What Does an A&R Administrator Do?

If you’re a numbers whiz by day and a club crawler by night, this might be your dream job. Working under the supervision of the A&R director, an A&R administrator plans and oversees budgets for the label’s artists and is responsible for managing recording costs such as studio time, producer fees, compensation for session musicians, mixing and mastering, and tour marketing. This means not simply designing cost proposals but monitoring every penny spent to make sure a project stays on budget—and woe to the administrator who lets a producer blow through the label’s money without letting the band’s A&R rep know what’s going on.

Because the job requires a level of math and finance knowledge that many in the record business don’t possess, landing work as an administrator is a great stepping stone for aspiring A&R executives.

In addition to managing album budgets, administrators handle many of the department’s general finance-related tasks, such as coordinating and maintaining contracts, submitting bills and purchase orders, projecting future expenses based on past and current budgets, and gathering and analyzing data connected to music streaming and licensing. At smaller labels, the administrator’s duties—along with those of an A&R representative and A&R coordinator—may be folded into one position. 

People in the Field

Melody Ewing

Name:

Melody
Ewing
Class of 
2007
Position: 
Associate Director of Business Affairs/A&R Administration, Sony Music Entertainment

A&R Administrator at a Glance

Finding Work and Advancing

Because the job requires a level of math and finance knowledge that many in the record business don’t possess, landing work as an administrator is a great stepping stone for aspiring A&R executives. Many begin in lower level jobs at a record company before moving into the A&R department. 

Employers

Major labels, large independent labels

Professional Skills

Spreadsheets, contracts, higher mathematics, accounting, recording studios, clerical skills, administrative skills, written communication, verbal communication 

Interpersonal Skills

Individuals who are as passionate about crunching numbers as they are about hit singles are well-suited for a career as an A&R administrator. You will also need to be exceptionally well-organized and detail-oriented, as well as a team player.

Work Life

This is a largely nine-to-five job. Expect to spend a lot of time at your desk buried in expense reports and spreadsheets while enjoying occasional face time with artists.