Arts Manager

Oversee an art department with a mix of creative and business skills.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$43,000 – $163,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Arts Managers do?

The Arts Manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of an art department. This art department could be for an advertising agency, an actual art gallery, or a website (among other areas). Wherever they are, the Arts Managers are in charge of how the art in question looks. The fundamental duties of the Arts Manager don’t change. You coordinate the overall direction of the art in a particular space; who is making it, what it’s going to look like, and how it’s going to be presented to whomever is looking at it.

You are often the liaison between the creative team and the more pragmatic, strategic branches of a company, so you have to be able to think with both sides of your brain and to do so quickly. In a large organization, you work under the Art Director, helping them make decisions and oversee the Artists creating your shared vision.

Doing this job well requires more than an aesthetic sensibility: A successful Arts Manger can balance their artistic eye with a keen business sense to shape a vision, then use their interpersonal skills to motivate a team of Artists to create their vision.

To do all this, you’ve got to see the big picture while keeping an eye on the people that are actually painting it, so to speak. One hand on the paint brush and one hand on the accounting books is a good way for you to conceptualize this work. And flexibility is key, so you can deal with last minute adjustments.

Should I be an Arts Manager?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Creative Services Manager

    How to become an Arts Manager

    Most Arts Managers have an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:ak9waa&chl=|certificate+%2811%25%29|associate%27s+%2866%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,66
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