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Working As A Center Director

  • Performing Administrative Activities
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $56,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Center Director Do

Preschool and childcare center directors supervise and lead staffs, oversee daily activities, design curriculums, and prepare budgets. They are responsible for all aspects of their program.

Duties

Preschool and childcare center directors typically do the following:

  • Supervise preschool teachers and childcare workers
  • Hire and train new staff members
  • Provide training and professional development opportunities for staff
  • Establish policies and communicate them to staff and parents
  • Develop educational programs and standards
  • Ensure instructional excellence
  • Assist staff in resolving conflicts between children
  • Aid staff in communicating with parents
  • Meet with parents and staff to discuss students’ progress
  • Prepare budgets and allocate  program funds
  • Ensure facilities are maintained and cleaned according to state regulations

Some preschools and childcare centers are independently owned and operated. In these facilities, directors must follow the instructions and guidelines of the owner. Sometimes, directors own the facilities, so they decide how to operate them.

Other preschools and childcare centers are part of a national chain or franchise. The director of a chain or franchise also must ensure that the facility meets its parent organization’s standards and regulations.

In addition, some preschools and childcare centers, such as Head Start programs, receive state and federal funding. Directors of these schools and centers must ensure that their programs, staff, and facilities meet state and federal guidelines. For example, they must ensure that the staff meets the educational requirements set by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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How To Become A Center Director

A college degree and experience in early childhood education is typically required to become a preschool and childcare center director. Some states or employers require preschool and childcare center directors to have a nationally recognized credential, such as the Child Development Associate (CDA).

Education

Most states require preschool and childcare center directors to have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. These degree programs teach students about child development, provide strategies for teaching young children, and discuss how to observe and document children’s progress. Employers may prefer candidates who have a degree, or at least some postsecondary coursework, in early childhood education.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Most states require preschool and childcare center directors to have experience in early childhood education. The amount of experience required varies by state.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Many states require childcare centers, including those in private homes, to be licensed. To qualify for licensure, staff must pass a background check, have a complete record of immunizations, and meet a minimum training requirement. Some states require staff to have certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.

Some states and employers require preschool and childcare center directors to have a nationally recognized credential. Most often, states require the CDA credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, and being observed while working with children. The credential is valid for 3 years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements for obtaining the CCP are that the candidate must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every 2 years through the CCP maintenance process.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Preschool and childcare center directors manage childcare centers and need to be able to operate the business effectively.

Communication skills. Preschool and childcare center directors need to inform parents and staff about the progress of the children. They need good writing and speaking skills to convey this information successfully.

Interpersonal skills. Preschool and childcare center directors must be able to develop good relationships with parents, children, and staff.

Leadership skills. Preschool and childcare center directors supervise staff, so they need good leadership skills to inspire staff to work diligently. They also must enforce rules and regulations.

Organizational skills. Directors need to maintain clear records about children and staff. In addition, they must be able to multitask when several people or situations require their attention.

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Center Director Career Paths

Center Director
Executive Director
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Director
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Director
Operations Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
Vice President
6 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Service Director
Senior Director
13 Yearsyrs
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Senior Vice President
13 Yearsyrs
President
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Chief Finance Officer
13 Yearsyrs
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources
Assistant Vice President
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Operations Vice President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Chief Operating Officer
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Project Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer
Business Director
10 Yearsyrs
Area Director
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Division Director
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Director
Finance Director
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Services Director
Chief Nursing Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Regional Director Of Operations
Executive Director Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Early Childhood Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Early Head Start Director
7 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Summer Camp Director
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Program Services
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Program Services
8 Yearsyrs
Client Services Director
Client Services Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Client Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Athletic Director
Unit Director
5 Yearsyrs
Campus Director
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Business Director
Director Of Business Operations
10 Yearsyrs
District Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Co-Owner
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
District Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Health Services
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Managed Care Director
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Wellness Director
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Vice President
Director Of Managed Services
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Clinical Operations
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
School Director
Director, Learning And Development
12 Yearsyrs
Field Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
National Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Service And Operations
Director Global Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Executive Vice President
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Chief Finance Officer
Director Of Property Management
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Outreach
Director Of Communications And Outreach
8 Yearsyrs
Educational Program Director
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Research Director
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Program Development
Director, Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Family Service Center
9 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Owner/Director 6.7 years
Executive Director 4.5 years
Center Director 4.0 years
Area Director 3.9 years
Director 3.8 years
School Director 3.7 years
Center Manager 3.4 years
Education Director 3.4 years
Assistant Director 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Center Director
Teacher 14.8%
Director 7.6%
Manager 4.0%
Internship 3.8%
Instructor 2.7%
Top Careers After Center Director
Director 11.4%
Teacher 10.7%
Consultant 5.2%
Manager 3.8%
Instructor 2.9%

Do you work as a Center Director?

