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Become An Executive Director

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Working As An Executive 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

  • $111,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Executive Director Do

An Executive Director supervises the overall functions and activities of a specific department within an organization. They participate in strategic planning, create complete business plans for achieving the goals of the organization, and help create budgets and track expenditures.

How To Become An Executive Director

Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. 


Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.

Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.

Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.

Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.

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1,068 Executive Director jobs More

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Real Executive Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Executive Director, Infrastructure IFM Investors (Us) LLC New York, NY Feb 22, 2016 $640,790
Executive Director MacQuarie Holdings (USA) Inc. New York, NY Nov 10, 2016 $550,000
Executive Director MacQuarie Holdings (USA) Inc. Houston, TX Jan 08, 2016 $450,000
Executive Director Virtual Educa Foundation San Juan, PR Jan 10, 2016 $444,000
Executive Director Virtual Educa Foundation San Juan, PR Jan 09, 2016 $444,000
Executive Director Virtual Educa Foundation San Juan, PR Jan 08, 2016 $444,000
Executive Director MacQuarie Holdings (USA) Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2015 $425,000
Executive Director MacQuarie Holdings (USA) Inc. New York, NY Oct 12, 2015 $425,000
Executive Director MacQuarie Holdings (USA) Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2016 $425,000
Executive Director, Infrastructure IFM Investors (Us) LLC New York, NY Feb 25, 2016 $410,790
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Top Skills for An Executive Director


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Top Executive Director Skills

  1. Financial Management
  2. Ensure Compliance
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed the daily operations of organization: financial management, grant management, community partner outreach, research and advocacy.
  • Provide guidance and counsel to ensure compliance with laws, as well as, federal customer regulations, policies and processes.
  • Developed and implemented first detention center policy and procedures.
  • Developed strategic plan; identified and acquired resources to create a sustainable statewide non-profit organization formed after merger of two organizations.
  • Assessed the suitability of individuals for placement in an assisted living facility

Top Executive Director Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire an Executive Director

  1. Brookdale Senior Living
  2. Golden Living Center
  3. American Red Cross
  4. Susan G. Komen
  5. J.P. Morgan
  6. Golden Living Centers
  7. Bryant Palmer Soto
  8. AseraCare Hospice - New Horizons, LLC
  9. Enlivant
  10. Gentiva Health Services Inc.
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