Entertainment managers plan and organise events of many kinds, from cabaret and discos, to children's activities and street festivals.
Their work differs according to each job and employer, but may include organising:
Some entertainment managers have the same entertainers working with them at regular venues. Others may have to devise full entertainment/event programme's. Tasks may include:
Entertainment managers also carry out administrative tasks such as completing booking paperwork and drawing up contracts. They spend lots of time liaising with fellow staff members, people maintaining equipment, performers and the public.
Entertainment managers usually work flexible hours, and may need to attend evening meetings and performances.
Some entertainment managers are employed permanently or on a fixed-term contract. Others are self-employed and work on separate contracts for each job. Some of the work is seasonal.
Work is usually office-based, but involves spending some time at entertainment venues. These vary in size, quality of facilities and temperature - sometimes they can be hot and smoky, at other times cold and draughty.
The work is likely to involve some travel. It may be necessary to relocate, or stay away from home for long periods. A driving licence is useful, and sometimes required for traveling between venues.
Starting salaries for entertainment managers are around £12,000 a year. Self-employed managers are paid set or negotiated fees for each job.
Entertainment managers are employed by a variety of organisations, including local councils, hotel and leisure companies, cruise and holiday park operators, clubs and individual entertainment/event organisations.
Jobs are available throughout the UK and overseas. More winter work is becoming available as increasing numbers of cruise ships offer winter holidays, and more sophisticated indoor holiday centres are being developed in the UK.
Entertainment manager jobs may be advertised in local or national newspapers, in The Stage, and on the websites of major entertainment and leisure operators. Jobs in hotels, holiday parks, theme parks and cruise ships are advertised at www.residententertainers.com.
There is no set entry route, but previous experience in the entertainment industry is useful, and is often required. Most entrants are adults.
Degrees, foundation degrees and HND's in the following subjects can provide a useful background for management roles in the entertainment industry:
- Business studies
- Event management
Entry to degree courses is with five GCSE's/S grades (A-C/1-3) and a minimum of two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent. Entry to HND courses is with four GCSE's/S grades (A-C/1-3) and one A level/two H grades, or equivalent. Entry requirements may vary, so candidates should check with individual colleges or universities.
'Creative Apprenticeships', covering a variety of creative fields, are being piloted in the London area from September 2006. They are likely to be available nationally from September 2007. Further information is available from Creative & Cultural Skills.
Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships provide structured training with an employer. As an apprentice you must be paid at least £95 per week; you may well be paid more. A recent survey found that the average wage for apprentices was £170 a week. Your pay will depend on the sector in which you work, your age, the area where you live and the stage at which you have arrived in the Apprenticeship.
Entry to Employment (e2e) can help to prepare those who are not yet ready for an Apprenticeship. In addition, Young Apprenticeships may be available for 14- to 16-year-olds. More information is available from a Connexions personal adviser or at www.apprenticeships.org.uk.
There are different arrangements for Apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Training usually involves informal, on-the-job learning. Individual employers may provide training in the form of short courses and workshops.
Some larger organisations may offer opportunities to take formal qualifications such as the ISPAL awards.
Oil Drilling Roustabouts and Roughnecks work as part of a small team on offshore oil or gas drilling rigs or production platforms. Roustabouts do unskilled manual labouring jobs on rigs and platforms, and Roughneck is a promotion from roustabout.
Roustabouts do basic tasks to help keep the rig and platform working efficiently and Roughnecks do practical tasks involved in the drilling operation, under the supervision of the driller.
An entertainment manager should:
In large organisations, it is usual to start as a team leader or assistant manager, and then work up to a management position. It is then possible to progress to head of department or to a wider management role.
There are opportunities to work overseas.
Equity, Guild House,
Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG
Tel: 020 7379 6000
ISPAL, The Grotto House,
Lower Basildon, Reading RG8 9NE
Tel: 0845 603 8734
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.