Band Manager Job Description and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a band manager within the music industry. Learn about education and experience needed to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Music Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Band Manager?

Band managers help musical performing artists navigate the confusing world of the music industry. Band managers may manage individuals, duos, bands or other musical groups. Some work with one artist, especially if that artist is very popular, while others manage multiple groups.

Band managers are responsible for organizing events and overseeing musical projects. They keep projects running smoothly by meeting deadlines, staying within budget and meeting project goals. With artists starting out early in their career, band managers often need to work twice as hard to get their client noticed for record deals and out there for the public to see. These professionals often work closely with event promoters, publicity agents and more. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is most common but not necessarily required
Education Field of Study Business; communications; music management
Key Responsibilities Negotiate contracts; network with record label representatives; promote clients
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $95,810*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Does a Band Manager Do?

A band manager, also known as a talent or artist manager, represents one or more musical acts. The job involves overseeing all aspects of your clients' careers, from contract negotiations to long-term career planning. It's important to note that band managers don't generally serve as agents, promoters, attorneys or business managers; however, it can be their job to hire these professionals to help keep their clients' musical careers running smoothly.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

As a band manager, you'll generally be on-call at all times to provide advice and support for your clients whenever it's needed. One of your main goals will be to get your clients signed to a record label. This involves maintaining relationships with representatives from many labels and visiting these representatives to promote your clients. After getting a band signed, you'll help negotiate the terms of the record deal. Other duties include helping your clients make creative decisions, such as suggesting stage design or composition changes, and serving as a communication hub between the band and the public.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

There are no strict education requirements for entering this career; however, O*Net Online reported in 2017 that 50% of these professionals held a bachelor's degree. You might benefit from earning a degree in business, communications or another related field. Some colleges and universities even offer music management programs, which allow you to study music theory and practice in addition to gaining instruction in business and management. While education may be beneficial, the most important qualification is experience in the music industry. You can gain such experience by working as an intern or assistant under an experienced band manager. Other essential qualifications include communication and negotiation skills, the ability to make decisions under pressure and a professional demeanor.

How Can I Advance My Career?

Band managers usually start out as entry-level workers, such as booking agents, with management companies. Some even begin their careers as entry-level employees at record labels in order to gain experience in the industry, though these companies usually do not employ band managers. As you become familiar with the ins and outs of the industry and compile a contact base, you can work your way up to a band management position. Eventually, you might choose to start your own management firm.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

A related job that only requires a high school diploma is an advertising sales agent. These workers try to sell advertising space to potential clients. For some positions, sales agents may need a bachelor's.

Marketing managers and sales managers are another couple of related careers that require a bachelor's degree. Marketing managers work to promote and advertise a particular product or service. They may generate public interest in the product through advertisements, campaigns and giveaways. Sales managers are responsible for training and overseeing sales representatives for an organization. They may also help set sales goals.

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