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Become A Director

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Working As A Director

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $96,000

    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.

Duties

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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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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Average Length of Employment
Director/Manager 4.9 years
Vice President 4.2 years
Director 4.0 years
Corporate Director 3.9 years
Corporate Manager 3.7 years
National Director 3.6 years
Associate Director 3.6 years
Group Director 3.6 years
Assistant Director 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Director
Manager 15.2%
Teacher 7.4%
Internship 7.1%
Consultant 5.2%
Supervisor 4.5%
Instructor 3.5%
President 3.1%
Owner 3.0%
Top Careers After Director
Consultant 8.9%
Manager 7.2%
Teacher 5.7%
President 5.5%
Owner 5.2%
Internship 4.5%
Principal 3.9%
Instructor 3.4%
Volunteer 3.0%

Do you work as a Director?

Director Demographics

Gender

Male

47.8%

Female

42.9%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.4%

French

13.2%

German

5.4%

Chinese

4.7%

Italian

3.9%

Portuguese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.6%

Japanese

2.8%

Russian

2.7%

Arabic

2.6%

Korean

1.9%

Hindi

1.3%

Carrier

1.1%

Hebrew

1.0%

Cantonese

1.0%

Greek

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%

Swedish

0.4%

Dutch

0.4%
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Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.6%

New York University

8.8%

George Washington University

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.6%

Liberty University

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.2%

Temple University

4.2%

Walden University

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

University of Southern California

3.9%

Capella University

3.8%

Harvard University

3.7%

Webster University

3.7%

Ashford University

3.6%

Columbia University

3.6%

American University

3.5%

University of Pennsylvania

3.4%
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Majors

Business

28.1%

Management

5.9%

Finance

5.5%

Communication

5.4%

Education

5.4%

Psychology

5.3%

Nursing

4.7%

Marketing

4.7%

Accounting

4.5%

Political Science

3.5%

Elementary Education

3.2%

Social Work

2.9%

Early Childhood Education

2.9%

Law

2.9%

English

2.8%

Photography

2.7%

Computer Science

2.5%

Educational Leadership

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.3%

Masters

30.7%

Other

15.7%

Doctorate

5.6%

Associate

5.5%

Certificate

3.2%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$96,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$46,000
Min 10%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$96,000
Median 50%
$198,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Deloitte
Highest Paying City
Foster City, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does a Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Director in the United States is $96,473 per year or $46 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $46,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $198,000.

Real Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Jun 13, 2016 $600,000
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Jan 10, 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 -
$825,000
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 Feb 10, 2016 $393,121
Investment Director Besen Ainslie LLC New York, NY Sep 20, 2016 $393,121
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Arlington, VA Aug 30, 2016 $391,300
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Deerfield, IL Aug 05, 2015 $380,000
Director Deloitte Consulting LLP Dallas, TX 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 Pricewaterhousecoopers McLean, VA May 15, 2015 $185,200
Director of Pharmacovigilance Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 05, 2016 $185,000
Director Alixpartners, LLP San Francisco, CA Aug 30, 2015 $185,000
Director Crowell & Moring International, LLC Washington, DC Apr 30, 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 Campbell Alliance Group, Inc. Boston, MA Sep 15, 2015 $185,000 -
$205,000
Director A.T. Kearney, Inc. New York, NY May 09, 2015 $185,000
Director/Futures & Options Broker ICAP Corporates LLC Chicago, IL Aug 03, 2015 $139,110
Director, ERP Transformation H.B. Fuller Company Vadnais Heights, MN Aug 01, 2015 $139,110 -
$200,000
Director of Private Banking, Latam Prodigy Network Miami, LLC New York, NY Oct 09, 2016 $138,757 -
$140,000
Director of Spectrum Sunpower Corporation Richmond, CA Jan 10, 2016 $138,375
Director Inovant, LLC Foster City, CA Oct 08, 2016 $138,362 -
$189,479
Director Visa U.S.A. Inc. Foster City, CA Jun 09, 2016 $138,362 -
$185,400
Director Blackrock Financial Management, Inc. New York, NY Dec 07, 2015 $138,200 -
$160,000
Director, Statistician Medco Health Services, Inc. Franklin Lakes, NJ Oct 02, 2016 $138,133

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Top Skills for A Director

  1. Financial Management
  2. Procedures
  3. Strategic Plan
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinate divisional financial management programs including major capital investments, acquisitions and divestitures, restructuring and financial reporting.
  • Identify loan operation department risks and development relevant operating procedures and requirements to address and mitigate risks.
  • Provided administrative support to owner about strategic planning and implementation of educational program.
  • Develop, assess, evaluate and implement diagnostic and behavioral health therapeutic programs for juveniles in a correctional facility.
  • Provide supervision and in-services to dietary staff members on sanitation and kitchen operations.

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Top 10 Best States for Directors

  1. New York
  2. Washington
  3. New Jersey
  4. California
  5. Georgia
  6. Texas
  7. Connecticut
  8. Illinois
  9. Colorado
  10. North Carolina
  • (9,252 jobs)
  • (3,408 jobs)
  • (4,083 jobs)
  • (20,320 jobs)
  • (3,289 jobs)
  • (8,153 jobs)
  • (1,891 jobs)
  • (6,148 jobs)
  • (2,699 jobs)
  • (3,552 jobs)

Top Director Employers

Jobs From Top Director Employers

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