Studio Assistant Job Description

Creative people who enjoy working in artistic environments may find being a studio assistant to their liking. Such work exists in a variety of settings – art galleries, recording studios, theaters, photography agencies, and even make-and-take ceramic stores, to name a few. Hours vary considerably based on the industry and the needs of the employer, including weekends and evenings. Likewise, studio assistants might have to travel to locations to set up equipment or deliver items.


Studio Assistant Duties and Responsibilities

Nailing down the daily expectations for a studio assistant is difficult since workplaces vary significantly. Whatever the industry, however, employers generally require studio assistants to perform certain core tasks, including the following:

Handle Schedules

Studios typically provide services for several clients at the same time. Studio assistants keep tabs on each customer’s needs in order to maintain flow and meet deadlines. For instance, a studio assistant for a wedding photographer might meet with the engaged couple to secure the date of services and go over exactly when and where pictures will be taken throughout the course of the day. A studio assistant for a university’s film department might maintain a central calendar of when rooms are being used or borrowed equipment is supposed to be returned.

Coordinate Efforts

When artistic endeavors require input from multiple sides, studio assistants often serve as go-betweens. At an art gallery, such actions might involve contacting participants in an upcoming show to go over drop-off arrangements or providing artists with proper release forms to sign. When working with photographers, an assistant might transport items to photo shoots or be in charge of getting appropriate people to sign off on proofs.

Set Up and Operate Equipment

With knowledge of the tools used in their specific industry, studio assistants attend to equipment. They may perform routine maintenance to promote longevity and ensure things work when needed. They carry equipment to desired locations, set it up, and adjust it according to instructions. Laying cable, adjusting microphones, running kilns, and performing sound checks are part of the array of possibilities.

Deal with Customers

On behalf of their employer, studio assistants aim to be helpful and informative to those they serve. Assistants frequently answer telephones and greet those who come into the studio, providing the first impression of the organization. They also explain procedures, answer questions, and process payments.

Office Support

Administrative tasks, such as updating files, keeping track of expenditures, and sorting mail, often fall to studio assistants. These helpers also attend to the look and functionality of the studio by stocking and ordering supplies, putting away equipment, and cleaning areas after use. Some studio assistants participate in public relations efforts, such as posting to social media, attending to the organization’s website, and putting together mailings.


Studio Assistant Skills and Qualifications

Jacks- and jills-of-all-trades make good studio assistants because of their willingness to learn new things, follow instructions, multitask, and perform any job large or small. Other factors critical to job success include:

  • Organization – employers count on assistants to stay on top of things so that information, equipment, and other necessary objects can be located quickly and easily
  • Attention to detail – from ensuring everything is placed correctly for an art show to double-checking microphones before a recording session, assistants do not let anything slip through the cracks
  • Professionalism – as representatives of the organization, assistants should dress appropriately, display good work habits, and exhibit proper manners
  • Prioritization – when juggling multiple tasks, an eye must be kept on deadlines
  • Interpersonal skills – a friendly demeanor, excellent listening abilities, and dedication to customer service encourage positive relationships with clients
  • Physical requirements – hauling equipment, setting up lighting and backdrops, and being on one’s feet for several hours require strength and stamina
  • Creativity – possessing an artistic flair helps assistants to understand and appreciate the work being done
  • Salesmanship – presenting options and convincing clients of the value of such services generate revenue


Studio Assistant Education and Training

Backgrounds vary significantly by field and employer need. At a minimum, studio assistants hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. Many of them take post-secondary classes, earn a certificate, or possess a degree in the discipline or a related subject. For instance, a hiring manager at a recording studio might prefer candidates who have completed coursework in which they learned about sound equipment, while an art studio may be attracted to art history graduates. Yet, a studio in which people make their own jewelry may favor applicants with customer service or teaching experience. All new hires should expect a good deal of on-the-job-training to learn the ins and outs of the particular position.


Studio Assistant Salary

Studio assistants earn an average annual salary of roughly $28,000, according to Glassdoor.


Helpful Resources

As you continue to think about becoming a studio assistant, here are some sources of information for the various industries that hire for such a role:

Audio Engineering Society – People interested in assisting sound engineers and music producers can turn to this well-established group to learn about the latest advances in audio technology and to discover networking opportunities.

Setting Up Your Ceramic Studio: Ideas & Plans from Working Artists – Studio assistants employed in artistic environments can gain inspiration and practical advice from this beautifully illustrated book.

Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image – Learn the ins and outs of what goes on at a photography studio with this book written by Scott Kelby, a leading seminar instructor on photography and Photoshop.


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