The director of economic development leads and oversees the economic development programs in the city. Ultimately, their goal is to improve and stabilize the local economy, and they do this by ensuring that all economic development programs are developed and implemented properly.
The specific duties of a director of economic development generally include developing economic programs, conducting research and market analysis, managing subordinate staff, communicating with government officials, and maintaining good relationships with both the public and private sector. In terms of the working environment, a director of economic development usually works in a private office and receives support from administrative staff.
The most ideal educational background for this role is an advanced degree in economics. Apart from that, a director of economic development must have years-if not decades-of experience to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed to make the best decisions for the local economy. For their critical role in the city, a director of economic development earns an average of $90,000 per year. The highest-earning directors are, of course, in the bigger cities with the most high-performing economies.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a director of economic development. For example, did you know that they make an average of $43.33 an hour? That's $90,124 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 6,300 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many directors of economic development 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 organizational skills, speaking skills and writing skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a director of economic development, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.2% of directors of economic development included business development, while 12.8% of resumes included economic development, and 10.5% of resumes included project management. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the director of economic development job title. But what industry to start with? Most directors of economic development actually find jobs in the government and non profits industries.
If you're interested in becoming a director of economic development, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.0% of directors of economic development have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 25.5% of directors of economic development have master's degrees. Even though most directors of economic development have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a director of economic development. When we researched the most common majors for a director of economic development, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on director of economic development resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a director of economic development. In fact, many director of economic development jobs require experience in a role such as executive director. Meanwhile, many directors of economic development also have previous career experience in roles such as director or manager.