Artist Manager Career Guide 2024

Table of Contents

Artist Manager Salary in United States for 2023

Average Annual Salary: $82,530 Hourly Rate: $39.68

Data sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor via the ONET Web API. Updated at December 8, 2023

Best Colleges and Universities for Artist Managers in 2023

Projected Job Employment for Artist Manager:

Estimated YearProjected YearEstimated EmploymentProjected Employment% ChangeProjected Annual Job Opening

Artist Manager Career Path Overview

The career path of an Artist Manager, sometimes known as a band or talent manager, is often dynamic and varied. This role requires a blend of business acumen, industry knowledge, and a deep understanding of the creative process.

Education Requirements

While there are no strict educational requirements to become an Artist Manager, earning a degree in music business, entertainment management, or a related field can provide a solid foundation. These programs often cover crucial topics like contract law, marketing, financial management, and more. However, practical experience is just as important as formal education in this field. Many successful Artist Managers have started their careers by managing local bands or working as assistants in music management companies.

Skills Needed

Effective Artist Managers need a variety of skills. They must be excellent communicators, capable of negotiating contracts and maintaining relationships with record labels, booking agents, and other industry professionals. They also need to be highly organized to manage an artist's schedule, coordinate tours, and oversee financial matters. Moreover, they should have an instinct for spotting talent and understanding market trends.

Career Progression

Career progression for an Artist Manager can take many forms. Some start by managing smaller acts and gradually work their way up to larger, more established artists. Others may begin their careers in related roles like tour manager or publicist before transitioning into artist management. Over time, successful Artist Managers can even start their own management companies.

Salary Expectations

Artist Managers' earnings vary greatly depending on the success of the artists they manage. They typically earn a percentage of the artist's gross income. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes had a median annual wage of $73,740 in May 2020. However, it's worth noting that the top 10% earned more than $189,600.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for Artist Managers is promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 16% growth rate for agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is driven by an increasing demand for entertainment content, including music, films, and TV shows.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Continuing education and professional development are crucial in this rapidly changing industry. Artist Managers need to stay updated on the latest trends in music, technology, and the entertainment business at large. They can do this through industry events, online courses, workshops, and networking with other professionals.

The Role of Networking

Networking is a vital part of an Artist Manager's career path. Building relationships with industry professionals can open doors to opportunities for their artists. It's also a way to gain valuable insights and advice from peers. Whether it's attending industry events or engaging on social media, networking should be a regular part of an Artist Manager's professional activities. In conclusion, the career path of an Artist Manager is challenging yet rewarding. It offers the chance to work closely with creative talent and play a pivotal role in shaping an artist's career.

Artist Manager Career Path Education and Training

As an aspiring artist manager, it's important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to education and training. However, there are specific educational pathways and professional development opportunities that can significantly enhance your ability to succeed in this dynamic and challenging field.

Undergraduate Education

While there's no mandatory degree required to become an artist manager, a bachelor's degree in Music Business, Arts Management, Entertainment Management, or a related field can provide you with a foundational understanding of the industry. These programs typically cover key areas such as contract negotiations, marketing and promotion, financial management, copyright law, and digital media. Acquiring knowledge in these areas can help you navigate the complexities of the music business and effectively advocate for your clients.

Graduate Education

For those looking to further their knowledge and expertise, pursuing a Master's degree in Music Business or Entertainment Management could be an excellent choice. These advanced programs delve deeper into industry-specific topics and often provide opportunities for internships or hands-on experiences. This advanced education can equip you with the skills needed to manage high-profile artists and negotiate lucrative deals.

Internships and Industry Experience

Practical experience is crucial in the music industry. Internships at record labels, talent agencies, music publishing companies, or artist management firms offer invaluable hands-on experience. They not only provide insight into day-to-day operations but also open networking opportunities that could lead to future job prospects. Building a robust portfolio of experience is often just as important as formal education in this field.

Professional Development and Continuing Education

The music industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and platforms changing the way artists connect with their audience. As an artist manager, it's essential to stay current with these changes through professional development and continuing education. This could be through attending industry conferences, enrolling in online courses, or obtaining certifications from professional organizations such as the Music Managers Forum (MMF).