Average Yearly Salary
$56,000
Show Salaries
$34,000
Min 10%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Median 50%
$91,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Tucson, AZ
Highest Paying State
Arizona
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does a Center Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Center Director in the United States is $56,359 per year or $27 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $91,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Center Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director, Simons Center for Geometry & Physics State University of New York at Stony Brook Jan 09, 2016 $330,000 -
$443,026
Professor/Director of The Center for Cavt The University of Alabama Oct 01, 2012 $300,000
Institute/Center Director-Management Michigan State University Dec 31, 2016 $219,231
Director, Center for Biometric Analysis The Jackson Laboratory Mar 10, 2016 $175,579
Delivery Center Director Capgemini America, Inc. Mar 26, 2010 $171,587
Director, Center of Excellence for Abuse Liability Grunenthal USA, Inc. Sep 12, 2010 $170,000
Director of Movement Disorder Center & Staff Neuro Lahey Clinic, Inc. Apr 02, 2010 $167,860
Director of Movement Disorder Center & Staff Neuro Lahey Clinic, Inc. Apr 14, 2010 $167,860
Director, Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean S The Fletcher School at Tufts University Oct 01, 2014 $155,000
Director, Center for History of Medicine and Public The New York Academy of Medicine Apr 16, 2014 $150,075
Director, Center for The History of Medicine and PU The New York Academy of Medicine Apr 16, 2012 $145,000
Director, Center for Catholic Thought & Culture University of San Diego Aug 15, 2010 $140,000
Professor and Director, Center for Hemispheric Policy University of Miami Aug 01, 2015 $132,018 -
$350,000
Director-Technical Center Fiat Powertrain Technologies of North America, Inc. Jan 02, 2011 $132,000 -
$142,000
Director of Center Based Programming Kansas City Autism Training Center, Inc. Oct 01, 2014 $105,360
Center Director Endoscopy Center of Marin Sep 12, 2014 $100,000 -
$145,000
Director and Professor of The Kozmetsky Center St. Edward's University Jul 14, 2012 $98,000 -
$110,000
Center Director Glenbervie Health, LLC Apr 15, 2016 $97,000
Director, Global Food Traceability Center Institute of Food Technologists Oct 16, 2016 $91,960 -
$104,000
Language Center Director French Institute Alliance Francaise Jun 19, 2015 $90,000
Weight Loss Center Director Pierini Esthetic Surgery Center, LLC Sep 10, 2015 $73,000
Center Director University of Louisiana at Monroe Aug 22, 2016 $72,500
Director, Center for Geospatial Analysis The College of William and Mary Aug 10, 2014 $70,000
Weintraub Israel Center Director Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona Jul 18, 2016 $70,000
Slippery Rock Univ. Language Center Director Slippery Rock University of Pennslyvania Aug 20, 2016 $69,661

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Top Skills for A Center Director

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Child Care
  3. Staff Members
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Included training events, curriculum development, partnership relationships and technology initiatives.
  • Developed and implemented quality child care facility in poor rural area, and maintained responsibility for all center activities and operations.
  • Trained and managed 26 staff members and achieved significant improvements in their productivity.
  • Oversee building functions including customer acquisition, financial management, recruitment and training, building maintenance, and quality educational programming.
  • Created a vendor performance scorecard measuring account management responsiveness, customer service quality and delivery, and customer satisfaction.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Center Directors

  1. Arizona
  2. New York
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Oregon
  5. Texas
  6. Virginia
  7. Indiana
  8. Michigan
  9. Wisconsin
  10. New Mexico
  • (246 jobs)
  • (883 jobs)
  • (504 jobs)
  • (183 jobs)
  • (983 jobs)
  • (643 jobs)
  • (226 jobs)
  • (223 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)

Center Director Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 11,198 Center Director resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Center Director Resume

View Resume Examples

Center Director Demographics

Gender

Female

66.4%

Male

29.1%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

63.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.7%

French

9.9%

German

4.8%

Portuguese

4.0%

Chinese

3.5%

Arabic

3.5%

Mandarin

2.9%

Italian

2.7%

Russian

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Carrier

1.3%

Korean

1.1%

Dakota

1.1%

Swedish

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Hindi

0.5%

Hebrew

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%
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Center Director Education

Schools

Ashford University

11.8%

Walden University

8.5%

Capella University

7.7%

Liberty University

7.0%

Grand Canyon University

5.8%

Rasmussen College

4.8%

Strayer University

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.6%

Ohio State University

4.6%

National University

4.1%

Kaplan University

4.1%

New York University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Nova Southeastern University

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.7%

George Washington University

3.5%

University of Georgia

3.5%

Northern Illinois University

3.5%

Florida State University

3.5%

George Mason University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

16.2%

Early Childhood Education

12.5%

Education

8.8%

Elementary Education

8.0%

Psychology

8.0%

Human Development

6.7%

Nursing

5.5%

Social Work

3.7%

Educational Leadership

3.7%

Management

3.5%

Counseling Psychology

3.0%

Communication

2.7%

English

2.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.5%

Human Services

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Sociology

2.2%

Marketing

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Kinesiology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.7%

Masters

32.3%

Associate

11.1%

Certificate

4.9%

Doctorate

4.7%

High School Diploma

3.7%

Diploma

1.1%

License

0.5%
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Updated May 18, 2020