Program Specialist (#445070)
$39.51-$48.03 Hourly / $6,848.87-$8,324.84 Monthly / $82,186.37-$99,898.05 Yearly
Apply as a Transfer to Comparable Class applicant


Under direction, develops, analyzes, and disseminates policies, procedures, and directives for one or more public assistance benefit or employment programs; conducts confidential and sensitive studies of operational and/or program matters and makes policy or administrative recommendations to management; performs administrative and budgeting duties; and performs related duties as required.


This is the program specialist level responsible for the development and promulgation of policies, procedures, and instructions to operations staff involving one or more public assistance and employment services programs.  The duties are characterized by the focus on the legislative, regulatory, and policy analysis, interpretation and promulgation.  Incumbents typically function as program specialist in one or more program areas.


This class is distinguished from those in the Staff Analyst series in that the latter classes perform a variety of budget analysis and preparation, and administrative/operational analytical problem solving duties not requiring in depth programmatic knowledge.


This class is distinguished from the Eligibility Benefits Specialist Supervisor, Employment Resources Specialist Supervisor, and Special Programs Supervisor in that these three classes supervise units of staff and while they perform similar program analysis duties, a substantial proportion of their activities involve unit supervision.  The Program Specialist may supervise a limited number of staff and/or oversee the efforts of ad hoc project group.  However, the primary purpose of the position is to provide program analysis rather than supervise other staff.

Examples of Duties

  • Reviews and analyzes regulatory material concerning services and income maintenance programs received from State and Federal agencies.
  • Analyzes statistical or budgetary information pertaining to the operation of an income maintenance or employment services program.
  • Develops estimates of revenues, expenditures and workload.
  • Prepares written reports, manual selections and administrative bulletins.
  • Gathers and reviews information concerning agency standards in ensuring that eligibility and employment services determinations and actions are appropriate, and recommends and coordinates the implementation of corrective action as necessary.
  • Serves as assigned on agency committees to develop policies, procedures, and recommendations concerning operational or program matters.
  • Consults with agency management and coordinates review, research, interpretation, analysis and summarization of court decisions, proposed legislation, program and fiscal mandates to determine impact on agency operations.
  • Develops management recommendations in response to proposed legislation and regulations.
  • Collects, compiles, analyzes, and reports statistical information relating to program and administrative matters.
  • Consults, researches, negotiates, and monitors contracts and agreements with outside suppliers, service providers, leasing agents, and others.
  • May monitor contracts between the agency and various public and private entities.
  • May represent the agency in contacts with governmental or community agencies.
  • May conduct internal operational studies and make recommendations for appropriate actions.
  • May participate in planning and developing new or revised training materials and programs as assigned.
  • May supervise other staff or oversee the activities of ad hoc advisory or special study groups.

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

Knowledge of: Principles, practices, and methods of public and business administration; research and statistical analysis techniques; budget preparation and control, Federal, State, and local agency legislative and regulatory development process; contract preparation, negotiation, and monitoring; policies, rules and regulations governing eligibility for public assistance and employment services programs administered by the agency; effective communication techniques; the functions of public social service agencies and the sources of information necessary to determine eligibility of participants in various public assistance benefit programs; resources available in the community for referral or utilization in public assistance programs; report writing, conflict resolution, and fraud detection, principles of supervision, progressive discipline, performance evaluation, adult learning, training, and instructional methods and techniques; the operation of automated office equipment and case management/benefit issuance systems utilized by the department.
Ability to: Plan, assign, and oversee the work of staff; assist in the development and implementation of policy and procedures; gather and analyze narrative and statistical data; prepare and monitor budgets; apply effective interpersonal skills; speak and write effectively; prepare and present a variety of technical oral and written reports; maintain confidentiality standards; recognize and respect authority and responsibility limits; delegate and control the activities of subordinates; identify and analyze program problems and develop necessary changes; conduct research regulations, procedures and technical reference materials; establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with community groups, resource agencies, fellow employees and the general public; work effectively with other units of the department; train, discipline and develop staff; train and instruct staff in the operation of automated office equipment and systems used by the agency; identify problems requiring management involvement; analyze situations accurately and adopt an effective course of action; use available sources of information for program analysis and policy promulgation.

Education and Experience


Broad and diverse experience in multiple public assistance benefits including:

1. Two years of experience performing duties equivalent to an Eligibility Benefits Specialist III (Eligibility Worker III) or an Employment Resources Specialist III (Employment and Training Worker III) in a California County Department of Social Services. If the III level experience does not include one year of lead or supervisory experience, one year of lead or supervisory experience in a social services program, OR

2.  One year of experience performing duties equivalent to an Eligibility Benefits Specialist Supervisor (Eligibility Supervisor), Employment Resources Specialist Supervisor, or Special Programs Supervisor.



An Associate’s degree or completion of equivalent credit  units from an accredited college or university is required preferably in behavioral science, business administration, humanities, public administration, social science, career counseling, vocational development  or a related field. 


A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in the above fields of study or a related field is preferred. A Bachelor’s degree in the above fields of study or a related field may be substituted for one year of the required experience except for the lead or supervisory experience.


Drivers License: Possession of a valid California Class C Drivers License may be required at the time of appointment.  Loss of the Class C Drivers License is a cause for discipline.  Individuals who do not meet this requirement due to a physical disability will be considered for accommodation on a case-by-case basis. 


TYPICAL PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Sit for extended periods; frequently stand and walk; sufficient manual dexterity to perform repetitive motion in various duties such as: key boarding, writing, filing, reaching and grasping above shoulder level; normal eye-hand coordination; body strength sufficient to lift and carry case files; corrected vision to normal range to read fine print and computer screen; corrected hearing to speak and hear sufficiently to communicate clearly over the telephone and in person; ability to use of office equipment including telephones, calculators, copiers, facsimile, computers, and other related peripheral equipment such as printers and scanners.

TYPICAL WORKING CONDITIONS: Work is performed in an office environment and includes continuous contact with staff and the public; may be required to enter private homes to make family home visits for purpose of investigation; work may involve stressful situations and includes dealing with erratic and sometimes threatening behavior; may travel to community areas that are potentially dangerous.


Travel:  Independent travel may be required. 
Child Abuse Reporting: Selectees for employment must as a condition of employment sign a statement agreeing to comply with Section 11166 of the California Penal Code relating to child abuse reporting.

CLASS: 445070; REV: 12/1/2000;