Senior Director Vs Vice President

Though senior directors and vice presidents are key members of the corporate elite, readers will see there are differences between their responsibilities, salaries, and career outlooks.

Comparing Senior Directors to Vice Presidents

Senior directors may work in many corporate departments, including communication, research and evaluation, or financing. Vice presidents, on the other hand, may be responsible for general operations, leading lucrative business programs, or heading hiring departments.

Job Title Educational Requirements Average Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2016-2026)**
Senior Directors Bachelor's Degree $160,345 -3% (Chief Executives)
Vice Presidents Bachelor's Degree $155,967 8% (Top Executives)

Sources: *Glassdoor, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Senior Directors vs. Vice Presidents

Senior directors and vice presidents work in various departments within an organization, and their duties may change based on their particular field of focus. Their general goal, however, is to set goals and policies that support the company's purpose and objective. Importantly, both are hands-on with their staff and interact with them on a daily basis. Vice presidents are often tasked with finding the best people for specific roles, while senior directors commonly initiate plans to expand the company and its projects.

Senior Directors

When working in communication, senior directors supervise the marketing material of the company, such as printed ads and the social media presents. Part of their responsibility is ensuring the company brand is consistent throughout all marketing material. Those senior directors involved in research and evaluation implement and design research projects and supervise the creation of findings reports. Their goal is to keep the research supporting programs, such as healthcare, heading in the right direction. Finally, for those working in financing, the day is spent controlling the corporate finances by monitoring the business earnings and determining if it meets performance forecasts.

Job responsibilities of a senior director include:

  • Determining the overall company brand that will be built into all products or services
  • Supervising various programs to ensure they are meeting goals
  • Gathering data to evaluate the programs a company is undergoing
  • Developing financial and spending strategy

Vice Presidents

Vice presidents develop policies related to sales techniques, while building positive customer relations and the workplace culture that can drive staff retention. They study workflow analytics to determine employee productivity before delegating tasks to ensure the most skilled employees are responsible for a task. There are also vice presidents who focus on account management, and they supervise the client account staff to determine whether the company's customer service meets its policies. These vice presidents also confirm that client requirements and expectations are being met. Finally, those in operations may supervise the production of goods and even develop relationships with vendors who may carry the company's products.

Job responsibilities of a vice president include:

  • Providing for staff training to ensure everyone is familiar with the project on which they are focusing
  • Attending staff meetings, including those with chief executive officers and presidents
  • Implementing hiring strategies and even personally hiring members of project staff
  • Setting sales goals

Related Careers

As someone interested in a future as a senior director, you could consider a career as a director of operations, as both control the policies for the company. On the other hand, if a position as a vice president seems interesting, you could explore a future as a chief executive officer, as both help to run organizations.

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