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        Monday, August 10, 2020

Responsibilities of a Municipal Administrator |  Benefits of a Career as a Municipal Administrator  | Education and Training | Salary

Responsibilities of a Municipal Administrator

What is a municipal administrator?

The municipal administrator is responsible for managing the administrative requirements to operate a municipality.

How many staff report to the municipal administrator?

The number of staff that report to the municipal administrator depends on the municipality.  In some situations the administrator is in a single person office, however in larger municipalities, the administrator may work with additional staff members.

What are some of the duties the municipal administrator is responsible for?   

  • Meetings of Council - preparing and organizing all meeting agendas, recording the minutes of all municipal meetings, and providing council with sound advice on all aspects of municipal governance and legislative requirements.
  • Bylaws - ensuring all required bylaws and resolutions are in place and up to date, preparing resolutions and bylaws for the municipality.
  • Implementing council priorities - ensuring the policies, programs and services of the municipality are implemented; monitoring, evaluating and reporting back to council on the policies, programs and services of the municipality; and answering all public requests and inquiries.
  • Financial Management - Sound financial management is critical to the successful operation of the municipality. The duties of the administrator in this responsibility are far reaching, and may include the following:
  • Preparing the annual financial plan
  • Monitoring the financial plan
  • Controlling the day to day accounting
  • Providing council with up to date financial information on a regular and timely basis
  • Administering the entire taxation process
  • Human resource management
  • Recruitment and development of employees
  • Conducting union negotiations (if applicable)
  • Developing a human resource recruitment/retention plan

Additional administrator duties will depend on the particular needs of the municipality based on its size, structure, vision and long term plans. The administrator may have additional duties relating to:

  • Economic development/land use planning
  • Delivery of recreation programs and services
  • Project implementation

Benefits of a Career as a Municipal Administrator

What are the benefits of being an administrator?

A municipal administrator has the ability to work in any municipality in Saskatchewan.  There is the potential to work in their home community and the opportunity to make a difference in the community they work in.  Administrators earn competitive salaries and there is room for advancement.

Is there room for career advancement as a municipal administrator?

As a municipal administrator there are opportunities to work in communities of all sizes.  Depending on the size of the community, there may be an opportunity to act in a "joint administration" role.  This would mean being the administrator for two or more neighbouring municipalities.  In addition, there may be opportunities to gain experience in a variety of areas.  Some administrators take on recreation, public safety, or even environmental management roles.  The variety of tasks and skills to learn and apply is endless.

Education and Training

What education is required for a career in municipal government?

A certificate in Local Government Authority is the basis of training to be a municipal administrator. Other university degrees, such as Public Administration, Political Science, may be accepted at the discretion of the Rural/Urban Board of Examiners.

What does the Certificate in Local Government Authority (LGA) consist of?

A Certificate in Local Government Authority is offered via distance education through the University of Regina.  It consists of four core courses (12 credit hours).

Is there any additional education offered after the completion of the LGA certificate?

An advanced LGA certificate is available if six electives are taken in addition to the original core courses.  The advanced LGA certificate qualifies for the graduate retention program which entitles the student to tuition rebates over seven years upon completion.  Additional information on the graduate retention program can be found here.

Where can I find more information on LGA courses or register?

Additional information on and online registration for this program can be found on the University of Regina website.

Is there any financial assistance available to supplement the cost of the LGA courses?

SARM awards three $1,000 scholarships for students enrolled in the LGA program who demonstrate an interest in administration as a career in rural Saskatchewan.  More information is available here.

Is there any additional training offered after the completion of the LGA certificate?

Yes.  The Municipal Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is a partnership between SUMA, SARM, UMAAS, RMAA and the Ministry of Government Relations.  Although geared towards elected officials, administrators will also find the program delivers training in many areas in which the administrator works on a daily basis.  Administrators will benefit from this innovative program that is designed to strengthen local government leadership.  MLDP is structured around six workshops.  The workshops target specific issues of importance to northern, rural and urban municipalities.  More information can be found here.

UMAAS and RMAA also offer workshops.  Information regarding these workshops can be found on the UMAAS and RMAA websites.

The SUMA and SARM annual conventions provide opportunities for learning at various seminars and breakout sessions.

New North has a section on its website that identifies training opportunities.  The Rural Board of Examiners also provides some training opportunities. 

There is also a National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA).  The NACLAA is a national education program for local government officials in Canada.  More information can be found on their website.

The Ministry of Government Relations Advisory Services staff offer a variety of workshops.  Information regarding these sessions can be found on the ministry website.

What skills are required to be a municipal administrator?

There are skills that a new administrator should possess when entering the municipal administration field and there are other skills that will be learned with more experience.

Skills a new administrator should ideally possess when entering the field include:

  • Good listening, feedback and communication skills
  • Genuine interest in helping others
  • Commitment to and a sense of responsibility for learning and self development
  • Self management skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • Openness to change
  • Patience
  • Basic computer skills
  • Interpreting legislation
  • Administration and drafting of bylaws
  • Understanding property assessment and taxation
  • Working with financial forms and statements
  • Managing human resources

Skills a new administrator may develop and learn include:

  • Accounting principles, accounting programs, accounts payable and receivable, preparation of financial statements
  • Property taxation and/or assessment work experience
  • Asset management procedures
  • Business management experience


How much do municipal administrators earn annually?

A number of factors contribute to annual salary of municipal administrators.  Population size of the municipality, years of service, and level of certification are all contributing factors.  Salary also varies depending on whether the administrator is employed by an urban or rural municipality. 

What is the salary for urban administrators?

In the smaller communities an hourly wage is commonly paid and the position may be part-time.  In larger communities a full-time employee is paid a competitive salary.  For more information please the UMAAS website.  

What is the salary for rural administrators?

The annual salary can range depending on years of experience and level of professional certification.  For complete information please visit the RMAA website.

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