Executive director

Explore career information by location


How much does an Executive Director make in the United States?

Average base salary
5.3k salaries reported, updated at Jun 27, 2020
per year
The average salary for a executive director is $84,501 per year in the United States and $15,000 profit sharing per year.
Additional compensation
Profit sharing
per year
Most common benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Retirement plan
  • Professional development assistance

What does an Executive Director do?

An executive director is the manager of an organization or corporation. This title is most often used in association with non-profits, whereas for a corporate setting the equivalent would be a CEO . An executive director's responsibilities include planning strategic approaches for the organization and working alongside the board of directors. Opportunities for career advancement in this position could include gaining the title of managing director for an organization or deciding to pursue a board of director's position that's not tied directly to a position.

Working as an Executive Director

An executive director's daily routine may include tasks such as:

  • Working alongside the board in order to fulfill the organization's mission
  • Strategic financial planning, resource, and budget development
  • Working with the board and staff to make sure the mission of the organization is fulfilled through the programs they promote
  • Community outreach and campaign planning
  • Organizing operations in a way that is appropriate for the overall mission of the organization

Where can an Executive Director earn more?

Compare salaries for Executive Directors in different locations
Frequently asked questions
Common questions about being an Executive Director

What is the difference between the executive director and chief executive officer (CEO)?

The title of the executive director is generally reserved for non-profit organizations whereas the title of the chief executive officer (CEO) is used for for-profit businesses and, on occasion, larger non-profits.

Was this answer helpful?

Is an executive director position higher than that of a vice president?

In general, the title of an executive director is a middle-management title. It can be roughly compared to the title of vice president but would generally be considered lower than a senior vice president.

Was this answer helpful?

Is an executive director a board member?

Depending on the state, it can be legal for executive directors to serve on their organizations' governing boards. In general, however, it is not viewed as the ideal business practice because it's seen as a conflict of interest. In the case of the executive director serving on the board, they would be serving as a decision-maker with their supervising power.

Was this answer helpful?

Can an organization have two executive directors?