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A department director is in charge of the efficient running of the department. Your job as a department director is to set goals for the department and oversee the attainment of those goals and objectives. The department director manages and directs staff operations to ensure maximum productivity, time management, and prepare strategic plans using technological aids, financial projections, and research analysis. You will also monitor staff welfare, call for brainstorming meetings, establish budgets, assign duties, and represent the company at external events or meetings. You must obtain the absolute best from your team and optimize the resources provided.

A department director must have a bachelor's degree and a minimum level of experience in that department. Soft skills like empathy, emotional intelligence, team leadership, and communication skills are extremely important, as they determine the output from your team. Department directors function in healthcare, transportation, and almost every industry. They earn up to $51 per hour or $105,459 per year.

What Does a Department Director Do

There are certain skills that many department directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, detail oriented and interpersonal skills.

Learn more about what a Department Director does

How To Become a Department Director

If you're interested in becoming a department director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 56.9% of department directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.3% of department directors have master's degrees. Even though most department directors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Department Director

Career Path For a Department Director

As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a department director can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as vice president, progress to a title such as managing director and then eventually end up with the title managing director.

Department Director

Average Salary for a Department Director

Department Directors in America make an average salary of $97,804 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $148,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $64,000 per year.
Average Department Director Salary
$97,804 Yearly
$47.02 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Department Director

The role of a department director includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general department director responsibilities:

  • Develops departmental goals and objectives consistent with medical, administrative, legal
  • Serves as deputy for the national communications director in overseeing development of seiu’s brand, public messaging,
  • Supervise resident continuity clinic with 35 trainees, 10 attendings as well as a nurse practitioner, nurses

There are several types of department director, including:



Directors report to board members regarding what's going on with the company as a whole. Then together, they work to develop new marketing and business strategies to help the company grow and expand.

Typically, directors have the ultimate, hands-down decision making capability, which is a lot of responsibility for one person, especially considering the type of decisions you'll be making. Any top-level decisions will come to you. You may also be responsible for approving a final budget and making sure company policies are being followed.

Some directors have long work hours, it depends on your employer and industry. Some directors will work longer than the typical 40-hour work week and many have erratic schedules that are determined by meetings, which are usually held after normal business hours.

  • Average Salary: $113,489
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Nursing Director


Nursing is not only a rewarding career but one that can be creative too. Although the nursing profession has been around for quite some time, many do not know the career growth it offers, simply because of preconceived notions of nursing being a stagnant role.

However, recently, caretaking is an area where hospitals and governments are focusing on improving to provide better care, such as for the elderly people, leading to an increase in nursing roles.

The role of a nursing director is in overseeing the operations of a nursing team. Their duties involve tasks such as developing strategic nursing department plans, establishing patient care policies, facilitating the patient admission process, and managing the departmental budget. Besides that, they also help in coordinating the training of nursing staffs.

Employers require nursing directors have a minimum of a bachelor's degree. However, a master's degree is preferred. In addition, at least five years of relevant nursing experience needs to be demonstrated. This role earns, on average, $37 per hour and suits an individual who has excellent managerial and nursing skills.

  • Average Salary: $87,643
  • Degree: Associate Degree

Nurse Manager


Nurse managers function as a link between patient care and hospital administration. With both clinical expertise and leadership skills, they are responsible for supervising nursing staff in healthcare establishments, creating work schedules, and coordinating bedside care. They make decisions regarding the budget as well, promote or hire personnel, and perform other managerial duties.

Nurse managers are energetic and mission-driven professionals who have a huge capacity for empathy not only for patients but for staff members as well, while being able to keep clear emotional boundaries. Balancing on this thin line, they walk at least 5 miles every day, taking their almost two-millennia-old profession to the next level.

Demand for competent nurse managers is on the rise, as around 500,000 registered nurses are predicted to retire over the next ten years. As a nurse manager, you will make $79,725 per year on average, with salaries reaching up to $108,478 in higher paced intensive care units.

  • Average Salary: $83,684
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Department Director Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active department director jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where department directors earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Department Director Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4New York1,695$110,466
5New Jersey1,546$110,717
10North Carolina955$81,154
30South Carolina426$91,735
34South Dakota239$87,760
36New Mexico228$90,697
37New Hampshire211$89,091
42Rhode Island143$100,995
45West Virginia127$104,131
49North Dakota79$83,115

Department Director Education

Department Director Majors

20.3 %
17.6 %

Department Director Degrees


56.9 %


20.3 %


11.8 %

Top Colleges for Department Directors

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Department Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.8% of department directors listed patient care on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Department Director Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Department Director templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Department Director resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Department Director diversity

Department Director Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among department directors, 47.2% of them are women, while 52.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among department directors is White, which makes up 62.4% of all department directors.

  • The most common foreign language among department directors is Spanish at 39.8%.

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Best States For a Department Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a department director. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, Nevada, and New York. Department directors make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $110,717. Whereas in Connecticut and Nevada, they would average $110,692 and $110,585, respectively. While department directors would only make an average of $110,466 in New York, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Department Director Jobs: 1,546
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Connecticut

Total Department Director Jobs: 454
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New York

Total Department Director Jobs: 1,695
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Department Directors

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Top Department Director Employers

Most Common Employers For Department Director

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Credit Suisse$146,574$70.474
5Gadsden Regional Medical Center$122,703$58.994
6Kaiser Permanente$121,911$58.616
7The Aerospace Corporation$117,965$56.718
8American Red Cross$114,679$55.134
9Methodist Hospital Of Henderson, Kentucky$99,746$47.956
10DreamWorks Animation$97,413$46.8317