Certifications and Licenses

While there are no specific licenses required to become an artist manager, some states in the U.S. require talent agents to be licensed. Therefore, it's important to understand the specific regulations in your region. Additionally, voluntary certifications like the Certified Artist Manager (CAM) offered by the MMF can enhance your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to professional standards. In conclusion, while the path to becoming an artist manager may vary significantly from one individual to another, a combination of formal education, practical experience, and continuous learning can help you build a successful career in this exciting field.

Artist Manager Career Path Progression

The career path of an Artist Manager can be both exciting and challenging, requiring a unique blend of interpersonal skills, industry knowledge, and a deep understanding of the arts. This career typically involves progressing through several key stages, each offering its own set of opportunities for growth and advancement.

Starting Out: Entry-Level Positions

Most Artist Managers begin their careers in entry-level positions within the music or entertainment industry. These roles often involve administrative or support tasks, providing valuable exposure to the inner workings of the industry. Positions may include talent booking assistant, marketing coordinator, or artist relations intern. It's during these early stages that aspiring Artist Managers hone their communication skills, learn about contract negotiations, and begin to build their professional network.

Gaining Experience: Mid-Level Roles

After gaining some experience in entry-level roles, the next step in an Artist Manager's career path is usually a mid-level role. This might involve working as an assistant artist manager, where one would be directly involved in managing artists' careers but under the supervision of a more experienced manager. This stage is critical as it allows for the development of key skills such as strategic planning, budget management, and talent development.

Establishing Authority: Senior Roles

As Artist Managers gain more experience and prove their ability to successfully manage artists' careers, they can progress to more senior roles. These positions often involve managing multiple artists or overseeing a team of junior managers. Some may even decide to start their own artist management company. At this level, Artist Managers are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry, robust negotiation skills, and a track record of success in promoting and managing artists.

Continued Growth: Ongoing Professional Development

Even after reaching senior roles, the learning doesn't stop for Artist Managers. The music and entertainment industry is dynamic and ever-evolving, requiring professionals to continually update their skills and knowledge. This might involve attending industry conferences, enrolling in advanced courses, or obtaining professional certifications. In conclusion, the career path progression of an Artist Manager involves starting in entry-level roles, progressing to mid-level positions, then moving into senior roles, and continually engaging in professional development. Each stage offers unique challenges and opportunities, making this a dynamic and rewarding career path for those passionate about music and the arts.

Artist Manager Career Path Specializations and Subfields

There are several specializations and subfields within the Artist Manager career path that allow individuals to focus on specific areas of interest. These can vary depending on the type of artist being managed and the industry in which they operate. Here are some potential career specializations for Artist Managers:

Music Artist Management

This is perhaps the most common subfield of Artist Management. In this role, an Artist Manager works with musicians and bands to help them achieve their career goals. This can include everything from negotiating contracts with record labels, arranging for recording sessions, booking gigs, coordinating marketing and promotional activities, and managing finances. Music Artist Managers need a deep understanding of the music industry, including trends, marketing strategies, contract laws, and more.

Fine Art Management

Artist Managers in the fine arts sector work with artists who create physical pieces like paintings, sculptures, installations, and more. They might assist in negotiating sales and exhibition contracts, promoting the artist's work, managing relationships with galleries and collectors, securing grants or residencies, and more. A background in art history or visual arts can be beneficial in this specialization.

Performing Arts Management

This specialization involves managing artists in the performing arts sector, including actors, dancers, theater professionals, comedians, and more. Responsibilities can include negotiating contracts for performances or roles, coordinating rehearsals or auditions, managing publicity efforts, and more. Knowledge of the specific performing art field (theater, dance, comedy) is typically required.

Literary Artist Management

Literary Artist Managers work with authors to manage their careers. This can involve negotiating book deals, coordinating with publishers and editors, arranging for book tours or public readings, managing publicity efforts and more. A strong understanding of the publishing industry is crucial in this role.

