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Posted On: January 8, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

The following article discusses the career path of Director of Communications. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Director of Communications.

Job Duties

Directors of communications can work in any field, including nonprofits, the government, and private corporations. They hold responsibility for the way their organization communicates both internally and externally. Furthermore, they handle the public relations and media activities for the company. They are the ambassador and spokesperson for their brand and they ensure that the goals of the business are properly communicated. They organize and hold press conferences, speak to the press, write press releases, handle media, and so on.

Typically, they head the overall communications department. This means that they must also provide training and supervision for other staff members, ensuring they are effective, particularly in how they deal with the media. They focus on delivering a positive image of the company, which means that they also ensure that only those with the proper training and experience speak to the media. Furthermore, they build relationships with the local government, attending community meetings, developing volunteer programs, and taking part in outreach programs.

Directors of communications usually have a great deal of experience in handling crises and emergencies. Sometimes, negative press appears, or another emergency may occur, and the director must be able to deal with that as and when it happens. They have to put plans in place for these eventualities and make sure their response is immediate, effective, and appropriate.

Other job duties of directors of communications are:

  • To be the primary liaison and spokesperson for the business when dealing with the media
  • To implement new public relations efforts and supervise news releases
  • To handle press conferences and coverage at events
  • To put strategies in place and obtain the right tools and messages to build a positive brand image

Where We Work

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 31,300 advertising, promotions, and marketing managers in 2016, of which a director of communications is part. The largest employers of these professionals were:

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services: 34%
  • Information: 12%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
  • Wholesale trade: 6%
  • Retail trade: 6%

How to Become

It is common for a director of communication to have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as communications, public relations, or marketing. Because they have to head a department, they often obtain master’s degrees as well, such as the master of business administration (MBA), although this is not a requirement.

Education Requirements

Directors of communications are generally required to hold a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. Usually, they will major in areas such as marketing, communication, journalism, psychology, or advertising. Those who have taken classes in photography, art history, visual arts, communication technology and methods, sales, market research, consumer behavior, and marketing are in the highest demand.

Additionally, it is often advisable to also complete courses in areas such as statistics, mathematics, computer science, finance, economics, management, and business law. This is because these courses will enable a director of communications to best understand methods of driving traffic through communication online, an integral part of modern forms of communication.

Experience is also very important. Most directors of communication completed an internship as part of their degree. They will then have taken up an entry level position, through which they can grow to director position.

Traits & Qualities

The most effective directors of communications have the following traits to some degree or other:

  • Excellent communications skills, both oral and written
  • Leadership qualities
  • The ability to handle pressure

Minimum Education

Bachelor’s Degree

National Salary

The national average salary estimate for Director of Communications was $81,076. This number is estimated from over 710,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $42.23 and monthly of $6,756.

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$16,000

$195,000

Salary Distribution

Salary by State

The following section lists Director of Communications salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Massachusetts had the largest quoted salary of $109,712 while Arkansas had the smallest quoted salary of $40,866.

Alabama Illinois Missouri Rhode Island
Arkansas Indiana North Carolina South Carolina
Arizona Kansas Nebraska Tennessee
California Kentucky New Jersey Texas
Colorado Massachusetts New York Utah
DC Maryland Ohio Virginia
Florida Maine Oklahoma Washington
Georgia Michigan Oregon Wisconsin
Iowa Minnesota Pennsylvania West Virginia
Alabama$70,047 Rank: 19th

The average salary ranks 19th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Auburn University.

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$17,000

$158,000

Salary Distribution
Arkansas$40,866 Rank: 36th

The average salary ranks 36th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Arkansas.

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$15,000

$78,000

Salary Distribution
Arizona$67,450 Rank: 25th

The average salary ranks 25th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Arizona State University, University of Arizona, HUMANE SOCIETY OF SEDONA, and Genuine Concepts.

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$17,000

$149,000

Salary Distribution
California$85,206 Rank: 8th

The average salary ranks 8th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Volunteers of America, The University of California, Santa Rosa Junior College, and nonda (No NDA inc).

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$19,000

$197,000

Salary Distribution
Colorado$71,640 Rank: 18th

The average salary ranks 18th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Metropolitan State University of Denver, Town of Dillon, Blue Sky Bridge, and University of Colorado.

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$20,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
DC$90,398 Rank: 7th

The average salary ranks 7th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Project On Government Oversight, NACCHO, PHADA, and HumanitiesDC.

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$22,000

$203,000

Salary Distribution
Florida$70,019 Rank: 20th

The average salary ranks 20th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Broward College, Broward County Public Schools, University of Miami, and Healthy Home Company.

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$15,000

$165,000

Salary Distribution
Georgia$78,566 Rank: 11th

The average salary ranks 11th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Georgia State University, Emory University, FGP International, and University of West Georgia.

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$17,000

$183,000

Salary Distribution
Iowa$68,678 Rank: 22nd

The average salary ranks 22nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like The University of Iowa, The Crisis Center Of Johnson Cou, and Eastern Iowa Airport.

