The Average Salary of a Managing Director


Managing director is a catchall title that refers to executives who run companies, divisions or corporate departments. Managing directors hire and manage employees, institute polices, and develop strategies to increase sales and profits. They also forecast revenues and manage company or department budgets. Their salaries vary, depending on their experience and geographical location.

Salary at $180,000

  • Salaries for managing directors represent only part of their overall pay. They may also receive bonuses and stock options that elevate their annual compensation to more than $1 million. On average, managing directors made $180,000 in 2014, according to Glassdoor. Although qualifications vary, depending on the functional areas in which managing directors work—marketing, accounting or operations—most have at least a bachelor’s degree.

High Earnings in Securities Industry

  • Managing directors’ salaries—at an average $180,000—are comparable to those of CEOs, who earned $178,400 in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, because many managing directors work as CEOs. Managing directors may also earn higher salaries in similar industries as CEOs, who averaged $234,610 and $228,900 in the securities and commodities and tobacco manufacturing industries, respectively, according to the BLS.

Competitive at the Top

  • The BLS reports an 11 percent projected increase in jobs for top executives from 2012 to 2022, which mirrors the national rate for all U.S. occupations. Managing directors who aren’t already CEOs may need to earn master’s degrees in business or accounting and accumulate 10 or more years of experience to advance to top positions. Still, they will compete with many other talented executives vying for CEO jobs. Some options for job seekers include moving to larger cities or targeting jobs in growth industries, such as computer systems designs or renewable energy.

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