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Top 10 Theater Manager Certifications

This article is an overview of the best theater management certifications available to help aspiring theater managers achieve their goals.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are important for theater managers in the job market because they demonstrate a commitment to professional development and provide proof that the individual has acquired the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in their role. Certification also serves as an assurance to employers that the individual is qualified and has met industry standards, which can give them an edge over other candidates. Additionally, certifications may provide access to higher-level positions within the organization, as well as greater job security and advancement opportunities.

The article reviews the top certifications for Theater Managers and explains how they can help to advance a theater manager's career.

What are Theater Manager Certifications?

Theater Manager Certification is a program designed to help individuals gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become effective theater managers. Through this certification, those interested in working in the theater industry can learn about the various aspects of managing a theater, including budgeting, marketing, customer service, human resources and more. Theater Manager Certification provides a comprehensive curriculum that covers all aspects of managing a theater from start-up to closing night.

Theater Manager Certification is beneficial for both aspiring and established theater managers alike. It helps those new to the profession understand how to properly manage a theater, as well as providing experienced professionals with an opportunity to brush up on their skills and stay up-to-date on industry trends. Additionally, successful completion of the certification program can provide an individual with greater job opportunities within the theater industry or within other related fields such as film production or event planning. Furthermore, having a Theater Manager Certification may open doors for potential employers who are looking for qualified candidates who have specific knowledge and experience in running a theater.

Pro tip: Make sure to research the requirements for theater manager certification in your area before beginning the process. Different states and municipalities may have different requirements, so it is important to stay up-to-date on any changes or new regulations that might affect you. Additionally, find out if there are any certifications or courses you can take to improve your skills and knowledge when it comes to theater management.

Related: What does a Theater Manager do?

Top 10 Theater Manager Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Theater Managers today.

1. Professional Certified Theatre Manager (PCTM)

Professional Certified Theatre Manager (PCTM) is a certification program for theatre professionals. It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of theatre managers. The certification is offered by the International Association of Theatre Managers (IATM).

The PCTM certification requires applicants to have at least five years of experience in theatre management or related fields. Applicants must also submit a portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and experience in theatre management. The portfolio should include items such as job descriptions, resumes, letters of recommendation, and other materials that demonstrate their qualifications for the certification.

To get certified, applicants must complete an online application form and submit it to IATM along with the required documentation. Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by a panel of experts who will determine if the applicant meets all requirements for certification. If approved, applicants will receive their PCTM certificate within four weeks of submission.

The cost of applying for the PCTM certification is $250 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee covers the cost of processing the application and issuing the certificate upon approval.

2. Certified Theatre Administrator (CTA)

Certified Theatre Administrator (CTA) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge in the field of theatre administration. The CTA program is administered by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

The CTA program is designed to provide recognition for those individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in the areas of theatre administration, management, and leadership. Those who complete the requirements for the CTA program will receive a certificate from ATHE recognizing their accomplishment.

In order to become certified as a Theatre Administrator, applicants must meet certain criteria and pass an exam. To qualify for the CTA program, applicants must have at least three years of professional experience in theatre administration or management, and they must be members of ATHE. Applicants must also submit letters of recommendation from two current or former supervisors or colleagues attesting to their qualifications and experience.

Once all requirements are met, applicants can take the CTA exam which consists of multiple-choice questions covering topics such as budgeting and finance, marketing and public relations, personnel management, production planning and design, fundraising and development, audience development and education programming. Applicants must score at least 80% on the exam in order to pass it.

The cost for taking the CTA exam is $200 USD. The exam can be taken online or in person at designated testing centers around the world. It typically takes about 2 hours to complete the exam.

Once an applicant has passed the exam they will receive their official CTA certificate within 4-6 weeks after passing the exam.

3. Certified Theatre Technician (CTT)

Certified Theatre Technician (CTT) is a certification program for theatre technicians. It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a high level of proficiency in the technical aspects of theatre production. CTT certification is offered by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT).

To become certified, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as rigging, lighting, sound, and stage management. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and requires a minimum score of 70% to pass. The exam can be taken online or at USITT events around the country.

