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Become A Program Director

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Working As A Program 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

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Program 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 Program 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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Program Director Career Paths

Program Director
Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Director
Operations Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
President
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Chief Operating Officer
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Clinical Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Unit Director
5 Yearsyrs
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Program Services
8 Yearsyrs
Executive Director
Executive Director Of Operations
7 Yearsyrs
Service Director
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Vice President
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
Administrative Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Interim Executive Director
11 Yearsyrs
Board Of Directors Member
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director Program Management
12 Yearsyrs
Director, Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Education Director
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Director Community Programs
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Programs And Operations
8 Yearsyrs
Project Director
Director Of Project Management
12 Yearsyrs
Deputy Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director
Business Director
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Health Services
10 Yearsyrs
Branch Director
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Director
Director Of Quality
14 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Department Director
6 Yearsyrs
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales And Marketing
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Program Director
8 Yearsyrs
National Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Vice President
Director Of Managed Services
9 Yearsyrs
Area Director
Regional Director Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Vice President
Compliance Director
12 Yearsyrs
Administrative Director
Chief Nursing Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Center Director
School Director
6 Yearsyrs
Clinical Services Director
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Unit Director
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Health Services
Wellness Director
7 Yearsyrs
Department Director
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Admissions
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Camp Director
Child Care Director
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
Commissioner
5 Yearsyrs
Director Program Management
Global Director
14 Yearsyrs
National Director
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Division Director
Director, Procurement
13 Yearsyrs
Co-Owner
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Vice President Of Programming
Director, Special Projects
9 Yearsyrs
Educational Program Director
Director Of Training
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Outreach
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Program Director?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Program Manager 3.3 years
Program Supervisor 3.1 years
Program Director 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Program Director
Internship 8.6%
Director 6.9%
Teacher 6.3%
Counselor 5.4%
Instructor 4.5%
Consultant 3.9%
Manager 3.7%
Supervisor 3.4%
Volunteer 3.2%
Therapist 3.2%
Top Careers After Program Director
Director 9.4%
Consultant 7.0%
Teacher 5.7%
Internship 4.9%
Therapist 4.1%
Owner 4.1%
Instructor 3.8%
Manager 3.7%
Counselor 3.4%

Do you work as a Program Director?

Program Director Demographics

Gender

Female

53.1%

Male

36.8%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.7%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.8%

French

11.9%

Portuguese

3.9%

German

3.6%

Mandarin

3.4%

Chinese

3.2%

Italian

2.9%

Arabic

2.6%

Russian

2.3%

Japanese

1.6%

Korean

1.3%

Hebrew

1.3%

Hindi

1.2%

Cantonese

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Greek

0.6%

Thai

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Turkish

0.4%

Polish

0.4%
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Program Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

19.7%

Capella University

8.7%

Walden University

6.7%

Liberty University

6.4%

New York University

5.8%

Webster University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.9%

Nova Southeastern University

3.8%

Fordham University

3.7%

Grand Canyon University

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.5%

Temple University

3.5%

Michigan State University

3.5%

Ashford University

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

Florida State University

3.3%

Boston University

3.3%

Columbia University

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

Howard University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

18.7%

Social Work

11.0%

Psychology

9.5%

Education

5.9%

Communication

5.1%

Nursing

4.6%

Management

4.6%

Counseling Psychology

4.1%

School Counseling

4.0%

Elementary Education

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Human Services

3.2%

Educational Leadership

3.1%

Sociology

3.0%

Mental Health Counseling

2.8%

Public Administration

2.8%

Political Science

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Kinesiology

2.5%

English

2.4%
Show More
Degrees

Masters

37.6%

Bachelors

34.5%

Other

13.4%

Doctorate

5.7%

Associate

4.7%

Certificate

3.2%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$66,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
VMware
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Program Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Program Director in the United States is $66,276 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $121,000.

