How Can I Become a Music Manager?

Research what it takes to become a music manager. Learn about education requirements, job duties, outlook and salary 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 Music Manager?

Music managers use their communication and organizational skills to help musical acts make important business, legal and financial decisions. That way, artists can focus on their craft and allow managers to help them effectively navigate the media industry and achieve professional success. Managers may plan promotional campaigns, negotiate recording contracts, draw up potential tour budgets and prevent potential copyright infringements. Depending on their preference, music managers may work in corporate settings or offer their services as independent entrepreneurs.

Learn about the requirements for this career in the table below.

Education Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Music business or music management
Key Skills Interpersonal communication, negotiating acumen, attention to detail, interest in guiding others
Job Growth (2014-2024) 3% for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes*
Average Salary (2015) $95,810 for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Duties Will I Have as a Music Manager?

A music manager directs the careers of musicians and musical groups, guiding them in business matters and planning their path to success. Music managers typically handle an act's business affairs while agents provide legal advice when signing contracts, but you may need to play the roles of both agent and manager. You would find acts to represent by conducting interviews and auditions.

In this position, you would need to be great at communicating and organizing to secure contracts for the musicians and manage the details of their performances. You would collect payments, sell tickets and pay the expenses of the musicians. You would schedule concerts and arrange for transportation and lodging. As a music manager, you would also have responsibility of advertising the band with promotional materials and press releases.

What Should I Study?

A music manager should have at least a bachelor's degree and may also benefit from an advanced business or law degree, according to iSeek.org. You might study music business or music management to gain a deep knowledge of the entertainment industry. A music business program would focus on the managerial, commercial, promotional and legal aspects of the industry.

Similarly, a music management program provides you with training in music, business and the performing arts. You would explore the for-profit and not-for-profit sides of music management and help you direct your career. Possible courses may include:

  • Music
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Arts management
  • Entertainment law
  • The record industry

How Can I Get Experience?

One way to gain industry experience is to participate in internships, which is a requirement for many programs. Internships give you practical experience with legal matters, scheduling performances, managing finances, preparing for special events and arranging for transportation. You might find internships with record companies, music festivals, recording studios, theaters and orchestras.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Closely related job titles include advertising, marketing and promotions manager. Rather than focusing specifically on music, these professionals can develop strategies for selling products and services in a wide range of industries. They may choose to work for a single organization, such as a retail business or nonprofit, or they may offer services for multiple clients. Like music managers, they usually earn a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, individuals who are interested in music may pursue performing careers themselves, as either singers or instrumentalists. While a postsecondary degree can help musicians hone their craft, no formal education is necessary for a professional career as a musical artist.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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