Job Search

Senior Manager vs. Director: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in management can be both rewarding and challenging. Two common roles in this field are that of a senior manager and a director. Though these positions share some similarities, there are several key differences between them.

In this article, we discuss the differences between a senior manager and a director, and we provide additional management roles you may be interested in pursuing.

What is a Senior Manager?

A Senior Manager is a high-level executive who oversees the work of a team of managers. They develop and implement strategies, set goals and objectives, and monitor progress to ensure that the team is on track. They also provide mentorship and guidance to managers, and act as a liaison between upper management and the team. Senior Managers typically have extensive experience in the field, and may hold a management-level position in a company. They may also have a degree in business administration or a related field.

What is a Director?

Directors are responsible for leading and managing a team of employees in order to achieve specific goals and objectives. They develop and implement strategies, plans and policies to ensure that the team is working efficiently and effectively. Directors also oversee the budget and finances for their team or department, and they may be responsible for preparing reports and presentations to upper management. In some cases, Directors may also be responsible for hiring and firing employees, and they may provide training and development opportunities for staff.

Senior Manager vs. Director

Here are the main differences between a senior manager and a director.

Job Duties

Managers typically have a more hands-on job duty, where they’re required to perform the tasks of their employees. This can include things like completing customer orders, answering customer questions or conducting research. In comparison, directors usually have more administrative duties, such as creating company policies, managing budgets or leading team meetings. While both professionals may perform some of the other’s duties on occasion, managers tend to do so less often than directors.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for a senior manager and director vary depending on the company’s needs. However, most senior managers and directors have a bachelor’s degree in business administration or another related field. Additionally, many companies prefer candidates to have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or another related field. Some companies also require candidates to have several years of experience in a management role before being considered for a senior manager or director position.

Work Environment

Directors typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to visit their employees and clients. Senior managers usually work in an office environment as well, but they may also travel for business purposes. They may also have more responsibilities than directors, such as overseeing multiple departments or projects at once.


The skills required for a senior manager and director can vary depending on the company and industry. However, both roles typically require excellent communication, interpersonal, problem-solving and decision-making skills. Senior managers may also need to have strong team-building skills to create cohesive work groups that can efficiently complete tasks and projects. Directors may need to be more strategic in their thinking, as they are often responsible for developing long-term plans for their department or company. They also may benefit from having financial skills, as they may need to develop budgets and track spending.


The average salary for a senior manager is $127,417 per year, while the average salary for a director is $104,930 per year. The average salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which you work and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


Foreman vs. Superintendent: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Engineer vs. Analyst: What Are the Differences?