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Department Director

Career Overview

Business department directors oversee specific departments in a wide range of business environments. Directors are responsible for supervising all department activities as well as a variable number of employees, and often prepare reports describing their department’s progress.


Business department directors direct and oversee all activities in their individual department. This often entails developing, maintaining, and training employees on department practices and procedures, monitoring quality and cost of vendors, preparing budget proposals and annual reports, and carrying out supervisory responsibilities for employees such as interviewing, hiring, and training.

Educational Requirements

Business department directors typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business or a field directly related to his or her industry. A master’s or doctorate degree is often preferred, as is three to five years of experience in the field.

Areas of Specialization

There are as many areas of specialization for business department directors as there are business departments. The wide range of business specializations includes public relations, public administration, operations management, marketing, international business, human resources, hospitality management, finance and accounting.

Career Opportunities

Below is a list of possible career options for qualified business department directors. This is not a complete list and serves only as a guide to potential career paths.

  • Accounting Department Director
  • Communications Department Director
  • Finance Department Director
  • Human Resources Director
  • Legal Department Director
  • Marketing Department Director
  • Public Relations Department Director

Salary Ranges

Salaries for business department directors may vary widely by industry. A few examples of salary are as follows: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in May 2006 median annual earnings for compensation and benefits managers were $74,750, while training and development managers earned $80,250 and human resource managers earned $88,510.

Meanwhile the BLS finds that median annual earnings of wage and salary financial managers were $90,970 in May 2006, with large organizations more likely than their smaller counterparts to offer higher salaries.

Professional Organizations

Since networking is a huge part of the competitive business world, professional organizations offer a tremendous resource. Here are a few organizations for business professionals:

ABWA – American Business Women’s Association

ACCED-I – The Association of Collegiate and Events Directors – International

ASAE – American Society of Association Executives

IABC – International Association of Business Communications

eWomen Network

NADCO – National Association of Development Companies

The Alliance of Women’s Business and Professional Organizations