Real Program Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Fellowship Program Director-Trauma, Burn John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County/Cook County Chicago, IL Oct 05, 2015 $275,739
Director, PSS GTM Programs Hewlett-Packard Company Palo Alto, CA Aug 24, 2015 $217,547 -
$232,597
Program Director for The Record Ltd. Denver, CO Jul 27, 2016 $212,500
Program Director Axon Solutions Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 09, 2016 $210,000
DGD Program Director Pacific Drilling Services, Inc. Houston, TX May 25, 2015 $205,808
Project/Program, Director Samsung Research America, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 26, 2015 $200,000
Program Director Dow Jones and Company New York, NY May 15, 2015 $200,000
Catalyst Program Director Apigee Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 24, 2015 $200,000
Aims Program Director/Section Chief Saint Francis Medical Group, Inc. Hartford, CT Jul 01, 2015 $200,000 -
$500,000
DGD Program Director Pacific Drilling Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 24, 2015 $196,008
Director, Program Architect (Architect Leader) Salesforce.com New York, NY Mar 10, 2015 $195,203
Director, Program Architect (Architect Leader) Salesforce.com San Francisco, CA Mar 15, 2016 $195,203
Program Director IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Jul 27, 2015 $194,724
Program Director IBM Corporation San Jose, CA Jul 28, 2015 $194,724
Director Strategic Programs McKesson Corporation The Woodlands, TX Jan 10, 2016 $103,400 -
$118,450
Director/Program Director Mindtree Limited Warren, NJ Aug 20, 2015 $102,190 -
$102,191
Program Director-Physical Therapist Kindred Rehab Services, Inc. Baltimore, MD Dec 15, 2016 $100,573 -
$104,350
Program Director-Physical Therapist Kindred Rehab Services, Inc. Fort Washington, MD Dec 15, 2016 $100,573 -
$104,350
Program Director-Physical Therapist Kindred Rehab Services, Inc. Glen Burnie, MD Dec 15, 2016 $100,573 -
$104,350
Program Director, Speech-Language Pathology Midwestern University Downers Grove, IL May 08, 2016 $100,315
Director of Commercial Programs Magellan Aerospace New York, Inc. NY Dec 21, 2015 $100,136
Program Director Noteleaf, Inc. New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $100,000 -
$140,000
Program Director Bay Area Behavioral Connection LLC San Jose, CA Dec 09, 2016 $73,045
Program Director Community Care ADHC Inc. Temple City, CA Sep 01, 2015 $73,045
Program Director Vermont Academy Saxtons River, VT Jan 06, 2015 $73,000
Program Director Winter Garden Adult Day Care, LLC MA Aug 15, 2015 $72,669
Israel Fellows Program Director World Zionist Organization Los Angeles, CA Sep 18, 2015 $72,000
Program Director Mosholu Montefiore Community Center Inc. New York, NY Aug 09, 2015 $71,375
Instructional Programs Director The Young Men's Christian Association of Greter Toledo Jackson, MI Mar 31, 2015 $71,074
Solidarity Microfinance Program Director Iowa Community Capital Boone, IA Sep 17, 2015 $71,000

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Top Skills for A Program Director

  1. Procedures
  2. Community Outreach
  3. Curriculum Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed comprehensive policies and procedures, supervised all staff, and prepared organization for national accreditation.
  • Managed program enrollment, conducted center tours, proactively engaged in community outreach activities to build strong relationships with community stakeholders.
  • Collaborated with corporate office on curriculum development, created certification review courses, and reviewed massage therapy textbooks for publishing companies.
  • Ensured administrative and clinical staff adhered to pertinent state regulations, company policies and program plans in contract management.
  • Established training programs for staff members, teaching them how to properly accommodate all camper needs and to produce creative programming

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Top 10 Best States for Program Directors

  1. Washington
  2. Arizona
  3. Maryland
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Georgia
  6. Connecticut
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Minnesota
  9. Illinois
  10. Texas
  • (1,024 jobs)
  • (467 jobs)
  • (632 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (599 jobs)
  • (334 jobs)
  • (1,199 jobs)
  • (531 jobs)
  • (968 jobs)
  • (1,542 jobs)

Top Program Director Employers

Jobs From Top Program Director Employers

Program Director Videos

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O.A.R.- Program Director (Live On Red Rocks)

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