Directors interpret plays or scripts. They manage the actors, crew, sound designers, costume designers, carpenters and everyone involved with putting together a show. They use their knowledge of acting, voice and movement to achieve the best possible show. Directors usually approve any music, costumes, scenery and choreography. They may work on television, movies and plays.

Working Conditions

Directors often work long and irregular hours. There may be frequent travel.


Earnings of directors vary greatly. Most stage directors belong to the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and film directors belong to the Directors Guild of America. While these unions generally determine minimum salaries, any director may negotiate a higher salary. Directors for summer and dinner theaters earn compensation, including royalties, usually ranging from $2,500 to $8,000 for a three- to four-week run of a production. The highest paid stage directors work on Broadway productions, commonly earning $100,000 plus royalties per show.

Helpful Skills and Subjects to Study

Courses in theater, arts, drama, dance and dramatic literature are helpful.

Related Jobs

Actors, producers, choreographers, drama teachers or coaches and dancers are occupations requiring stage skills.

Education & Training

There are no specific training requirements for directors, so they come from many backgrounds. Talent, experience, and business acumen are very important factors of success for directors. Actors, writers, film editors, and business managers commonly enter the occupation. Formal training in directing is available at a number of colleges and universities.

Job Outlook

Even though the employment of directors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations, there will be keen competition for director positions. The glamor of the job combined with the lack of formal entry requirements, will attract many people to this occupation.

Sources for Additional Information

Association of Independent Video and Film Makers
304 Hudson Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10013