How to Become a Nightclub Manager: Education and Career Summary

Learn how to become a nightclub manager. Research the education, career requirements, and experience required for starting a career as a nightclub manager.

Should I Become a Nightclub Manager?

Nightclubs feature nighttime entertainment for adults, including drinking, music, and dancing. Nightclub managers oversee the operations of these establishments and are responsible for finding music, ordering beverages and supplies, ensuring the safety of patrons, and managing employees. Any problems that arise during the night must be handled by the nightclub manager as well.

Nightclub managers usually work full-time; their days are often spent addressing the administrative needs of the position and nights are occupied by supervision of the nightclub while in is in operation. Long hours are not uncommon and schedules are irregular. This job carries some risk of injury, depending on how present a nightclub manager is on the floor of the club; patrons can get unruly and managers may be called upon to intercede.

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma; postsecondary training can be beneficial
Degree Field Hospitality or restaurant management
Experience Positions usually require 2-3 years of prior hospitality management experience
Key Skills Leadership abilities, interpersonal skills, business-savvy personality, problem-solving and analytical skills
Salary $49,261 (2015 median salary for general managers in clubs)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), PayScale.com, Online job postings (November 2012)

Step 1: Gain Basic Experience

Prospective nightclub managers often work their way up into their positions, starting out as bartenders, servers or hosts. While performing these jobs, it is helpful to learn about related facets of club operations. A job at a bar or club can also prepare an individual for working the late nights, weekends and long hours often required in the field.

Step 2: Consider a Degree

Earning an associate's or a bachelor's degree in a field related to nightclub management is not essential but can greatly improve career opportunities for aspiring nightclub managers. Some employers specifically seek applicants with a 2- or 4-year degree in hospitality or restaurant management. These programs emphasize useful skills, such as food and beverage purchasing, resource control, marketing, financial and cost-benefit analysis, budgeting and regulatory compliance.

Success Tip:

  • Complete an internship. Many hospitality and restaurant management degree programs provide opportunities to participate in an internship. These can help students build leadership skills and gain work experience at hotels, restaurants, bars and resorts.

Step 3: Obtain Management Experience

Nightclub owners often prefer managers with several years of leadership experience. Obtaining an assistant manager position at a bar or nightclub can provide an individual with qualifications to apply for general management positions at large-scale nightclubs. Assistant managers perform much of the same duties as a manager; however, they do so under the supervision of a superior. For example, they may assist with hiring and training employees, finding entertainment and maintaining safety in the club.

Step 4: Collaborate for Career Advancement

Nightclub jobs are competitive, so it is important for a prospective nightclub manager to work with club owners and other members of the management team to set the perfect ambience and provide entertainment that will attract the most clients. To increase and sustain business, it is also important to develop brand recognition for the club through effective marketing campaigns. Managers may accomplish this by working with a club promoter or an outside public relations firm that specializes in this area.


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