Communications DirectorJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

A communications director is the overseer in the line of communication between an organization and the public. They are responsible for supervising all forms of communication, such as press statements, newsletters, websites, social media presence, crisis communications, fundraisers, panel discussions, and public interviews. 

To excel at this job, it is highly important that a communications director have excellent verbal and written communication skills. It is also equally important that they have trusted PR Specialists, media professionals, and others that they can rely on to provide assistance and feedback. Communications directors also need to be up to par on trend awareness and personnel management. The role of a communications director is they are essentially a PR manager. 

Sample job description

[Your company name] is in need of a communications director for our facility. As communications director, you would be responsible for supervising all means of communication between our company and the public. This position requires strong written and verbal communication skills, excellent people skills, and strong leadership skills. Our communications director will be a leader responsible for overall communication strategy & marketing campaign development related to assigned initiatives and segments across multiple portfolios, business units, and product segments. This individual will serve as a strategic partner to the rest of our executive team.

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Create and implement multi-channel communications strategies 
  • Create and distribute the communications department budget
  • Lead the communications department
  • Prepare and manage all communications material
  • Develop and maintain brand image

Education and experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, marketing, advertising, communications, or another related field
  • 5+ years of professional experience

Required skills and qualifications

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Driven leadership skills
  • Familiarity with social media platforms, Google Analytics, and Google Ad Words
  • Proficient in technology
  • Experienced leadership skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Project management skills
  • Highly sociable
  • Creative skills
  • Well articulated

Preferred qualifications

  • Proven communications experience
  • Master’s degree in related field

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a Communications Director is $100,350. Salary will likely vary depending on location, industry, company and size of organization.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$105,650$129,150
Los Angeles, California$119,200$145,700
Denver, Colorado$99,300$121,400
Washington, DC$121,000$147,900
Miami, Florida$98,850$120,850
Orlando, Florida$91,200$111,450
Tampa, Florida$92,100$112,550
Atlanta, Georgia$96,600$118,100
Chicago, Illinois$111,050$135,750
Boston, Massachusetts$120,100$146,800
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$95,700$117,000
New York City, New York$126,400$154,500
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$102,950$125,800
Dallas, Texas$100,250$122,500
Houston, Texas$99,750$121,950
Seattle, Washington$115,600$141,250
National Average$90,300$110,350

Typical work environment

The typical work environment for a communications director is inside their company’s office building. They spend a lot of time in their personal office space along with conference rooms where they’re meeting with team members. They also spend quite a bit of time traveling to press conferences, media appearances, product launches, and other corporate events.

Typical hours

Communication directors work a typical 40-hour workweek. They may occasionally have to work overtime whether it be late nights, weekends, or even some holidays. Company deadlines are very important in the communications field. Special cases like a company crisis don’t wait for holidays or weekdays. Communication directors are essentially always on call for such scenarios. 

Available certifications

Certifications are an excellent way to increase your knowledge and boost your marketability as a communications director. While there are several to choose from, here are just a few of the available options:

  • Accredited Business Communicator (ABC). The ABC showcases that you are a communications professional. Obtaining this requires at least two years of education or training after high school and a minimum of two years of work experience. Candidates must pass the exam and recertify every 12 months.
  • Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS). Communications directors are important marketers, and the CAS will set a candidate apart from the rest. This certification requires a minimum of two years of education or training after high school and at least two years of work experience. Candidates must pass an exam. Certification renewal is required every three years.
  • Certified Resume Specialist: Public Relations and Marketing Communications (CRS+PR). If you’re working in PR or marketing communications, this is truly the best certification you can get. Not only will it help you hire new individuals, but it will also help you create the best resume for yourself. The CRS+PR requires candidates to pass an oral or written exam. Recertification is required every five years.

Career path

The most logical first step to becoming a communications director is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in a related field. This is an upper-level position that will require higher education. Many directors will obtain a master’s degree on top of their bachelor’s in marketing, communications, or business. Once finished with school, gaining the required work experience in the communications field is imperative. You’ll need anywhere from five to ten years of experience.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-3031

2020 Employment272,300
Projected Employment in 2030303,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift31,200 increase

While the marketing field has shifted from traditional marketing methods to more technologically advanced methods like social media and other avenues, the field of marketing itself isn’t going anywhere. As long as there are consumers, there will be suppliers. And as long as there are suppliers, there will be a need for marketing.

Sample interview questions

  • How do you build trusting relationships with journalists/reporters?
  • What role do you think honesty and deception play in the communications field?
  • Have you ever had a situation where you were put into crisis mode? Tell me about it. 
  • If the company you’re working for suddenly has a PR disaster, how would you handle it?
  • What communications decisions would you delegate to your staff rather than handle yourself?
  • When was a time that your advice helped the company turn a new leaf? Describe it to me.
  • What would you consider the key to success when communicating with the public?
  • Was there ever a time in your last position where you felt you didn’t handle communications correctly? What was it and how did you manage the fallout?
  • Describe a time when you successfully persuaded another person to change his/her way of thinking or behavior.
  • How would you describe your communications style?
  • Why do you think you’d be a good fit for the communications director position at our company?

Are You Interested in Becoming a Communications Director?

If you are interested in becoming a communications director, we are ready to connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our available job openings. If a job does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path as a communications director could be right around the corner. Take a look at our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.

Similar Job Titles and Careers

  • Communications Manager
  • Reporter
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Communications Officer 
  • Community Development Director
  • Community Relations Director
  • Director of Public Affairs

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