CAREERS BLOG: Top Tips for working in Arts Administration

UoY Careers Imagine the possibilities LARGE dark green Careers blog written by Kate Copland, Careers Adviser, Careers. 

This blog was first posted in August 2014. 

For many people, working in the Arts is inspiring, exciting, rewarding and more of a way of life than a job. If you share that passion, here’s some top tips from industry insiders:

1) There’s no set career path- most people start at the bottom and work their way up, seizing opportunities for progression as they arise. Being both proactive and resilient is highly important in order to capitalise on networks and opportunities but also recover from setbacks like redundancies or short term contracts ending.

2) Be prepared to muck in! Having a positive attitude and being flexible is essential as limited resources can mean working long hours and helping out in other areas. For example, a curator of a regional museum recounted unblocking the toilets in his ageing building on numerous occasions and the director of a national music centre still picks up litter in her venue.

3) Understand that the Arts have a business side; consequently skills like numeracy, problem solving and IT are essential. Working in the box office of an Arts organisation can help develop these skills and give insights into the commercial aspects of the organisation.

4) Fundraising via philanthropy, sponsorship and applying for government grants, is a very important aspect of Arts Administration. Therefore strong interpersonal skills and the ability to network and persuade others are essential.

5) Another way many Arts organisations raise money is through hiring their venue out for events like weddings and conferences. As a result Events Management is an increasingly important job role within the sector.

6) Job hunting is mainly via networking in this sector, so it’s important to build up contacts. Volunteering is a great starting point for finding out more about the sector, exploring the different roles within it and starting to build contacts.

Want to know more about the Arts & Heritage sector, volunteering and internship opportunities? See our information sheets on Considering Arts & Heritage, Work Experience in Arts & Heritage at and

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