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Arts administrator

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Arts administrators help to organise events and exhibitions, manage staff, and look after buildings like theatres or museums.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,000 to £50,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

A degree in arts, events or business studies may be helpful.

Relevant skills and experience are valued by employers. You could get this through volunteering or temporary work like:

  • helping with student or community drama productions or concerts
  • working front of house or at box offices at arts centres, cinemas or theatres
  • taking relevant temporary jobs with arts festivals

Volunteering or temporary work can help you to develop a network of contacts within the industry. Competition for jobs can be strong, so contacts may help you to find work.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

Arts Council England, Creative and Cultural Skills and Voluntary Arts have useful information on careers in the arts. 

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • communication skills
  • excellent organisational skills
  • maths skills for working to budgets
  • IT skills
  • negotiation skills

3. What you'll do

You could work at places like theatres, art galleries, community and disability arts organisations, or local authorities. You'll work in areas like accounting, fundraising, marketing, buildings management and customer care. 

Your day-to-day tasks could include:

  • booking venues and artists
  • negotiating sponsorship and funding
  • promoting events and managing social media
  • helping with staff training
  • managing budgets and keeping records
  • carrying out general administration and selling tickets
You'll also usually be responsible for organising staff to make sure that the building is clean, secure and meets the venue's health and safety laws. 

Your work will depend on the size of organisation you work for. In larger organisations, you may be responsible for just one area of work, or you may work across different departments.

4. Salary

Starter: £13,000 to £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £50,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Your working hours could vary and include evenings, late nights and weekends.

You'll work in an office and also travel to events and performances.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become an arts officer or manager.

You could also take on freelance work or become a consultant.

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Last updated: 13 September 2018