Program Director

Head up programs in many different industries.
picture of Program Director

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$45,000 – $112,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Program Directors do?

From housing assistance to after-school classes, programs targeted towards the public or specific groups of people require direction, goals, budgets, recordkeeping, and someone to oversee all of these components. That someone is the Program Director. As a Program Director, you can work in a variety of industries, but you have the same common tasks regardless of where you work: leading the troops, managing resources, and making decisions in the best interest of the program.

You might work for the education system, weighing the needs of the students and implementing programs that serve those needs. Other opportunities are found in the not-for-profit arena. Nonprofit organizations commonly employ Program Directors to manage one or more programs, such as job placement, assistance with locating medical care, child protective services, or financial aid. You might even work in broadcasting, making decisions about which shows viewers or listeners want on the television or radio.

Wherever you don your Director’s hat, you’re undoubtedly a decision maker for the organization. But, you don’t make those decisions willy-nilly. You thoroughly research labor costs, volunteer involvement, resource availability, and space constraints. You also consider the budget, account for any timeline restrictions, and most importantly, consider the needs of the clients you serve.

With a new program in place, you keep a close eye on the dollars and cents. After all, a plan doesn’t do you any good if costs spiral unchecked. You also consistently reevaluate the program to make sure it both meets the company’s goals and falls within governmental guidelines.

Should I be a Program Director?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: TV Program Director

    How to become a Program Director

    Program Directors often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:a9hgag&chl=|certificate+%2858%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2830%25%29||doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,58
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