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Career profile Director

Also known as Artistic Director, Director, Executive Producer, News Producer, Newscast Producer, Producer, Radio Producer, Technical Director, Television News Producer, Television Producer (TV Producer)


Also known as Artistic Director, Director, Executive Producer

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$36,070 - $184,660 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
Knowledge Areas
  • Communications and Media
  • Administration and Management
  • Computers and Electronics
Core tasks
  • Hire principal cast members and crew members, such as art directors, cinematographers, and costume designers.
  • Select plays, scripts, books, news content, or ideas to be produced.
  • Hold auditions for parts or negotiate contracts with actors determined suitable for specific roles.
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What does a Director do?

Directors produce or direct stage, television, radio, video, or film productions for entertainment, information, or instruction.

In addition, Directors responsible for creative decisions, such as interpretation of script, choice of actors or guests, set design, sound, special effects, and choreography.

What kind of tasks does a Director perform regularly?

Directors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Write and edit news stories from information collected by reporters and other sources.
  • Communicate to actors the approach, characterization, and movement needed for each scene in such a way that rehearsals and takes are minimized.
  • Plan details such as framing, composition, camera movement, sound, and actor movement for each shot or scene.
  • Direct live broadcasts, films and recordings, or non-broadcast programming for public entertainment or education.
  • Coordinate the activities of writers, directors, managers, and other personnel throughout the production process.
  • Study and research scripts to determine how they should be directed.
  • Supervise and coordinate the work of camera, lighting, design, and sound crew members.
  • Confer with technical directors, managers, crew members, and writers to discuss details of production, such as photography, script, music, sets, and costumes.
  • Research production topics using the internet, video archives, and other informational sources.
  • Review film, recordings, or rehearsals to ensure conformance to production and broadcast standards.
  • Consult with writers, producers, or actors about script changes or "workshop" scripts, through rehearsal with writers and actors to create final drafts.
  • Identify and approve equipment and elements required for productions, such as scenery, lights, props, costumes, choreography, and music.
  • Conduct meetings with staff to discuss production progress and to ensure production objectives are attained.
  • Establish pace of programs and sequences of scenes according to time requirements and cast and set accessibility.
  • Compile scripts, program notes, and other material related to productions.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as preparing operational reports, distributing rehearsal call sheets and script copies, and arranging for rehearsal quarters.
  • Resolve personnel problems that arise during the production process by acting as liaisons between dissenting parties when necessary.

The above responsibilities are specific to Directors. More generally, Directors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

What is a Director salary?

The median salary for a Director is $76,400, and the average salary is $96,690. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Director salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Directors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Directors earn less than $36,070 per year, 25% earn less than $51,760, 75% earn less than $118,020, and 90% earn less than $184,660.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Directors is expected to change by 24.0%, and there should be roughly 15,600 open positions for Directors every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$36,070 - $184,660
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Directors?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Director are usually higher in their Enterprising and Artistic interests.

Directors typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Directors typically have very strong Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Director tend to value Independence, Recognition, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Directors very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Directors very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Lastly, Directors very strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Directors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as stress tolerance, attention to detail, and leadership.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Directors, ranked by importance:

Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Directors need?

Many Directors will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Directors usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Directors

  • 0.5% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 5.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 13.1% completed some college coursework
  • 5.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 58.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 15.0% earned a Master's degree
  • 2.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Directors

Directors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as communications and media, administration and management, or computers and electronics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Directors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Important Abilities needed by Directors

Directors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Directors need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Directors, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Critical Skills needed by Directors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Directors frequently use skills like speaking, active listening, and critical thinking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Directors, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.