The cost of the CTT certification program varies depending on the applicant's membership status with USITT. For non-members, the cost is $225; for members, it is $175. The fee includes access to study materials and a certificate upon successful completion of the exam.

It typically takes about two months to complete the CTT certification program from start to finish. This includes studying for and taking the exam as well as receiving your certificate after passing it.

4. Certified Venue Manager (CVM)

Certified Venue Manager (CVM) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of venue managers. The program is administered by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) and is recognized as the highest level of professional achievement in the field.

The CVM program consists of three components: an online course, an on-site assessment, and a written examination. The online course covers topics such as safety and security, customer service, facility management, marketing, finance and budgeting, event planning, and human resources. The on-site assessment involves observing a venue manager in action at a live event or practice session. The written examination tests the candidate’s knowledge of industry best practices and standards.

To obtain the CVM designation, candidates must complete all three components within two years. Candidates must also have at least five years of experience working in a venue management role to be eligible for the certification.

The cost to become certified varies depending on whether you are an IAVM member or non-member. For members, the cost is $495 USD; for non-members it is $595 USD.

5. Certified Box Office Manager (CBOM)

Certified Box Office Manager (CBOM) is a certification program designed to provide box office managers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively manage a box office. The program consists of an online course, an exam and a workbook. It takes approximately 10 hours to complete the course, and the exam must be completed within 90 days of starting the course. The cost for the CBOM certification is $195 USD. To get certified, you must complete the online course, pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher, and submit your workbook for review by an accredited instructor. Upon successful completion of all requirements, you will receive your CBOM certificate.

6. Certified Technical Director (CTD)

A Certified Technical Director (CTD) is a professional certification offered by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). It is designed to recognize technical professionals who have demonstrated a mastery of the technical aspects of motion picture and television production. The CTD certification requires successful completion of a comprehensive examination that covers topics such as camera operation, lighting, audio, video, editing, and post-production.

The CTD exam takes approximately four hours to complete and consists of multiple choice questions. The exam fee is $400 USD. To be eligible to take the exam, an applicant must have at least two years of experience in motion picture or television production.

In order to obtain the CTD certification, applicants must successfully pass the SMPTE examination with a score of 70% or higher. Once certified, CTDs are required to renew their certification every three years in order to maintain their status. Renewal fees are $200 USD.

7. Certified Stage Manager (CSM)

A Certified Stage Manager (CSM) is an individual who has achieved a certain level of professional excellence in the field of stage management. The certification is awarded by the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT), and it is recognized as a mark of distinction among theatre professionals.

To become certified, one must complete an application process that includes demonstrating experience and knowledge in the field. This includes submitting references, providing evidence of current work in the industry, and completing a written exam. Once all requirements have been met, applicants can submit their application to USITT for review.

The certification process typically takes 3-6 months from start to finish. Applicants should allow additional time if they need to retake the exam or if there are any delays in processing their application materials.

The cost to become certified varies depending on where you live and which membership type you choose. USITT offers three different membership types: full ($150/year), associate ($100/year), and student ($25/year). All memberships include access to USITT’s online resources, discounts on products and services, and eligibility for certification programs like CSM.

8. Certified Lighting Designer (CLD)

Certified Lighting Designer (CLD) is a professional designation that recognizes lighting professionals who have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in the field of lighting design. The CLD credential is awarded by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), an organization dedicated to advancing the art, science, and application of architectural lighting design worldwide.

To become a Certified Lighting Designer, applicants must meet certain criteria including: having at least five years of experience in the field, completing an IALD-approved educational program or equivalent coursework, and passing a comprehensive exam administered by the IALD. The exam covers topics such as light sources, optics, electrical systems, control systems, and design principles.

The process typically takes between one to two years to complete. Applicants must submit all required documents and fees before they can take the exam. The cost for certification varies depending on whether you are an individual or a company seeking certification. For individuals, it typically costs around $400-$500 USD; for companies it can range from $1,000-$2,000 USD.

