Stage Manager Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Stage managers make around $36,100 to $59,061 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a stage manager’s salary in the US ranges between $36,100 and $59,061, with an average salary of $48,381. As of June 2022, the base salaries for stage managers are listed as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Stage Manager? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

A stage manager’s salary can be impacted by many factors, such as the size of the theatre, the type of production, the location, and the number of years of experience. Let’s take a closer look at how these factors can affect a stage manager’s salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a stage manager, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your stage manager salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$21,435
Early career (1 to 4 years)$28,802
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$40,647
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$59,054
Late career (20+ years)$92,399

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a stage manager. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average stage manager salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Los Angeles, CA$67,630
New York City, NY$61,115
San Francisco, CA$53,510
Atlanta, GA$47,430
Washington DC, DC$46,745
St. Louis, MO$30,488
Pittsburgh, PA$30,298
Oklahoma City, OK$29,027
Columbus, OH$27,871
Cincinnati, OH$27,450

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a stage manager’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Production Manager$65,010
Technical Director$85,602
Assistant Stage Manager$41,651
Lighting Technician$40,362
Sound Technician$33,526
Scenic Designer$51,000
Costume Designer$38,185
Property Master$64,307

How to increase your stage manager salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a stage manager, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Organization: Understand how to keep track of multiple moving parts and maintain a high level of organization
  • Communication: Be able to effectively communicate with the cast, crew, and production team
  • Leadership: Be able to take charge when necessary and provide clear direction
  • Problem Solving: Be able to quickly identify and solve problems that arise during the production process
  • Flexibility: Be able to adapt to last-minute changes and unexpected challenges
2. Talk to Recruiters

If you’re looking for a raise, it can’t hurt to chat with recruiters about what other companies are offering for stage manager positions. They may have insights into what the going rate is for your experience level, and can help you negotiate a better salary at your current company.

3. Get a good performance review

A good performance review can do wonders for your career, and can be a great way to negotiate a raise. If you’re due for a performance review, make sure you’re prepared to showcase your accomplishments and highlight your value to the company. A little extra effort now could pay off big time down the road.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Stage Manager – Live Performances or Events Hourly Pay,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Stage Manager Annual Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

6. “Stage Manager Salary,” Accessed June 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Stage Manager Salaries,,13.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.


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