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Become A Business Unit Director

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Working As A Business Unit Director

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $150,492

    Average Salary

What Does A Business Unit Director Do

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Duties

Top executives typically do the following:

  • Establish and carry out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Direct and oversee an organization’s financial and budgetary activities
  • Manage general activities related to making products and providing services
  • Consult with other executives, staff, and board members about general operations
  • Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
  • Appoint department heads and managers
  • Analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identify places to cut costs and to improve performance, policies, and programs

The responsibilities of top executives largely depend on an organization’s size. For example, an owner or manager of a small organization, such as an independent retail store, often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. In large organizations, however, top executives typically focus more on formulating policies and strategic planning, while general and operations managers direct day-to-day operations.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the private sector:

Chief executive officers (CEOs), who are also known by titles such as executive director, managing director, or president, provide overall direction for companies and organizations. CEOs manage company operations, formulate and implement policies, and ensure goals are met. They collaborate with and direct the work of other top executives and typically report to a board of directors.

Chief operating officers (COOs) oversee other executives who direct the activities of various departments, such as human resources and sales. They also carry out the organization’s guidelines on a day-to-day basis.

General and operations managers oversee operations that are too diverse and general to be classified into one area of management or administration. Responsibilities may include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. They make staff schedules, assign work, and ensure that projects are completed. In some organizations, the tasks of chief executive officers may overlap with those of general and operations managers.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the public sector:

Mayors, along with governors, city managers, and county administrators, are chief executive officers of governments. They typically oversee budgets, programs, and the use of resources. Mayors and governors must be elected to office, whereas managers and administrators are typically appointed. 

Most educational systems, regardless of whether they are public or private school systems, also employ executive officers. The following are examples of top executives working in the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational school systems:

School superintendents and college or university presidents are chief executive officers of school districts and postsecondary schools. They manage issues such as student achievement, budgets and resources, general operations, and relations with government agencies and other stakeholders.

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How To Become A Business Unit Director

Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. 

Education

Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.

Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.

Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.

Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.

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Business Unit Director Jobs

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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Division President 4.5 years
Business Manager 3.9 years
Business Director 3.3 years
Top Employers Before
Director 6.7%
Manager 5.5%
President 3.2%
Top Employers After
Director 8.8%
President 5.4%

Do you work as a Business Unit Director?

Business Unit Director Demographics

Gender

Male

81.1%

Female

17.9%

Unknown

1.0%
Ethnicity

White

65.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.3%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.0%

Japanese

12.9%

French

12.9%

Chinese

9.7%

German

9.7%

Swedish

3.2%

Hungarian

3.2%

Finnish

3.2%

Yoruba

3.2%

Dutch

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Zulu

3.2%
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Business Unit Director Education

Schools

Michigan State University

13.1%

University of Phoenix

9.5%

George Washington University

8.3%

University of Central Florida

6.0%

Arizona State University

4.8%

Wayne State University

4.8%

Oakland University

4.8%

University of Notre Dame

4.8%

Northwestern University

4.8%

Regis University

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Southern Methodist University

3.6%

Wake Forest University

3.6%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.6%

Marquette University

3.6%

University of New Haven

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

University of Toledo

3.6%

University of Southern California

3.6%

San Jose State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

40.7%

Management

11.2%

Finance

8.9%

Marketing

7.7%

Accounting

5.2%

Mechanical Engineering

4.0%

Electrical Engineering

2.6%

Political Science

2.0%

Industrial Engineering

2.0%

International Business

1.7%

Chemistry

1.7%

Education

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.4%

Economics

1.4%

Operations Management

1.4%

History

1.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.4%

Biology

1.1%

Computer Science

1.1%

Law

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

46.7%

Bachelors

36.7%

Other

11.6%

Certificate

1.7%

Associate

1.5%

Doctorate

1.1%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.2%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Business Unit Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Business Unit Siemens Energy, Inc. Cary, NC Feb 03, 2016 $196,672
Director, Business Unit Siemens Energy, Inc. Cary, NC Sep 22, 2015 $196,672
Director, Business Unit Siemens Energy, Inc. Cary, NC Sep 14, 2013 $162,947 -
$196,672
Information Technology Business Unit Director Stone & Webster Services, LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2009 $155,000 -
$175,000
Business Unit Director Jabil Circuit, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 21, 2012 $140,760
Global Business Unit Director Lorom America Inc. Cary, NC Sep 25, 2013 $138,736 -
$175,000
Director, Customer Business Unit Henniges Automotive North America Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Sep 07, 2014 $135,000
Business Unit Director, Kingspan Energy North America American Solar Alternative Power LLC Stamford, CT Aug 20, 2016 $124,800
Business Unit Director Delphi Corporation Troy, MI Nov 19, 2015 $124,654
Director, International and Business Unit Accounti Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Burbank, CA Sep 07, 2014 $120,000
MAK Business Unit Advisor Louisiana MacHinery Company, LLC Doral, FL Jan 01, 2010 $120,000
Business Unit Director Delphi Corporation Troy, MI Jul 04, 2014 $118,082
Business Unit Director Delphi Corporation Troy, MI Sep 01, 2015 $117,811
Global Aerospace Strategic Business Unit Director Master Chemical Corporation Perrysburg, OH May 12, 2015 $115,000 -
$125,000
Applications Director, Consumer Electroncis Business Unit HZO, Inc. Draper, UT Aug 24, 2016 $115,000
Business Unit Director Quintiq, Inc. Radnor, PA Feb 12, 2016 $115,000

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Top Skills for A Business Unit Director

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  1. Revenue Growth
  2. New Product Development
  3. Financial Performance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Posted revenue growth from 2.5M Euro to 25M Euro, with a forecast of 54M Euro booked for following year.
  • Drive new product development initiatives from inception to full commercialization.
  • Identified and corrected operations problems that impacted financial performance resulting in consistentlyexceeding expectations.
  • Analyzed under-performing product lines and trimmed over 50% of unnecessary products to focus on the more profitable and growing areas.
  • Monitor market conditions and provide commercial information to support advancement of TESCO Corporation's global business development plan.

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Top 10 Best States for Business Unit Directors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Rhode Island
  3. New Jersey
  4. New York
  5. Connecticut
  6. Delaware
  7. Virginia
  8. Massachusetts
  9. California
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (156 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (328 jobs)
  • (753 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (539 jobs)
  • (1,804 jobs)
  • (398 jobs)

Top Business Unit Director Employers

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Jobs From Top Business Unit Director Employers

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