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Managing Director: Job Description & Requirements

A managing director is a senior-level executive that generally focuses on business development, employee recruitment, and client retention. These professionals are employed in a wide variety of industries. Managing directors generally have bachelor's or master's degrees in addition to significant work experience in their chosen fields.

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Job Description of a Managing Director

Managing directors work with other top-tier executives to oversee the operations of companies and organizations across a variety of industries, such as banking, healthcare, marketing, advertising, information technology, and government. They may establish new business contacts, interact with clients, and recruit employees. Managing directors might develop strategic marketing and sales plans to boost profits and efficiency. They may also coordinate the efforts of various departments, such as legal, finance, marketing, and sales, to meet company goals. Some managing directors oversee other managers or department heads, and they often report to top executives and boards of directors.

Managing Director Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that top executives typically hold undergraduate or graduate degrees in business administration or another specialized field relevant to the industries in which they work (www.bls.gov). November 2011 job postings for managing directors on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com noted that employers usually require applicants to hold at least bachelor's degrees, though some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. Additionally, employers often require technical expertise and experience relevant to their specific company or industry.

Essential Skills

The BLS indicates that managing directors and other top executives are effective communicators with excellent leadership skills, management experience and the ability to motivate employees. Additionally, managing directors must be results oriented and creative in addition to having strong business-development skills and the ability to interact with clients, staff and senior management. Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com job postings often cite the need for managing directors who are able to supervise and build teams, delegate responsibility and develop employee talents.

Career Outlook for Managing Directors

The BLS predicted little (about five percent) job growth for top executives over the 2010-2020 period; however, prospects may be slightly better in industries that are expected to experience overall growth, such as healthcare. Salaries also vary by industry, and incentives such as yearly bonuses may significantly impact annual compensation, the BLS said.

PayScale.com reports that most managing directors in sales and marketing, for instance, earn between $34,925 and $215,597, as of November 2013. However, most managing directors working in private investment services earn between $124,116 and $404,493, per PayScale.com, also in November 2013.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics