An executive director performs a function very similar to that of a CEO for a corporation. The title of executive director, however, is usually given to the person that oversees daily operations of a non-profit organization. A person with strong leadership skills and abilities may ask themselves how do I become an executive director?
The career of executive director is a top management occupation, requiring members of the management team to report to the executive director and requiring that the executive director have the last say in all decisions. Usually an executive director will be responsible for all the financial operations of the organization and must be able to account for all funds coming in and for all spending by the organization. At other times, an executive director is asked to work with the media in a public relations capacity and must be able to answer their questions. Job duties are always varied and can be very interesting.
An executive director is required to have at least a Bachelor’s degree, and usually they are required to have a Masters or higher degree in business management, finance or in business from an accredited college. They should have a high level of experience in the field they are in, and many times executive directors have also earned certifications in project management, customer service and marketing. Executive directors usually have a record of proven leadership abilities.
To become an executive director, a candidate’s experience should include a record of successfully managing people, marketing, finance and operations. They should also have experience in human resources. Many executive directors are hired for the job by taking advantage of networking opportunities.
Getting to know others in the industry is beneficial and building industry relationships is crucial. Attending training events and seminars are also good ways to build up relationships that are helpful later when one is looking to become an executive director in a certain field. Being able to show a history of overseeing financial operations is another great way to become qualified to be an executive director.
Demand for executive directors is expected to stay steady into the future as more non-profit organizations are formed globally. An executive director can expect to earn a salary of anywhere from $60,500 to $126,000 or more depending on the nature of the non-profit and commensurate with a candidate’s experience. Higher salaries are available in such industries as scientific consulting and computer systems, and those salaries can be as high as $130,000. The median income is about $91,000.
Executive directors are required to keep up an excellent level of knowledge in their field, and competition for these positions can be intense. For people with excellent organizational skills and communication skills, the executive director career field is the perfect opportunity to let those skills shine and can be a very rewarding career choice. A day in the life of an executive director is never the same. It is always interesting and can be enjoyable especially at times when the executive director is required to attend community events and take part in media interviews. It is a highly rewarding, lucrative career field.