Operations & Administration

Photo depicting staff seated at a large table with computers

Are you curious about how your humanities background applies to careers in operations and administration? We’ve included information below on different positions within this space at entry-level, mid-career, and senior-level positions.

Click on any of the topics in the menu below to learn more about typical responsibilities, necessary skills, general salary information, and other resources.

(Not interested in Operations? Check out the Career Resources page to browse other interesting job titles and info!)

Why would this field appeal to someone with a humanities / liberal arts degree?

Our goal is to connect humanities graduates with jobs that are interesting, can draw on their skills in some way, and provide a stable (and even thriving) income. Jobs in operations and administration are available across a variety of organizations, which means that you have a high likelihood of finding a job at an organization whose mission or product aligns with your interests. For example, imagine that you majored in Theater Studies and would like to find a job that still affords you the opportunity to engage with that subject and community. You could begin with an entry-level position at a theater company for a year or two (ex. marketing coordinator, programming assistant, social media coordinator, grant writing assistant). These jobs would draw on your knowledge of theater studies in order to write relevant content for the site or sical media, know which groups might be enthusiastic donors, target groups for the marketing efforts, etc. You would be able to work more closely with professional in other roles that you might find more interesting such as director of events/programming (helping to plan the schedule of performances), assisting with hiring to locate directors and other talent, or development director (meeting with major supporters of the arts across the city).

What types of jobs are available (entry-level, mid-career, senior)?

Example job titles include (senior to entry-level): Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)), Director of Operations, Chief of Staff, Administrative Assistant, Coordinator.

What does this work involve?

Jobs in operations will focus on supporting an organization’s daily operations in a variety of ways.  Read an overview of typical responsibilities for jobs in operations/administration at different levels in the sections below (please note that this will vary my organization and the lists are not comprehensive).

Mid- to Senior-level operations & administration jobs (titles, descriptions, and skills)

Mid- to Senior-level operations jobs (ex. Director of Operations, Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Administrative Officer) may involve sourcing and managing freelancers, helping with recruitment, managing and developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), taking the lead on a few special projects (ex. Event management, branding initiatives, fundraising initiatives), strategy (helping to advise the CEO on strategy). 

It is typical for these jobs to require 5+ years experience. 

Skills: Leadership, management, training, experience hiring & onboarding, strategy, project management, event planning, collecting data, database management.

Entry-level operations & administration jobs (titles, descriptions, and skills)

Entry-level operations jobs (ex. Coordinator, administrative assistant) may involve managing office equipment, ordering supplies, processing mail, administering organizational systems, and responding to general inquiries. Someone in this role may also be asked to handle all scheduling for team members, taking meeting minutes, distributing agendas and project documents, archiving materials, drafting announcements and other informational emails, and creating email campaigns (outreach emails or newsletters). 

Typical for this job to require a college degree or at least 2 years in the workforce, but not necessarily in those roles. 

Skills: Detail oriented, skilled in communications platforms (ex. Mail merge, email automations, marketing platforms like Mailchimp/Constant Contact/Hubspot), strong communications skills, organizational skills, customer-service skills.

Salary information

Salaries for jobs in operations & administration will vary widely depending on the position, size of the organization, the region, and other factors. The national average is provided below from Glassdoor.com for each of the example job titles mentioned on this page: 

Director of Operations

National average: $100,655 (range of $58,000 – $175,000).

Chief of Staff

National average: $125,617 (range of $73,000 – $215,000)

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

National average: $158,826 range of $81,000 – $313,000)

Chief Administrative Officer

National average: $129,496 (range of $64,000 – $260,000)

Coordinator (variations on this title)

National average: $47,540 (range of $34,000 – $67,000)

Administrative Assistant

National average: $41,761 (range of $29,000 – $60,000)