What is a Senior Director

The senior director of a company or corporation is a managerial position that oversees a larger portion of the company than a director, having been on the job for a significant amount of time with considerable experience behind their back.

Senior directors may work in various departments of a corporation, such as communication, financing, or research. Their duties vary based on their field, but they always focus on the big picture: setting up company goals and policies in alignment with the mission of the business and coming up with plans to expand the range of activities, making the company grow.

They might supervise marketing material, making sure the brand or message of the company is consistent, or monitor earnings and financial forecasts. Whatever their particular field, they will spend their time collecting data to evaluate company performance, developing financial plans for efficient operations, supervising work, and making sure company goals are met.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior director. For example, did you know that they make an average of $79.66 an hour? That's $165,701 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 21,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Director Do

There are certain skills that many senior directors 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 creativity, interpersonal skills and organizational skills.

Learn more about what a Senior Director does

How To Become a Senior Director

If you're interested in becoming a senior director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 68.7% of senior directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 21.0% of senior directors have master's degrees. Even though most senior directors 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 senior director. When we researched the most common majors for a senior director, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior director resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior director. In fact, many senior director jobs require experience in a role such as director. Meanwhile, many senior directors also have previous career experience in roles such as vice president or manager.

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Average Salary
$165,701
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
111,865
Job Openings
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Senior Director Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Senior Director

Senior Directors in America make an average salary of $165,701 per year or $80 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $240,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $114,000 per year.
Average Salary
$165,701
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Senior Director Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Senior Director. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Senior Director Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Senior Director resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

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Senior Director Demographics

Senior Director Gender Statistics

male

64.8 %

female

31.4 %

unknown

3.8 %

Senior Director Ethnicity Statistics

White

73.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.5 %

Asian

8.9 %

Senior Director Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

42.2 %

French

16.1 %

German

9.2 %
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Senior Director Education

Senior Director Majors

29.1 %
6.7 %

Senior Director Degrees

Bachelors

68.7 %

Masters

21.0 %

Associate

4.6 %

Top Colleges for Senior Directors

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

2. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495

5. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

9. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

10. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990
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Top Skills For a Senior Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.1% of senior directors listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and interpersonal skills are important as well.

12 Senior Director RESUME EXAMPLES

Best States For a Senior Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior director. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Delaware, California, and Montana. Senior directors make the most in Washington with an average salary of $182,674. Whereas in Delaware and California, they would average $171,530 and $165,067, respectively. While senior directors would only make an average of $159,731 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Senior Director Jobs:
994
Highest 10% Earn:
$261,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Senior Director Jobs:
164
Highest 10% Earn:
$259,000
Location Quotient:
0.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. West Virginia

Total Senior Director Jobs:
270
Highest 10% Earn:
$240,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Senior Directors

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Top Senior Director Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ senior directors and discovered their number of senior director opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Walmart was the best, especially with an average salary of $172,403. Oracle follows up with an average salary of $219,804, and then comes Pfizer with an average of $210,404. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a senior director. The employers include CVS Health, Experian, and Dell

Senior Director Videos

Senior Director FAQs

How do you get promoted to senior director?

To get promoted to senior director, a person must be an expert leader in their field. Additionally, they must have a deep understanding of the inner workings of their particular organization.

To get promoted from manager to director level is a competitive space. Qualified senior candidates need to highlight their leadership success and understand what differentiates them from other managers at their current level.

The most important skill required for senior managers and directors to be promoted to senior director is developing and delivering strategies. This may require a different mindset from your current role and the level of responsibility and higher levels of ownership than you may have experienced so far in your career.

To be successful in getting a promotion to senior director requires a candidate to exhibit a strong ability to lead and inspire others, be confident in solving problems and decision-making, alongside create clear implementation plans to drive results.

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How many years does it take to become a senior director?

It typically takes 15 or more years to become a senior director. While the time can vary depending on industry and individual career track, senior directors are typically required to have at least a bachelor's degree and ten years of experience within the industry.

Depending on the size and structure of the company, a senior director is either executive level or just below it. This means that it requires significant experience combined with high levels of success within that experience.

Because of this, a variety of personal factors influence how long it takes to become a senior director. The ideal person to quickly become a senior director has exhibited a history of successful leadership, manages high-performing teams, and has demonstrated a pattern of highly successful projects.

Without all of the above qualities, it might take someone longer to become a senior director. One other significant factor in becoming a senior director is personal drive. A person driven to enter senior leadership and goes out of their way to get noticed by current leadership will become senior directors far quicker.

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Is a senior director higher than a director?

Yes, a senior director is a higher position than a senior director. Not all companies have both senior director and senior director positions; however, it is important to understand the structure of a particular company to determine what level a specific senior director position might be.

A director is usually a department or division head in a business. The director supervises and leads a group of managers and employees in a particular area of an organization. The director title usually refers to the first stage or lowest level in an executive team.

For large businesses with more than one director level, the senior director might have more responsibilities and be in charge of a larger part of the organization than a typical director. These designations are generally based on rank, with the highest director position being the executive director or director of operations.

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What are the responsibilities of a senior director?

The responsibilities of a senior director vary by department but center around the strategic and tactical management of a significant piece of the company. Senior directors ensure that every aspect of the company they oversee is performing to allow for optimal and strategic growth.

Common responsibilities of a senior director include:

  • Overseeing managers and other employees in their department

  • Developing and implementing policies for executives to review

  • Reporting to senior-level executives such as the vice president

  • Planning, directing, and coordinating department efforts

  • Understanding and creating department budgets for upper management

  • Evaluating and developing strategies and plans for departmental success

  • Ensuring a healthy work environment for their employees and managers

Overall, senior directors are responsible for the success of their division. This in turn contributes to the overall success of the company, which ensures continued growth and better profits.

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Updated August 18, 2021