The Black-headed Tanager has been listed by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with a conservation status of Least Concern (BirdLife International 2014). It received this status as it is not globally threatened (Hilty 2011). It is common locally, for example, being listed as common in Colombia (Parker et al. 1996, Hilty 2003, Ridgely and Tudor 2009) and uncommon to locally fairly common in Venezuela (Restall et al. 2007).
This species occurs in Canaima, Henri Pittier, Guatopo, Yacambú, Terepaima, Dinira, and Sierra Nevada National Parks in Venezuela, as well as others, affording it a good amount of protected habitat (Hilty 2011). It most likely also occurs in Perijá National Park in Venezuela, but this park is not well protected and therefore doesn’t offer as much protection as the others. This species' range includes a large amount of habitat that is not protected, but is suitable for this species, but this area is not likely to face serious risks in the foreseeable future (Hilty 2011).
This species has been listed as Least Concern as it has a large range of over 20,000 kilometers and though the population size has not been quantified and seems to be decreasing, this species is not believed to be falling under 10,000 breeding individuals (BirdLife International 2014).
Parker et al. (1996) considered the Black-headed Tanager of "low" conservation priority relative to other Neotropical birds.