What Does an Administrative Director Do? (With Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Administrative directors are business experts who can help a company optimise its day-to-day operations and allocate funds effectively. Individuals who are detail-oriented and enjoy brainstorming business strategies may aspire to this type of position. By gaining some fundamental information about administrative directors, you can better determine if this profession is right for you. In this article, we answer the question 'what does an administrative director do', provide average salary information, describe some common requirements, list key skills, discuss how to apply for this role and include a sample job description.

What does an administrative director do?

An administrative director oversees all operational tasks for a company, meaning they help ensure all departments can conduct both long-term projects and day-to-day responsibilities. They often prepare procedures so managers can better understand how to perform a business operation, then train the staff members working in their departments. These senior executives also handle budgeting processes, correspond with contractors and report activities to a company's owners or other officials. Administrative directors can work in a variety of industries, including health care facilities, academic institutions and non-profit organisations.

Here are some common responsibilities for an administrative director:

  • maintain a company's database to ensure all personnel have access to key information and historical records

  • provide logistics support for staff meetings and other events, including preparing materials, sending session instructions and training facilitators

  • communicate with all members of an organisation on policy and staff changes

  • manage a company's accounts, including purchasing efforts and the staff payroll

  • coordinate safety training for personal and equipment testing

  • evaluate staff data to ensure every department has the resources and support to complete projects and tasks

Related: Administrative Work: Definition, Requirements and Skills

What is the average salary for an administrative director?

An administrative director makes an average base salary of $286,404 per year. This number can vary based on several factors, including a candidate's education level and previous work experience. A company's budget and other financial requirements may also affect a candidate's wages.

What are the requirements to become an administrative director?

To earn this senior position, a hiring manager may search for a job candidate who has certain qualifications. Here are some requirements you may encounter:

Education

Many companies and organisations prefer administrative directors to earn a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting or another financial field. Afterwards, you can also earn a master's degree in business administration to deepen your knowledge and increase your chances of finding a job position in the future. Students in these programmes often study business research methods, entrepreneurship, economics and customer or client relations management.

Training

It's important for an aspiring administrative director to gain several years of administrative and leadership experience, as this type of position often requires you to monitor all areas of a business and provide critical support for management. Some bachelor's degree programmes offer access to outside internship experiences, where you can learn how to use your skills and receive guidance from experts in the field. To further develop your business knowledge and skills, you can search for administrative jobs after you graduate, then seek a management position in the future.

Related: The Best Times To Apply for an Internship (Plus Tips From a University Creer Coach)

Certifications

Some companies only prefer you to complete a bachelor's or master's degree, while others may have a professional certification requirement. You can also supplement your knowledge by taking an additional course, as hiring managers may value this type of experience on a CV and appreciate your dedication to the field. Here are some examples of certifications you can earn:

  • Certified Facility Manager (CFM): Offered by the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), this examination tests your knowledge in a series of relevant topics, including risk management and leadership strategies.

  • Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP): Offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), this course can teach you how to develop operational strategies. To earn the credential, you're required to complete an exam after completing the class.

  • Certificate in Business Information Technology: This course instructs you in computer programming and network management. It may be especially helpful for graduates who focused on other subjects during their degree programme.

  • Executive Certificate in Digital Business and Innovation: This course teaches you how to prepare business strategies using modern technology and help a company adjust to new systems.

Skills for an administrative director

An administrative director requires multiple hard and soft skills to become an effective leader in a company. Consider the following key examples:

  • Communication: It's important for an administrative director to understand the best ways to convey information to different individuals, including managers, executives, clients and suppliers.

  • Budgeting skills: Administrative directors help prepare accurate budgets and other financial resources for each department in a company. As a result, they may benefit from learning some accounting concepts.

  • Computer skills: These professionals typically use various hardware and software to conduct important tasks throughout a workday, including analysing information and processing invoices. They may also perform information technology tasks, like researching clients through customer relationship management (CRM) software.

  • Problem-solving skills: By using critical thinking and separating tasks into step-by-step processes, these professionals can better design operational strategies. They also use problem-solving to manage personnel.

  • Project management knowledge: It's important for administrative directors to learn how to plan long-term strategy projects for an entire company. As a result, they may know how to delegate tasks and create timelines or schedules.

  • Data analysis: Administrative directors often review a company's operations data to ensure departments can meet their deadlines successfully and perform efficient work processes. They may evaluate this data to identify areas of improvement and make recommendations to a company's CEO.

  • Organisation: As administrative directors often assess multiple areas of a business simultaneously, it's important they understand how to prioritise their schedule, prepare a neat workspace and maintain a consistent workflow.

  • Interpersonal skills: These professionals typically engage with stakeholders on a day-to-day basis, so it's often helpful if they know how to form positive connections with others in the workplace. They may also become mentors for entry-level employees.

  • Report writing skills: Having high-quality writing skills can help an administrative director write effective reports and policy documents, especially as they may distribute files to various personnel in a company.

  • Language skills: It's often helpful for this professional to know multiple languages to best engage with a clientele. Some examples include English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Related: Administrative Skills: Definition, Duties and Examples

How to become an administrative director

Follow these steps to find a job as an administrative director:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. As some administrative directors have a secondary specialisation in human resources (HR) or information technology, you might benefit from double-majoring in these subjects or taking some additional courses. Consider discussing your options and aspirations with an academic mentor, as they may have helpful insights.

  2. Complete an internship. Use your university's resources or research online to find an administrative internship that best aligns with your interests. For example, if you're double-majoring in business and human resources, it may be helpful to focus on learning personnel operations.

  3. Find an entry-level position. Consider looking for an administrative assistant job, as working in this position can help you learn fundamental skills and industry knowledge for a leadership role. You might benefit from finding a mentor who can help you navigate your career path.

  4. Take a certification course. Research online to see if there are any certifications that may enhance your qualifications. For example, gaining a credential in a common software program for your profession and industry may impress hiring managers in the future.

  5. Consider a master's degree. Attending another programme might increase your chances of finding a leadership position in an administrative department, as you can better demonstrate your business knowledge. To assess your options, it may be helpful to connect with any mentors from your university or consult with your supervisor at work.

  6. Apply for management roles. If you prefer to remain at the same company, consider taking assignments at work that best show your leadership skills, such as innovating a new workflow system. You can also apply to other organisations that offer more job responsibilities and opportunities to lead projects.

  7. Find a directorship position. After working in a management role for at least five years, you can begin applying for administrative director positions. Consider maintaining positive connections with previous supervisors and colleagues, as they may share opportunities they find.

Related: How to Apply for a Job (With Tips for Different Situations)

Administrative director job description example

Here's a sample job description for an administrative director:

Centric Industries is searching for an experienced and highly skilled administrative director to help us create effective operational protocols and manage the budgets for each department. Our ideal candidate is a personable individual with keen business knowledge and financial skills. Here are some key qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in business administration

  • Master's degree in a relevant field

  • 15 years of administrative experience

  • Exceptional leadership qualities

  • Strong database management skills

  • Exemplary problem-solving and analytical skills

Please send a resume and cover letter to f.leung@email.com to apply. We look forward to receiving your application materials!

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed. Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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