Job Description

Membership Memo: Job Description

The words we use to talk about membership pros.

What does it mean to be an association membership professional? If you judge by job listings for that role, it means a lot.

Associations Now analyzed the text of the 312 listings for membership jobs posted on ASAE’s in 2013, and the most common words (aside from members and membership, of course) reveal a broad scope of responsibilities. Words such as develop, marketing, communication, retention, lead, and strategic all appear near the top of the list, at least 350 times each.

To Laurie Kulikosky, CAE, director of strategic development at the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and chair of ASAE’s 2013–2014 Membership Section Council, the variety reflects the type of candidate she’d look for in a membership role.

“What I would want to see is somebody who’s versatile, and I think that plays out in all the different words you’ve found here. They’re asking membership professionals to know a lot of things and to be familiar with a lot of different areas,” she says. “I think the better membership professional you are, the more you know about the association as a whole.”

One word curiously low on the list: technology, appearing just 24 times. While some specific tech functions like database, web, and email were quite common, Kulikosky says she was surprised: “When I’m looking at a membership person, I want them to understand the whole technological picture.”

Other words near the top of the list: program, service, meetings, team, prospect, relationship, growth, engage, and committee, all appearing more than 150 times. Nonmember, however, appeared just 16 times. Among words included just once in the year’s worth of listings: mobile, monetization, nametags, cold-calling, and paperwork.

Membership graphic


Joe Rominiecki

By Joe Rominiecki

Joe Rominiecki, manager of communications at the Entomological Society of America, is a former senior editor at Associations Now. MORE

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