municipal governments in Alberta to recruit individuals accredited as a Certified Local Government Manager, or comparable certifications based on their educational background. 

Local Government Manager

Local government managers administer the affairs of municipalities including cities, towns, villages, summer villages, municipal districts and specialized municipalities.


Certified Local Government Manager (CLGM) is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act (PDF). To call yourself a Certified Local Government Manager, you must be a registered member of the Society of Local Government Managers (SLGM). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Certified Local Government Manager.

What You Need

Registration requires:

  • completion of the Local Government Certificate Program and the National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration Level II from the University of Alberta, or equivalency as approved by the Examination Board in Local Government Management
  • at least 5 years of experience in local government management in Canada.

For detailed official information about registration requirements, contact the regulatory organization below.

Working in Alberta

Local government managers who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if certified managers in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory organization below.

Contact Details

Society of Local Government Managers
PO Box 308
4629 - 54 Ave.
Bruderheim, Alberta  T0B 0S0
Phone: 780-796-3836
Fax: 780-796-2081

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 02, 2021

In addition to a strong academic background, chief administrative officers need work experience related to:

  • Management
  • Public relations
  • Finance
  • Administration
  • Law

Those who are willing to move from one municipality to another over a number of years may acquire more responsibility and experience with each move. This may provide them with an advantage when seeking employment.

Chief administrative officers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 0012: Senior government managers and officials. In Alberta, 94% of people employed in this classification work in the Public Administration [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Public Administration industry)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 0012: Senior government managers and officials occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 4% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Chief administrative officers' salaries vary greatly depending on the size and operations of the municipality. In Alberta, the salary of a chief administrative officer is publicly disclosed in the municipality’s annual financial statements.

Senior government managers and officials

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $43.00 $81.32 $62.74 $66.48
Overall $47.51 $106.72 $75.71 $74.37
Top $50.00 $106.72 $81.76 $87.37

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 02, 2021

Alberta Rural Municipal Administrators Association website:

Local Government Administration Association of Alberta (LGAA) website:

Society of Local Government Managers of Alberta website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 02, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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