Executive directors are top management employees who usually function as a chief executive officer. This role is usually seen in non-profit organizations. Executive directors provide strategic direction to the organization, and they ensure that the organization's goals are actualized. They provide guidance to the employees and ensure that the employees have the organization's advocacies at the center of every project or program. They oversee the policies of the organization and create strategies that will bring the organization's programs forward. Executive directors are also responsible for making crucial decisions for the betterment of the organization.

Executive Director Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real executive director resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage an operating budget of over $96 million and 700 FTEs.
  • Develop and manage sales teams to assure the highest ROI on the client's investment.
  • Manage RN, LPN, and STNA, hiring process, termination process, evaluation and education.
  • Create and manage a call center for lead programs to support the prospecting activity needs of the FSR.
  • Freelance blogging to increase website views and ultimately to turn organic content into leads and ROI for small businesses.
  • Major accomplishment are to achieve initial NAEYC accreditation.
  • Lead the facility in implementing person-centered care/hospitality philosophy, electronic medical records, maximization of Medicare reimbursement, and alternative therapies.
  • Plan frequent and diverse functions for alumni.
  • Implement Eprescribing that meet CMS requirements to obtain bonus payments.
  • Direct the board to establish a sub-committee structure and bylaws.
Executive Director Traits
Writing skills is important when it comes to clearing expressing yourself in any written document.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.

Executive Director Job Description

When it comes to understanding what an executive director does, you may be wondering, "should I become an executive director?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, executive directors have a growth rate described as "decline" at -7% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of executive director opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is -276,700.

Executive directors average about $69.03 an hour, which makes the executive director annual salary $143,574. Additionally, executive directors are known to earn anywhere from $78,000 to $263,000 a year. This means that the top-earning executive directors make $185,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

Once you've become an executive director, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a chief of staff, chief operating officer, vice president of programming, and director, special projects.

Executive Director Jobs You Might Like

Executive Director Resume Examples

Executive Director Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Executive Directors are proficient in Procedures, Oversight, and Facility. They’re also known for soft skills such as Writing skills, Interpersonal skills, and Organizational skills.

We break down the percentage of Executive Directors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Procedures, 13%

    Revamped internal procedures and controls, reorganized/reallocated staff and implemented best practices and performance monitoring systems in support of continuous improvement.

  • Oversight, 8%

    Provide management and oversight of all operations of a locally owned and operated assisted living community consisting of 72 apartments.

  • Facility, 7%

    Led the facility in implementing person-centered care/hospitality philosophy, electronic medical records, maximization of Medicare reimbursement, and alternative therapies.

  • Ensure Compliance, 5%

    Developed and implemented program policies and procedures; monitored program delivery to ensure compliance with fair housing and equal opportunity regulations.

  • Business Development, 4%

    Conduct youth business development training and mentoring programs, coordinate integration of donated technology into primary and secondary education systems.

  • Customer Service, 4%

    Negotiated and implemented partnerships with regional hospitals and delivered significant improvements in regulatory results, patient care and customer service outcomes.

"procedures," "oversight," and "facility" aren't the only skills we found executive directors list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of executive director responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for an executive director to have in this position are writing skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a executive director resume, you'll understand why: "secretaries and administrative assistants write memos and emails when communicating with managers, employees, and customers" According to resumes we found, writing skills can be used by a executive director in order to "directed the organization's community outreach, fund raising events, and grant writing efforts, grant compliance and volunteer coordination. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform executive director duties is the following: interpersonal skills. According to a executive director resume, "secretaries and administrative assistants interact with clients, customers, or staff." Check out this example of how executive directors use interpersonal skills: "demonstrated strong management, interpersonal and public speaking skills with diverse populations and audiences. "
  • Organizational skills is also an important skill for executive directors to have. This example of how executive directors use this skill comes from a executive director resume, "secretaries and administrative assistants keep files, folders, and schedules in proper order so an office can run efficiently." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "increased awareness of organizational mission, vision and goals through community outreach efforts and public and media relations. "
  • See the full list of executive director skills.

    We've found that 63.1% of executive directors have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 21.6% earned their master's degrees before becoming an executive director. While it's true that most executive directors have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine executive directors did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    The executive directors who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied business and psychology, while a small population of executive directors studied political science and communication.

    Once you're ready to become an executive director, you should explore the companies that typically hire executive directors. According to executive director resumes that we searched through, executive directors are hired the most by JPMorgan Chase & Co., KPMG, and CSG. Currently, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has 100 executive director job openings, while there are 75 at KPMG and 59 at CSG.

    Since salary is important to some executive directors, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Acadia Pharmaceuticals, and Amgen. If you were to take a closer look at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, you'd find that the average executive director salary is $332,390. Then at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, executive directors receive an average salary of $310,264, while the salary at Amgen is $307,862.

