Difference Between Director & Manager: Salary & Responsibilities

Jun 03, 2020

Comparing Directors to Managers

In most instances, directors are outward looking members of a board of directors for a company and are the face of the company with the public and management. Managers, on the other hand, are inward employees who run teams and individuals to help meet that organization's needs. Below is a comparison of these two professional positions along with some financial information about specific jobs.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2020)* Job Growth (2018-2028)**
Directors Bachelor's Degree $90,372 (business directors) 6% (top executives)
Managers Bachelor's Degree $61,426 (business managers) 7% (general and operations managers)

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Directors vs. Managers

Directors and managers mean different things to a variety of industries. In Hollywood, a director is the person in charge of a film from casting to final production. In sports, a manager is the individual who ensures players are in shape and have what they need to be successful. In business, and in most cases, the director is the representative of the board who gives voice to management about the board's goals and policies. Further, managers are experts in charge of personnel and employees, often overseeing a myriad of day-to-day tasks within a company. Managers take orders from directors and motivate personal to meet those goals. Simply put, directors are a part of the executive team of a company devising goals, while managers are employees in charge of a team or teams within the company tasked with meeting these goals.


Directors work with other directors as members of a board to set policy, vision and mission for the company. These people normally answer to shareholders who have questions and expect financial results. It is up to the director to determine successful business strategies and guide management towards implementing these strategies to meet the board's goals. Since it is vital for directors to protect the company, they are tasked with structuring the company, supervising managers, and disciplining staff to ensure company goals are met. Directors typically work in an office environment, though travel may be required to with clients when necessary.

Job responsibilities of a director include:

  • Directing management in implementation of strategies
  • Evaluating teamwork in conjunction with the meeting of goals
  • Supervising managers throughout time sensitive projects
  • Preparing and analyzing board directed budgets


Managers work primarily out of their offices and take direction on how the company should operate from the director. They hire their team members and manage how each team will fulfill the board's goals. These individuals motivate their employees and act as mentors and teachers at times. Managers run important daily tasks, which could include working up drafts, presenting ideas and concepts, coordinating staff members, and staying within the operating budget for their department.

Job responsibilities of a manager include:

  • Following the lead of the board and the director
  • Communicating clearly policies and strategies with the teams
  • Collaborating with other departments and outside vendors
  • Scheduling and assigning team projects and individual employee tasks

Related Careers

Directors and managers have an open field of related careers available to them. Aspiring directors may also look into becoming financial analysts providing investment assessments to individuals or businesses. Alternatively, managers might consider becoming accountants working on the financial books or tax files of people and companies.

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