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Become A Director

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Working As A Director

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $100,398

    Average Salary

What Does A Director Do

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.


Producers and directors typically do the following:

  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography
  • Oversee the postproduction process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals

Large productions often have associate, assistant, and line producers who share responsibilities. For example, on a large movie set an executive producer is in charge of the entire production, and a line producer runs the day-to-day operations. A TV show may employ several assistant producers to whom the head or executive producer gives certain duties, such as supervising the costume and makeup team.

Similarly, large productions usually employ several assistant directors, who help the director with tasks such as making set changes or notifying the performers when it is their time to go onstage. The specific responsibilities of assistant producers or directors vary with the size and type of production they work on.

Producers make the business and financial decisions for a motion picture, TV show, commercial, or stage production. They raise money for the project and hire the director and crew. The crew may include set and costume designers, film and video editors, a musical director, a choreographer, and other workers. Some producers may assist in the selection of cast members. Producers set the budget and approve any major changes to the project. They make sure that the production is completed on time, and they are ultimately responsible for the final product.

Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production. They select cast members, conduct rehearsals, and direct the work of the cast and crew. During rehearsals, they work with the actors to help them more accurately portray their characters. For nonfiction video, such as documentaries or live broadcasts, directors choose topics or subjects to film. They investigate the topic and may interview relevant participants or experts on camera. Directors also work with cinematographers and other crew members to ensure the final product matches the overall vision.

Directors work with set designers, costume designers, location scouts, and art directors to build a project’s set. During a film’s postproduction phase, they work closely with film editors and music supervisors to make sure that the final product comes out the way the producer and director envisioned. Stage directors, unlike television or film directors who document their product with cameras, make sure the cast and crew give a consistently strong live performance. For more information, see the profiles on actors, writers and authors, film and video editors and camera operators, dancers and choreographers, and multimedia artists and animators.

Although directors are in charge of the creative aspects of a show, they ultimately answer to producers. Some directors also share producing duties for their own films.

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How To Become A Director

Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and several years of work experience in an occupation related to motion picture, TV, or theater production, such as an actor, film and video editor, or cinematographer.


Producers and directors usually have a bachelor’s degree. Many students study film or cinema at colleges and universities. In these programs, students learn about film history, editing, screenwriting, cinematography, and the filmmaking process. Others major in writing, acting, journalism, or communication. Some producers earn a degree in business, arts management, or nonprofit management.

Many stage directors complete a degree in theater and some go on to receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Classes may include directing, playwriting, set design, and acting. As of May 2015, the National Association of Schools of Theatre accredited more than 180 programs in theater arts.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Producers and directors might start out working in a theatrical management office as a business or company manager. In television or film, they might start out as an assistant or another low-profile studio job.


As a producer’s or director’s reputation grows, he or she may work on larger projects that attract more attention or publicity.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Producers and directors must coordinate the work of many different people to finish a production on time and within budget.

Creativity. Because a script can be interpreted in different ways, directors must decide how they want to interpret it and then how to represent the script’s ideas on the screen or stage.

Leadership skills. A director instructs actors and helps them portray their characters in a believable manner. They also supervise the crew, who are responsible for the behind the scenes work.

Time-management skills. Producers must find and hire the best director and crew for the production. They make sure that all involved do their jobs effectively, keeping within a production schedule and a budget.

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Director jobs

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Director Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Chinese

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Mandarin

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Arabic

  • Korean

  • Hindi

  • Carrier

  • Cantonese

  • Hebrew

  • Greek

  • Vietnamese

  • Dutch

  • Urdu

  • Tagalog

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Director Education


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Real Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $600,000
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Jun 13, 2016 $600,000
Director Mousse Partners Limited New York, NY Mar 30, 2015 $560,000
Director Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, OH Jan 11, 2016 $528,000 -
Surgical Director Lung Transplantation & Ecmo Massachusetts General Physician's Organization Boston, MA Jul 15, 2015 $500,000
Director Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. New York, NY Jul 01, 2015 $400,000
Investment Director Besen Ainslie LLC New York, NY Sep 20, 2016 $393,121
Investment Director Besen Ainslie LLC New York, NY Feb 10, 2016 $393,121
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Arlington, VA Aug 30, 2016 $391,300
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX Aug 05, 2015 $380,000
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Deerfield, IL Aug 05, 2015 $380,000
Surgical Director of Intestine and Multivisceral Transplant Henry Ford Health System Detroit, MI Aug 01, 2015 $375,000
Surgical Director of Intestine and Multivisceral Transplantation Henry Ford Health System Detroit, MI Feb 09, 2016 $375,000
Director Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. New York, NY Aug 12, 2015 $360,000
Director Crowell & Moring International, LLC Washington, DC Apr 30, 2016 $185,000
Director of Pharmacovigilance Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 05, 2016 $185,000
Advisory Director Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC Florham Park, NJ Jan 02, 2016 $185,000
Advisory Director Pricewaterhousecoopers Advisory Services LLC Boston, MA Jan 02, 2016 $185,000
Director of Hepatology and Liver Transplation Children's Hospital New Orleans, LA Feb 19, 2016 $185,000
Director A.T. Kearney, Inc. Chicago, IL May 09, 2015 $185,000
Director A.T. Kearney, Inc. Atlanta, GA May 09, 2015 $185,000
Director, ERP Transformation H.B. Fuller Company Vadnais Heights, MN Aug 01, 2015 $139,110 -
Director/Futures & Options Broker ICAP Corporates LLC Chicago, IL Aug 03, 2015 $139,110
Director of Private Banking, Latam Prodigy Network Miami, LLC New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $138,757 -
Director of Spectrum Sunpower Corporation Richmond, CA Jan 10, 2016 $138,375
Director Inovant, LLC Foster City, CA Oct 08, 2016 $138,362 -
Director Visa U.S.A. Inc. Foster City, CA Jun 09, 2016 $138,362 -
Director Blackrock Financial Management, Inc. New York, NY Dec 07, 2015 $138,200 -
Director, Statistician Medco Health Services, Inc. Franklin Lakes, NJ Oct 02, 2016 $138,133

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Top Skills for A Director


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Top Director Skills

  1. Procedures
  2. Financial Statements
  3. Strategic Plan
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked with Central Billing Office to design policy and procedures for billing and collections processes per legal guidelines.
  • Prepare financial projections and operating budgets utilizing historical financial statements.
  • Develop strategic model to align with the company's strategic plan to capture expected product profitability for the whole retail business.
  • Managed a 45,000 square foot outpatient care facility consisting of 24 general and specialty physicians and 113 support staff.
  • Perform all administrative tasks including processing enrollments, attendance, health, and safety records.

Top Director Employers

Director Videos

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