We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Department Head do?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A department head oversees his or her sector of an organization. Heads of department may work in a corporation, institution or nonprofit. Each head of a department may report to a senior manager, vice president or other top executive. Department heads hold the responsibility of making sure that their department of the organization's whole is well run and efficient.

While the exact duties and responsibilities of a department head will vary depending on the industry and specific company, there are many common tasks these professionals share. To head, or lead, an entire department of a business or other organization, it typically takes years of supervisory and managerial experience. Department heads are expected to make decisions and solve problems. They must use their experience to anticipate the needs of the department they oversee.

Planning the best use of an allotted budget and monitoring expenditures is a common department head duty. Quite often, it's the head of a department in a large institution or other organization that approves spending and signs checks for needed supplies. He or she must usually keep records as well as receipts of all purchases and spending to give to the accounting department of their organization. It's up to this leadership position to make sure the budget is well spent on what the department needs to function effectively.

Creating committees to focus on specific departmental issues is another common task expected of many department heads. A head of department also usually prepares project outlines to which he or she often assigns team leaders. The team leaders then supervise the rest of the department's staff while reporting their progress on projects to the head person. Therefore, managing other workers tends to be a regular task of a department head.

The department head of any organization must not only hold meetings with his or her staff, but also attend those run by someone in upper management such as a senior manager or vice president. In these meetings, typically all department heads are asked to participate and inform the others about occurrences in each particular section of the organization. Top management may also assign special projects to the department heads as well as inform them of any changes or new policies. Department heads are often expected to incorporate new ideas into their section in order to make the best use of an organization's resources. For example, the department head of a special needs section of a public school may suggest to the principal that his or her students should have a new computer software program that has proven effective for similar children in other schools.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Glasis — On Mar 09, 2014

As important as it may sound and despite the extra responsibilities the job description entails, a department head is not always paid that much more than the other employees in his or her department.

This is especially true in education. The salary for a department head at a high school or college ranges from around $40,000 to maybe $80,000 on the high end.

This depends on the school budget and sometimes even the actual department.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.