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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

  • $60,000

    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 jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Executive Director 4.4 years
Director 3.7 years
Center Director 3.5 years
Program Manager 3.4 years
Clinical Director 3.4 years
Education Director 3.3 years
Housing Director 3.3 years
Program Supervisor 3.1 years
Program Director 3.0 years
Program Consultant 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 8.1%
Director 7.0%
Teacher 6.0%
Counselor 5.0%
Instructor 4.0%
Manager 3.7%
Consultant 3.6%
Supervisor 3.4%
Therapist 2.9%
Top Employers After
Director 9.2%
Consultant 6.9%
Teacher 5.4%
Internship 4.7%
Owner 3.6%
Therapist 3.5%
Manager 3.3%
Instructor 3.3%

Program Director Demographics

Gender

Female

58.1%

Male

39.7%

Unknown

2.2%
Ethnicity

White

81.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.5%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.1%

French

12.9%

German

3.8%

Portuguese

3.8%

Chinese

3.8%

Mandarin

3.4%

Italian

3.1%

Russian

2.6%

Arabic

2.4%

Japanese

1.9%

Korean

1.5%

Hindi

1.4%

Hebrew

1.2%

Cantonese

0.9%

Greek

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Turkish

0.5%

Thai

0.5%

Dakota

0.5%

Swahili

0.4%
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Program Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.5%

Capella University

8.5%

Liberty University

7.5%

Walden University

7.0%

New York University

4.7%

George Washington University

4.6%

Grand Canyon University

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Webster University

3.9%

Howard University

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

Boston University

3.6%

University of Southern California

3.6%

Florida State University

3.4%

Fordham University

3.3%

Ashford University

3.3%

West Virginia University

3.2%

Nova Southeastern University

3.2%

Syracuse University

3.2%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

19.1%

Social Work

10.7%

Psychology

9.4%

Education

5.8%

Communication

5.3%

Management

4.8%

Nursing

4.7%

School Counseling

4.1%

Counseling Psychology

4.0%

Elementary Education

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Educational Leadership

3.1%

Human Services

2.9%

Political Science

2.8%

Mental Health Counseling

2.8%

Sociology

2.8%

Public Administration

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.7%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%
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Degrees

Masters

38.0%

Bachelors

33.8%

Other

13.9%

Doctorate

5.9%

Associate

4.4%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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
Aims Program Director/Section Chief Saint Francis Medical Group, Inc. Hartford, CT Jul 01, 2015 $200,000 -
$500,000
Program Director Dow Jones and Company New York, NY May 15, 2015 $200,000
Project/Program, Director Samsung Research America, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 26, 2015 $200,000
Catalyst Program Director Apigee Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 24, 2015 $200,000
DGD Program Director Pacific Drilling Services, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 24, 2015 $196,008
Director, Program Architect (Architect Leader) Salesforce.Com San Francisco, CA Mar 15, 2016 $195,203
Director, Program Architect (Architect Leader) Salesforce.Com New York, NY Mar 10, 2015 $195,203
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
Program Director Noteleaf, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 09, 2016 $100,000 -
$140,000
Program Director Noteleaf, Inc. New York, NY Sep 16, 2015 $100,000 -
$140,000
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 Des Moines, IA Sep 17, 2015 $71,000
Solidarity Microfinance Program Director Iowa Community Capital Boone, IA Sep 17, 2015 $71,000
Director, Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Program Conservation International Arlington, VA Feb 03, 2016 $70,000 -
$80,000

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Top Skills for A Program Director

ProceduresCurriculumDevelopmentClinicalSupervisionFinancialFacilityOversightCommunityOutreachSafetyPolicyMentalHealthChildCareStaffMembersCrisisInterventionHumanResourcesProgramDevelopmentProgramStaffProgramBudgetDailyOperationsSubstanceAbuseAdditional

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Top Program Director Skills

  1. Procedures
  2. Curriculum Development
  3. Clinical Supervision
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Processed payroll, inventory, and established cost control procedures for facility.
  • Staff Supervision, Curriculum Development, Program Management & Fund Development
  • Managed the family services department and provided clinical supervision to 5 clinicians and Masters prepared student interns.
  • Reviewed program activity to assure quality, timely delivery and financial reconciliations met client needs.
  • Maintained the facility and individual resident budgets to provide for daily living expenses.

Top Program Director Employers

Program Director Videos

A Day In The Life Of Aparna Prabhakar, Technology Innovation Program Manager

Aaron Dykes: Review of Dr. Paul Kossey, HAARP Program Director and What HAARP Can Do 1/2

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

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