Growth Trends for Related Jobs

How Much Do Music Managers Make?

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Rocking the Music Business

You want to be a rock star, but aren't sure that's going to happen soon enough to pay the rent. That doesn't mean that you can't earn a nice enough salary in the music industry to keep you and your kids living in style. Go ahead and learn all you can about the music business, then manage the successful careers of others. The mean annual income for managers of entertainers is a very healthy $89,590.

Job Description

A music manager is an agent who oversees the career of a musician. She organizes the musician's business contracts and assists in negotiations for recording and performing. A music manager also tackles marketing and publicity, as well as directing other aspects of the musician's career.

Education Requirements

No formal education is required to become a music manager, but you have to have enough knowledge of and contacts in the music industry to make others trust you with their careers. Many managers develop a strong base in one or two areas of the industry, then retain other professionals as needed to fill in the areas in which they are weaker.

Although you don't need a bachelor's or master's degree to succeed in this career, you will need specific skills. For example, music managers must have excellent communication and negotiation skills to represent musicians in this fiercely competitive field. They also need to be determined, confident and self-motivated and have the ability to handle conflicts effectively. Grace under pressure is essential, since this is a stressful career.

If you decide to finish college, majoring in business, marketing, public relations or law would be useful for a prospective business manager. You might get on-the-job experience through an internship with a booking agency, a music management company or at a radio station.

Music managers negotiate a commission or salary with their clients. No statistics suggest that those with college degrees or advanced degrees earn more than music managers without this educational background. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean wage earned by agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes is $89,590. Agents and business managers are paid the most in California, where they earn on average over $110,000.

Relevant Industry

Music managers straddle the fields of business and music. They take care of the business of being a musician for artists who don't have the time or the skills to do it themselves.

Years of Experience

Music managers are usually paid by commission, that is by taking a percent of the earnings of the musician. This means that they don't have salaries with annual increases. Rather, their income depends on the level of success of the artist they represent. Sometimes musical artists earn more as time passes, but this is by no means certain.

Job Growth Trend

The job growth trend for this career is not exceptional. Employment is expected to grow just 2.5 percent over the next decade, less than the average for all occupations.


Teo Spengler has worked as a trial lawyer, a teacher and a writer at various times in her life, which is one of the reasons she likes to write about career paths. Spengler has published thousands of articles in the past decade including articles providing tips for starting a job or changing careers. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson,, and Working Mother websites. She holds a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley, an M.A. in English and an M.F.A. in fiction.

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