9. Certified Sound Engineer (CSE)

Certified Sound Engineer (CSE) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the knowledge, skills, and abilities of an individual in the field of sound engineering. It is offered by the Audio Engineering Society (AES), which is the leading professional organization for audio engineers.

The CSE certification requires applicants to have at least three years of experience in sound engineering or related fields, as well as passing a comprehensive exam. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions on topics such as acoustics, signal processing, audio production, and more. The exam must be taken at an AES-approved testing center and can take up to four hours to complete.

To get certified, applicants must submit their application materials along with a fee of $300 USD. Once approved, they will receive a certificate from AES that confirms their status as a Certified Sound Engineer. The certification is valid for three years and can be renewed by taking another exam or completing other requirements set forth by AES.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the applicant’s experience level and other factors. However, it typically costs between $500-$1000 USD to become certified as a CSE.

10. Professional Ticketing Professional Certification Program (PTPPCP)

The Professional Ticketing Professional Certification Program (PTPPCP) is a comprehensive certification program designed to provide ticketing professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the ticketing industry. The program is offered by the International Association of Ticketing Professionals (IATP).

The PTPPCP consists of two parts: the Core Course and the Advanced Course. The Core Course provides an introduction to ticketing concepts, principles, and practices. It covers topics such as customer service, sales techniques, marketing strategies, ticketing systems, and event management. The Advanced Course focuses on more advanced topics such as pricing strategies, inventory management, data analysis, reporting techniques, and fraud prevention. Both courses require a passing score on an online exam at the end of each course.

It typically takes about three months to complete both courses and obtain certification. To get started with the PTPPCP, individuals must first register for the program through IATP’s website. Once registered, they will receive access to all course materials and be able to take their exams online when ready.

The cost for the PTPPCP varies depending on whether you are an individual or an organization. For individuals, it costs $395 for one year of access to both courses; for organizations it costs $795 for one year of access to both courses plus additional benefits such as discounts on IATP membership fees and conference registrations.

Do You Really Need a Theater Manager Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on the individual and their career goals. If an individual has aspirations of becoming a theater manager, then obtaining a certificate in theater management is likely to be beneficial. A certificate program will provide the student with a comprehensive overview of what it takes to run a successful theatre or performing arts organization. The coursework typically covers topics such as budgeting, marketing, fundraising, and personnel management.

Having a theatre manager certificate can give an individual credibility in the field, as well as providing them with the necessary skills to perform successfully in their role. Many employers also prefer candidates who have some sort of formal training or education in the field. Additionally, having a theatre manager certificate could open up more job opportunities for an individual since they would have knowledge and experience that many other applicants may not possess.

In conclusion, whether or not someone needs a theater manager certificate depends on the individual and their career aspirations. Obtaining a certificate can be beneficial by providing an individual with the necessary skills and credentials to be successful in their role as a theater manager.

Related: Theater Manager Resume Examples

FAQs About Theater Manager Certifications

1. What certifications do I need to become a theater manager?

Answer: The specific certifications you need to become a theater manager will depend on the type of theater you are managing and the jurisdiction you are in. Generally, theater managers may need certifications related to food safety and handling, alcohol service, customer service, first aid/CPR, and other health and safety protocols.

2. How can I get certified as a theater manager?

Answer: Most certifications for theater managers can be obtained online or through accredited training programs. Depending on the certification requirements in your area, you may also need to pass an exam or complete additional coursework.

3. Are there any costs associated with getting certified as a theater manager?

Answer: Yes, there may be costs associated with obtaining certifications for theater managers depending on the type of certification and jurisdiction. Check with local governing bodies for specific cost information.

4. How long does it take to get certified as a theater manager?

Answer: This will depend on the type of certification required and how quickly you can complete the necessary coursework or exams associated with it. Generally speaking, most certifications can be obtained within a few months if all requirements are met.

5. Is there ongoing training required for theater managers?

Answer: Yes, many jurisdictions require ongoing training for certified theater managers in order to maintain their certification status. This may include updating knowledge in certain areas such as food safety or customer service best practices.

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