Directors of Volunteers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

In high school, take as many college preparatory classes as possible. Courses in English and speech will help you communicate effectively with volunteers and coworkers. Computer science classes—especially those in database management—will help you learn how to use computers to manage information on volunteers and projects. Other useful classes include mathematics, psychology, business, and marketing.

Postsecondary Training

While most directors of volunteers hold a bachelor's degree or better, there is no preferred college major. Directors enter this field with a variety of educational backgrounds suited to the focus of their nonprofit organization. Courses in communications, business management, marketing and social work, however, have proven helpful to many directors.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

The Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration (CCVA) offers the certified in volunteer administration credential to applicants who create a personal portfolio, meet experience requirements, and pass an examination. Certification must be renewed every five years. Additionally, many state-level volunteer administration associations offer voluntary certification to directors of volunteers. Performing a keyword search on the Internet using phrases such as "association for volunteer administration" or "state volunteering association" should help you locate an association in your state.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

To become a director of volunteers, you will need previous experience working as a volunteer (and ideally managing volunteers), as an intern, or in other positions with nonprofit organizations.

A desire to help others is the most important personal trait for this career. Organization, leadership ability, enthusiasm, compassion, and patience are other personal traits commonly possessed by directors of volunteers. They must be positive motivators and teachers in order to train workers who are earning nothing more than the satisfaction of helping others and making a difference in the world.