Digital Artist Management

In this emerging field, Artist Managers work with digital artists, such as graphic designers, video game designers, animators, and more. This can involve managing contracts for freelance projects or full-time employment, promoting the artist's work online, coordinating with clients or employers, and more. A background in digital arts or technology can be beneficial in this specialization. Each of these specializations requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. However, at their core, all Artist Managers must have strong negotiation, communication, and organizational skills, as well as a deep passion for the arts.

Artist Manager Career Path Job Market and Outlook

As the entertainment industry continues to evolve, so too does the role of the Artist Manager. With the rise of digital platforms and independent artists, the demand for knowledgeable and experienced Artist Managers is higher than ever. In this constantly changing landscape, Artist Managers are tasked with not only managing an artist's career but also navigating the complexities of the music industry. This includes everything from negotiating contracts to developing marketing strategies, and coordinating with record labels and other industry professionals. While competition in this field can be stiff, those with a passion for music, strong business acumen, and excellent interpersonal skills can find rewarding opportunities in this dynamic profession.

The Current Job Market for Artist Managers

The job market for Artist Managers has seen consistent growth over the past decade. The proliferation of digital music streaming platforms and social media has dramatically changed how music is distributed and promoted. This shift has created a need for Artist Managers who can effectively navigate these new channels. In addition, the rise of independent artists who prefer to maintain control over their music has increased the demand for skilled Artist Managers. These artists often rely on their managers to handle business matters so they can focus on creating music. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of entertainment and sports occupations, which includes Artist Managers, is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

Future Outlook for Artist Managers

The future outlook for Artist Managers is promising, particularly for those who can adapt to the fast-paced changes in the music industry. Streaming services and social media platforms are likely to continue dominating music distribution and promotion. As such, Artist Managers who can leverage these platforms effectively will be highly sought after. Additionally, as more artists choose to go independent, there will be increased opportunities for Artist Managers who understand the unique challenges and benefits of this path. While the role may be demanding, for those with a love for music and a knack for business, a career as an Artist Manager can be both fulfilling and lucrative. With the right skills and experience, Artist Managers have the potential to shape the future of the music industry.

Artist Manager Career Path Salary and Compensation

As an Artist Manager, you play a crucial role in shaping the careers of your clients, helping them navigate the complex world of the music industry. The financial reward for this can be substantial but varies significantly depending on several factors.

Entry-Level Artist Manager Salary

When you're just starting out on your journey as an artist manager, your income might not be as high as you'd expect. On average, entry-level artist managers in the United States earn around $35,000 to $45,000 per year according to Payscale. However, this can increase rapidly with experience and success.

Experienced Artist Manager Salary

Once you've gained some experience and have a few successful artists under your belt, your earning potential can increase significantly. In general, experienced artist managers can expect to earn between $70,000 and $120,000 per year. However, the actual figure can be much higher if you manage top-tier artists. It's not unheard of for artist managers of globally successful musicians to earn millions of dollars annually. The key factor here is that artist managers typically earn a percentage of their clients' earnings, so the more successful the artist, the more you'll make.

Factors Influencing Artist Manager Salaries

Several factors can influence how much an artist manager earns. These include: 1. Location: Artist Managers based in music industry hubs like Los Angeles, Nashville or New York often have access to more opportunities and higher earning potential. 2. Experience: As with most professions, more experience typically translates to higher pay. 3. Clientele: If you manage successful artists, your income will naturally be higher. 4. Contract Terms: The terms of your management contract also play a significant role in determining your income. Some managers earn a flat fee, while others work on a percentage basis, taking a cut of their artists' earnings.

Benefits and Other Compensation

In addition to base salary, artist managers may also receive other forms of compensation. This could include bonuses for achieving certain milestones, such as securing a record deal or reaching specific sales targets. It's also worth noting that many artist managers work as independent contractors, which means they may not receive traditional employment benefits such as health insurance or retirement contributions. However, the trade-off is often greater flexibility and control over your career. Overall, while the Artist Manager career path can be challenging and unpredictable, it also has the potential to be incredibly rewarding - both personally and financially.

