Future City Managers

TCMA Future City Managers

So you want to be a city manager? Do you have what it takes?

City management is one of the most altruistic, important, and noble professions. It sets an incredibly high standard of excellence in management, ethics, and leadership that is rarely attained in any industry. The competition to become a city manager is very intense, but we are always looking for the elite men and women who have raised the bar high enough to be worthy of this life calling. Do you have the right DNA to become a city manager? If so, then please read on to learn how you can make this tremendous step in your life.

A city manager typically doesn’t rise to this office without working as a department head, assistant city manager, or other position within the manager’s office. Most city managers make several position and city moves to get where they are. City managers of tomorrow must be willing to move often throughout their career to obtain this position. The following practical suggestions are meant to help any future city manager make the leap into the city management profession.

Join the Associations

Both the Texas City Management Association (TCMA) and International City/County Managers Association (ICMA) are organizations that all city managers of tomorrow should consider joining. Both organizations contain a wealth of knowledge and opportunities that will help you learn the practical how-to’s of the profession, and also provide the opportunity to mingle with city managers. Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) is also a great place to find other like-minded future city managers. This website has job resources and other topics pertinent to the city management profession. The Texas Women's Leadership Institute (TWLI) is designed to empower and prepare women for the city management profession and become future city managers.


The Texas City Management Association is divided into ten regions. Each region meets multiple times throughout the year to discuss pertinent issues facing the profession. Meetings are also a great place to get to know city managers and seek out mentors. City managers of tomorrow are encouraged to attend these regional meetings. A listing of each region can be found here.


Most city managers hold a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). While some city managers may hold an MBA or other degree, we find that most city managers have earned a MPA. If you haven’t already obtained your MPA, a list of Texas MPA programs can be viewed below.