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$20,000

$144,000

Salary Distribution
Illinois$95,475 Rank: 6th

The average salary ranks 6th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Wheeling Park District, University of Illinois at Chicago, St. John Evangelical United Church of Christ, and Creative Circle.

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$20,000

$228,000

Salary Distribution
Indiana$51,738 Rank: 32nd

The average salary ranks 32nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Notre Dame, State of Indiana, and First United Methodist Church, Bloomington.

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$14,000

$124,000

Salary Distribution
Kansas$56,494 Rank: 30th

The average salary ranks 30th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Kansas and Wamego First United Methodist Church.

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$15,000

$123,000

Salary Distribution
Kentucky$60,141 Rank: 27th

The average salary ranks 27th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Kentucky.

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$14,000

$139,000

Salary Distribution
Massachusetts$109,712 Rank: 1st

The average salary ranks 1st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like CyberCoders, Beacon Hill Staffing, Affinity Executive Search, and CMD And Associates.

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$34,000

$228,000

Salary Distribution
Maryland$78,686 Rank: 10th

The average salary ranks 10th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, American Fisheries Society, University of Maryland University College, and Johns Hopkins University.

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$18,000

$180,000

Salary Distribution
Maine$100,175 Rank: 4th

The average salary ranks 4th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like MMS Group.

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$42,000

$181,000

Salary Distribution
Michigan$73,612 Rank: 15th

The average salary ranks 15th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Oakland University, Central Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, and The University of Michigan.

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$19,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Minnesota$80,015 Rank: 9th

The average salary ranks 9th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like City Of Minneapolis, University of Minnesota, and The Creative Group.

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$20,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Missouri$64,858 Rank: 26th

The average salary ranks 26th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Missouri State University.

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$15,000

$148,000

Salary Distribution
North Carolina$68,038 Rank: 23rd

The average salary ranks 23rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of North Carolina, iGrow Golf, and Wake County Government.

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$14,000

$175,000

Salary Distribution
Nebraska$51,526 Rank: 33rd

The average salary ranks 33rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Nebraska, First United Methodist Church, and State of Nebraska.

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$15,000

$109,000

Salary Distribution
New Jersey$95,862 Rank: 5th

The average salary ranks 5th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like St. Huberts Animal Welfare Center, A Leading Medical Device Company, EPM Scientific, and Rutgers University.

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$23,000

$217,000

Salary Distribution
New York$104,488 Rank: 2nd

The average salary ranks 2nd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, City of New York, Meet Recruitment, and New York City Department of Small Business Services.

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$24,000

$242,000

Salary Distribution
Ohio$67,846 Rank: 24th

The average salary ranks 24th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Columbus State Community College, Cleveland Metroparks, Kent State University, and Ohio State University.

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$16,000

$155,000

Salary Distribution
Oklahoma$53,211 Rank: 31st

The average salary ranks 31st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Oklahoma.

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$14,000

$136,000

Salary Distribution
Oregon$75,663 Rank: 13th

The average salary ranks 13th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Oregon Bach Festival, University of Oregon, Children's Cancer Association, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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$20,000

$167,000

Salary Distribution
Pennsylvania$74,160 Rank: 14th

The average salary ranks 14th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Commonwealth of PA Bureau of State Employment, Harrisburg Area Community College, Morihata Intl LTD, and University of Pittsburgh.

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$14,000

$184,000

Salary Distribution
Rhode Island$101,296 Rank: 3rd

The average salary ranks 3rd among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Brown University.

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$14,000

$276,000

Salary Distribution
South Carolina$47,909 Rank: 34th

The average salary ranks 34th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON and University of South Carolina.

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$14,000

$104,000

Salary Distribution
Tennessee$57,109 Rank: 29th

The average salary ranks 29th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Memphis and University of Tennessee.

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$14,000

$147,000

Salary Distribution
Texas$73,027 Rank: 16th

The average salary ranks 16th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Creative Circle, University of Houston, Lone Star College, and University of Texas System.

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$14,000

$181,000

Salary Distribution
Utah$69,059 Rank: 21st

The average salary ranks 21st among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Utah Valley University and University of Utah.

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$14,000

$175,000

Salary Distribution
Virginia$76,815 Rank: 12th

The average salary ranks 12th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Stafford County Public Schools, Child Life Council, University of Virginia, and George Mason University.

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$17,000

$179,000

Salary Distribution
Washington$72,459 Rank: 17th

The average salary ranks 17th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like State of Washington, Tacoma Community College, Peninsula College, and Pacific Lutheran University.

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$17,000

$164,000

Salary Distribution
Wisconsin$59,291 Rank: 28th

The average salary ranks 28th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin–Madison, The Creative Group, and YWCA.

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$14,000

$134,000

Salary Distribution
West Virginia$42,805 Rank: 35th

The average salary ranks 35th among states in the country. There were also job openings from employers like Redeemer Lutheran Church – LCMS.

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$14,000

$103,000

Salary Distribution

Top 20 National Employers

According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Director of Communications. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.

Employer Name Location Average Salary

Learn More

Related Careers

Career Name Average Salary
Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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