Executive Director Vs Vice President

Executive directors and vice presidents are vital to the success of different companies. Both of these positions and their responsibilities are detailed in this article along with their salary information.

Comparing Executive Directors to Vice Presidents

Executive directors work directly for a board of directors to look after the company, help devise business goals and implement strategies throughout the organization. Vice presidents, on the other hand, use the goals as given them by the board to increase the company's bottom line. Below is information about these two executive professions along with some job outlook figures.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2014-2024)**
Executive Director Master's degree preferred $77,404 6% (top executives)
Vice President Master's degree preferred $123,865 (VP of operations) 6% (top executives)

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

Responsibilities of Executive Directors vs. Vice Presidents

Both of these positions are considered upper management for any company, business or college. They both are tasked with designing the future success of an organization from the top down. Executive directors answer to the board of directors and usually work with them to design the company's mission, goals, and strategies. Vice presidents, on the other hand, are hired by the director to deploy the mission and run the company's day-to-day actions. Their main efforts are to keep the company profitable and expand the business.

Executive Directors

The board of directors of any company must hire someone to run the company and help them with the big decisions that will affect not only employees but investors as well. The board looks out for investors' interests first and thus needs an executive director who can find the proper employees to meet the goals as set by the board. Most executive directors are the public face of the company. They meet regularly with various groups including the board, other executives, and staff who will direct operations throughout management.

Job responsibilities of an executive director include:

  • Keeping current on the latest changes in the business culture
  • Mediating work assignments with lower management and board directors
  • Presenting strategies, changes or updates to various groups
  • Promoting new team members, concepts or alterations to the public

Vice Presidents

Vice presidents, especially those in charge of operations, answer to the executive director and are tasked by them to run the company's daily activities. They look after buying and selling, client building and ways to expand the business. They are goal driven based on the latest data and company surveys and must be able to see new trends and make adjustments to keep the company in the forefront. VPs are the liaisons between the staff, management, board, and vendors keeping everyone informed and on the same schedule. These executives meet regularly with any design staff as well as the sales force for updates and assessing trend changes.

Job responsibilities of a vice president include:

  • Teaching and mentoring junior executives and department directors
  • Brainstorming with art directors and graphic designers
  • Working under schedule and budget deadlines
  • Collaborating with vendors on outside programs and projects

Related Careers

Those excited by the management of businesses in careers like an executive director, might find similar responsibilities in the realm of postsecondary school administration. Also, those looking to direct a company's day-to-day activities as a vice president, might look into becoming a sales manager running a force to sell the company brand.

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