what is a project director?

As a project director, you lead a team of developers, project managers and other workers essential to a project. Since you have prior expertise in project management, you can guide and direct project teams in the activities and risks of a project. You make critical decisions like adjusting project budgets and resources. You also receive regular reports from management teams on the project's progress. The job involves keeping executives informed on project development and requesting additional resources.

Your job as a project director is strategic and tactical rather than managing teams. That means your decisions and project approach should align with broader organisational goals. You also assess risks and advise the management on strategies to avoid them.

When your project manager is handling a complex project, you assist in formulating strategic and operational plans. Your job is to report on financial and programme milestones to ensure internal and external stakeholders are informed of progress, deviations from plans and risks. You also work with project managers to handle issues and organise technical reinforcements and interventions to minimise risks.

Would working as a project director suit your leadership and supervisory skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a project director role.

project director jobs

average project director salary

The median salary of a project director according to ONS is £75,000 per year. Entry-level project directors enjoy a salary of £57,530 annually. When you have many years of experience and transferrable skills, your compensation package is over £92,500 per year. As a project director, you receive many benefits to facilitate your role. Some companies provide transport and housing allowances. You may also receive medical and life insurance covers and overseas travel and accommodation expenses. You also receive generous bonuses for successful projects in the company.

how can I increase my salary as a project director?

Project directors' salaries often depend on their skills, experience and educational level. With a degree, you are likely to earn less than someone with a master's degree and additional certifications. The transferrable skills and years of experience also influence your salary. If you have worked as a project manager in a similar industry, you can bring a fresh perspective to the company and speed up the achievement of strategic goals.

When looking for a better salary, check out top industries with a high demand for project directors. For instance, working in a technology or manufacturing company is likely to be lucrative compared to other sectors. The company's size also impacts your pay since multinationals can pay better salaries than small start-ups.

smiling female typing on laptop keyboard
smiling female typing on laptop keyboard

types of project directors

Some of the types of project directors include:

  • marketing project director: as a marketing project director, you coordinate various projects to promote the company's products. You also ensure the projects align with organisational goals.
  • construction project director: you lead and direct construction teams to accomplish projects on time. You also monitor and manage risks associated with the projects. As the project director, you should keep clients and stakeholders updated on the project's progress.
  • information technology (it) project director: your role is to manage various aspects of IT projects and ensure the realisation of the company's strategy by completing the projects.
  • engineering project director: as a project director in engineering, you work with project managers to plan and coordinate the development of new designs, products and processes. You also help teams secure the necessary resources for the execution of projects.

working as a project director

A project director is a leader whose focus is achieving organisational goals through project implementation. Let's explore the specific responsibilities and career progression you can expect in this role.


education and skills

Become a project director with the following qualifications:

  • university degree: a project director must have at least a bachelor's degree in business management or project management. A degree in another relevant subject can also get you into the role. For instance, you should pursue a degree in computer science or construction management if you plan to work in the IT or construction industries. An MBA also improves your credentials.
  • work experience: as a project director, you need prior experience in project management with well-developed, hands-on skills. You can join internships and start with entry-level jobs in project management.

project director skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a good project director include:

  • excellent communicator: as a project director, you need to communicate clearly and effectively. Communication skills help you articulate the project's goals and visions. You should also express your expectations to the workers and give constructive feedback.
  • enthusiastic: as a leader, your energy affects your team. If you are pessimistic, you will send your team into a downward spiral. You need to portray the positivity and enthusiasm that helps to motivate and inspire your teams.
  • problem solver: in every project, you need to anticipate hitches along the way. Your job is to solve the problems and ensure they don't affect the project goals. If a project needs additional resources, you have to anticipate and acquire them to avoid delays.
  • delegator: as a project director, you delegate many tasks to the right individuals. You need to recognise the personal strengths of each team and assign the tasks accordingly. Delegating tasks also demonstrates the trust you have in your team.


female sitting at office desk
female sitting at office desk


FAQs about working as a project director

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