Manager Vs Director Vs Vice President

Managers, directors and vice presidents are all bosses with different responsibilities. This article breaks down each career field along with some interesting job growth information.

Comparing Managers, Directors & Vice Presidents

Managers are those experts hired to run the local units of any company or within certain regions. Directors take care of teams like sales, offices or departments. Vice presidents run the daily activities of an entire company, school or organization. Below is a comparison of these three business positions along with some salary and job growth information.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary* (2017) Job Growth** (2014-2024)
Managers Bachelor's Degree $60,705 (general operations manager) 7% (general operations manager)
Directors Master's Degree preferred $86,108 (operations director) 7% (general operations manager)
Vice Presidents Master's Degree preferred $123,807 (VP of operations) 6% (top executives)

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

Responsibilities of Managers vs. Directors vs. Vice Presidents

Directors, managers and vice presidents represent the hierarchy of the management of a company from top to bottom. Of course these job titles mean different things in different industries. Often in business operations, managers will be found running a local department or small store hiring workers and building a local client base. Directors will be found working towards the goals and mission of the board of directors, leading teams of employees with expertise in specific areas. Vice presidents will answer to the executive director who represents the board and will take care of the daily actions of the company running things from above.

Managers

In the business hierarchy, managers will be found most times at the lower level or working within a specific department of a large company. Managers might be tasked with running a local store, hiring area staff in retail or running the offices. They might find themselves taking care of warehouses or overseeing manufacturing at a factory. Operations managers may be found in charge of logistics, finance, support services or security and answer to directors or regional executives.

Job responsibilities of a manager include:

  • Following the direction of upper management
  • Communicating policy and strategy to their local employees
  • Collaborating with outside sales and vendors
  • Scheduling employee tasks, following budgets, handling payroll

Directors

Directors direct a company's assets through teams and other members of management as directed by the board that sets policies and the mission. Based on the board's desires, it's up to the director to determine outcomes and give guidance to their managers on how to meet sales goals. Directors are vital to protecting the company by designing proper structure and working strategies while mentoring these managers. Directors work closely with finance, payroll, and sales to keep everything running as smoothly as possible.

Job responsibilities of a director include:

  • Directing management in deployment of mission
  • Evaluating employees periodically for promotions
  • Supervising managers during certain projects
  • Preparing budgets for upper management

Vice Presidents

Vice presidents answer to an executive director or chief executive to take the boards approved mission and goals and make them work. VPs are the men or women in charge of the daily activities and spend a lot of their time either completing paperwork and data or meeting with other directors, managers and contractors to implement the company goals. VPs commonly are the face of a company for the public and do their best to protect the company's image and assets.

Job responsibilities of a vice president include:

  • Creating work schedules and budgets for projects
  • Mentoring junior executives to build management skills
  • Collaborating with contractors on many outside projects
  • Brainstorming concepts with creative designers and directors

Related Careers

Managers, directors and vice presidents present a variety of different related careers available to them. Managers, who deal with retail sales and payrolls daily, might consider becoming accountants working on a company's or individual's financial books; directors, who oversee various projects from beginning to end, might choose to become construction managers following through on the work at many building sites; VPs, with knowledge of an organization's finances and budgets, might consider becoming financial managers taking responsibility for a company's financial health.


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