Arts administration

Arts administrators work behind the scenes of a range of arts activities, from theatre productions to music festivals, planning and organising to ensure that everything goes to plan. Work can be extremely varied and include administrative duties as well as fundraising, marketing, liaising with artists and organising events.

Getting in and getting experience

There is no set route to becoming an arts administrator. Graduates can enter this profession with any degree, although an arts or events related degree may give you an advantage. The most important requirement is to gain relevant work experience. This can be found through work placements or volunteering and will assist in building relevant skills and useful contacts.

Postgraduate study is not necessary for working in arts administration but it is likely to help build relevant knowledge, insights and contacts. Specialist postgraduate courses, such as Masters in Arts Management, Policy and Practice at the University of Manchester may be available. For other postgraduate courses, search on the Prospects website.

Graduate training programmes are rare in this field. Entry-level paid opportunities may initially be available on a short-term basis and identified through word of mouth. The more people you get to know through involvement with the arts, attending events and talks, the greater your chances of finding out about these opportunities. A few idea to help you get ahead:

  • Volunteer or get involved in arts festivals or organising and promoting student productions, music, arts events etc.
  • Find ways to develop relevant skills through short courses such as writing for the web, or writing for blogs.
  • Build contacts. Our job search strategies will help you tap into the hidden job market.
  • Keep an eye out for vacancies, even those at a higher level so you can check what skills and experience are being sought.

Where can I find out more about careers and job in arts admin?