    View more details on executive director salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, and Educate. These three companies have hired a significant number of executive directors from these institutions.

    In general, executive directors fulfill roles in the health care and non profits industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the executive director annual salary is the highest in the insurance industry with $182,695 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the finance and government industries pay $178,063 and $144,562 respectively. This means that executive directors who are employed in the insurance industry make 49.3% more than executive directors who work in the non profits Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious executive directors are:

      What Chief Of Staffs Do

      A chief of staff primarily supports an executive through performing various administrative tasks. Most of their responsibilities revolve around collaborating with other executive support personnel to devise strategies that will help the company, responding to inquiries and correspondence, approving communications letters, managing schedules, setting appointments, and serving as an advisor to the executive. Furthermore, when it comes to issues and disputes, the chief of staff must be quick to conduct research and perform damage control to help the executive and the company rise from the occasion.

      In this section, we compare the average executive director annual salary with that of a chief of staff. Typically, chiefs of staff earn a $6,937 lower salary than executive directors earn annually.

      While their salaries may differ, one common ground between executive directors and chiefs of staff are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like oversight, ensure compliance, and business development.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, an executive director responsibilities require skills like "procedures," "facility," "customer service," and "financial management." Meanwhile a typical chief of staff has skills in areas such as "special projects," "key stakeholders," "policy development," and "logistics." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Chiefs of staff really shine in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $141,669. Whereas executive directors tend to make the most money in the insurance industry with an average salary of $182,695.

      On average, chiefs of staff reach similar levels of education than executive directors. Chiefs of staff are 1.3% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 2.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Chief Operating Officer?

      A chief operating officer, also known as a COO, is a high-ranking official who oversees a company or organization's daily administrative and overall operations. They are typically the second in the chain of command, reporting directly to the company's chief executive officer, also known as a CEO. Among their duties include developing strategies and guidelines, reviewing reports, performing assessments, and implementing the company's policies, standards, and regulations. Additionally, they lead and empower staff to reach goals, helping solve issues and concerns when any arise.

      The next role we're going to look at is the chief operating officer profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $12,608 higher salary than executive directors per year.

      A similarity between the two careers of executive directors and chief operating officers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "procedures," "oversight," and "facility. "

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, executive director responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "ensure compliance," "state regulations," "professional development," and "project management." Meanwhile, a chief operating officer might be skilled in areas such as "healthcare," "business strategy," "emergency," and "risk management." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On average, chief operating officers earn a higher salary than executive directors. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, chief operating officers earn the most pay in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $133,761. Whereas, executive directors have higher paychecks in the insurance industry where they earn an average of $182,695.

      In general, chief operating officers study at similar levels of education than executive directors. They're 1.4% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 2.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Vice President Of Programming Compares

      A vice president of programming is responsible for organizing schedules and negotiating contracts with media producers of networks to release advertisements and other related campaigns for business operations. Vice presidents of programming handle the technical aspect of the creative operations and ensure the stability and efficient performance of network systems to deliver high-quality functions. They also manage the budget and resource allocation, review project management procedures, coordinate with clients, and assist the team in achieving operational goals.

      The third profession we take a look at is vice president of programming. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than executive directors. In fact, they make a $16,152 higher salary per year.

      By looking over several executive directors and vice president of programmings resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "procedures," "oversight," and "ensure compliance." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from executive directors resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "facility," "customer service," "financial management," and "state regulations." But a vice president of programming might have skills like "portfolio," "risk management," "key stakeholders," and "executive leadership."

      Additionally, vice president of programmings earn a higher salary in the media industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $173,724. Additionally, executive directors earn an average salary of $182,695 in the insurance industry.

      When it comes to education, vice president of programmings tend to earn lower education levels than executive directors. In fact, they're 16.6% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 4.0% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Director, Special Projects

      The primary responsibility of a director of special projects is to ensure the successful conclusion of construction-related projects. Special project directors lead, organize, and perform corporate projects outside their duties. They utilize project management, business process management, and change management disciplines for timely and cost-effective initiatives delivery. It is part of their responsibilities to collaborate with business leaders and entrepreneurs to perform corporate programs and initiatives. They also manage process enhancements and various special programs.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than executive directors. On average, directors, special projects earn a difference of $10,711 lower per year.

      While both executive directors and directors, special projects complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like procedures, oversight, and facility, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Each job requires different skills like "ensure compliance," "customer service," "financial management," and "state regulations," which might show up on an executive director resume. Whereas director, special projects might include skills like "special projects," "graphic design," "hipaa," and "data analysis."

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The media industry tends to pay more for directors, special projects with an average of $180,156. While the highest executive director annual salary comes from the insurance industry.

      The average resume of directors, special projects showed that they earn similar levels of education to executive directors. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 1.4% less. Additionally, they're less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.6%.