Coordinator Vs Manager Vs Director

Coordinators, managers and directors are necessary professionals when looking at a successful company. This article discusses the duties of these three jobs as they apply to the entertainment business and offers some salary outlook, as well.

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Comparing Coordinators to Managers to Directors

Coordinators are those professionals hired to bring together all parts of a program or project, or they oversee the schedules of personnel and project directors. Managers plan and deploy equipment and materials for a program, show, film or other endeavors. Directors are the creative source and leaders of teams tasked with specific duties. Below is a comparison of these three leadership professions, along with salary figures pertaining to specific positions in the film industry.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Television Production/Continuity Coordinator Bachelor's degree $45,135 9% (producers and directors)
Film Manager Bachelor's degree $61,826 (production managers, film/TV) 9% (producers and directors)
Director Bachelor's degree $58,704 (film directors) 9% (producers and directors)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Coordinators vs. Managers vs. Directors

These three positions could possibly be found at the same company and even working on the same creative arts production. Coordinators make sure people and materials are where they are supposed to be at the right time. Managers take charge of actual production processes and troubleshoot personnel issues or production problems. Directors handle the creative wheel of all projects, set the standards, hire the crews and make sure budgets will cover the costs of the project. Various projects like films, televisions shows, or running a radio station need effective workers in these positions to be successful.

Coordinators

Coordinators are very important to bringing all the parts of a project together like a jigsaw puzzle. They coordinate schedules with personnel who probably work different sites doing different things. Television programs, for instance, need continuity coordinators to make sure scripts match previous plots. They see to it that actors are in the same costumes when scenes are filmed out of sync. These professionals work closely as script supervisors to make sure plots, sets and props all meet the continuity of the show itself from scene to scene.

Job responsibilities of a coordinator include:

  • Mediating with various crew members to explain changes
  • Scheduling of work,such as make-up and rehearsals
  • Coordinating the use of special effects, new technology and software
  • Assessing material, such as surveys and consumer data

Managers

Managers look after projects through their capacity to execute goals, while leading team members and seeing to it those employees have the materials they need to be successful. In film making, production managers look after the content of a film by making sure all quality standards are met, problem solve any work issues, and see to it that crew members stay on task. Managers are typically in charge of all equipment and materials necessary for the film. It's the manager's job to find ways to improve and streamline the production whenever they can.

Job responsibilities of a manager include:

  • Keeping all tools, equipment and materials up to date and working properly
  • Designing schedules on the project and with vendors
  • Training new employees on proper standards
  • Following up on work schedules to make sure projects are on time

Directors

Directors are the creative minds behind teams directing different workers on a variety of jobs. In film, television or even at a radio station, the director has the creative reigns to write, cast, shoot, edit and release a film or television show, or direct the programming of a station. Directors hold the ultimate vision for a project. They choose the scripts, hire the actors, approve the set designs and oversee the editing. Make-up, props, and special effects must usually be approved by them. Failure or success of a program, movie or drive time radio show can be laid at the feet of the director.

Job responsibilities of a director include:

  • Mentoring various assistant or associate directors
  • Guiding camera operators, sound engineers and lighting technicians
  • Working with unions and state officials to establish contracts
  • Collaborating with studio staff, producers and technical advisors

Related Careers

Since coordinators have an interest in planning events, individuals looking at that career might also consider becoming a fundraising consultant, who schedules media events and promotes a candidate or organization. Instead of directing, the more technical aspects of film editing to put together the footage, sound and music of a movie might appeal to job seekers, while those considering a career as a production manager might look at the creative work as an art director to work for a theater company or museum.

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