Artist Manager Career Path Tips for Success

As an artist manager, your primary role is to guide the professional career of artists in the entertainment industry. But how do you ensure success in this career path? Here are some tips that can guide you on your journey.

Education and Training

While there isn't a specific degree required to become an artist manager, earning a bachelor's degree in music business, music management, or a related field can provide valuable insights and skills. Many universities offer these programs, which cover topics such as contract negotiations, marketing, and finance. Internships or entry-level positions in the music industry can also provide hands-on experience and networking opportunities. These experiences can help you understand the industry better and establish connections that may be beneficial in your career.

Developing Skills

Being successful as an artist manager requires a specific set of skills. These include strong communication and negotiation skills, a deep understanding of the music industry, business acumen, and the ability to think strategically. You need to be able to negotiate contracts effectively, navigate the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, and develop strategies to further your artists' careers. These skills can be developed through formal education, on-the-job experience, and continuous learning.

Building Relationships

In the music industry, relationships are everything. A strong network can open doors for your artists and help them reach new levels in their careers. Attend industry events and make connections with record label executives, booking agents, promoters, and other music professionals. The stronger your network, the more opportunities you can provide for your artists.

Staying Current

The music industry is constantly evolving with new trends and technologies. As an artist manager, it's crucial to stay current on these changes. This could mean attending industry conferences, subscribing to industry publications, or even taking courses on emerging trends in the music industry. Staying up-to-date will allow you to adapt strategies and keep your artists ahead of the curve.

Resilience and Persistence

Finally, success as an artist manager requires resilience and persistence. The music industry can be unpredictable and challenging at times, but don't let setbacks discourage you. Keep pushing forward, continue learning and adapting, and never stop advocating for your artists. With hard work and dedication, success in this career path is attainable. Remember, as an artist manager, your success is directly tied to the success of your artists. By equipping yourself with the right education, skills, relationships, knowledge of current trends, and a resilient mindset, you can guide your artists to new heights in their careers.

What is an Artist Manager?

An Artist Manager, also known as a band, talent or music manager, is a professional who guides the career of artists in the entertainment industry. The primary responsibility of an artist manager is to represent the artist and promote their work. This includes negotiating contracts, managing promotional activities, coordinating with music producers and record labels, and handling financial matters.

What are the educational requirements to become an Artist Manager?

While there are no strict educational requirements for becoming an artist manager, most professionals in this field hold a bachelor's degree in music business, music management, marketing, or a related field. Courses in these programs typically cover topics such as music theory, music production, copyright law, contract negotiations, and marketing. Additionally, internships or work experience in the music industry can provide practical insights and valuable connections.

What skills are needed to be successful as an Artist Manager?

Success as an artist manager requires a mix of business acumen, interpersonal skills, and passion for music. Key skills include negotiation, strategic planning, financial management, and marketing. Furthermore, strong communication and networking skills are vital as artist managers need to interact with various industry professionals such as promoters, record labels, and media personnel.

How much can you earn as an Artist Manager?

Earnings as an artist manager can vary widely depending on the success of the artists they manage and the agreements they have in place. Some artist managers earn a percentage of the artist's income, typically between 10-20%. Others may have a flat fee or salary. According to, the average salary for a music manager in the United States is approximately $50,000 per year.

What is the job outlook for Artist Managers?

The job outlook for artist managers is generally positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a growth rate of 7% for entertainment and sports occupations from 2018 to 2028. This growth is primarily driven by the public's ongoing demand for entertainment and the increasing complexity of contracts and endorsement deals in the music industry.

How to start a career as an Artist Manager?

Starting a career as an artist manager often begins with a strong interest in music and a desire to help artists succeed. Gaining experience in the music industry, whether through internships, jobs, or volunteering, can provide valuable insights and contacts. Networking is also critical; attending industry events and connecting with established artist managers can open doors to opportunities.

What are the advancement opportunities for Artist Managers?

Advancement opportunities for artist managers typically involve taking on more successful clients, starting their own management company, or moving into executive roles within record companies. As they gain experience and establish a reputation in the industry, artist managers may also have opportunities to work with larger record labels or internationally recognized artists.