|Degree Level||Bachelor's or master's degree (some schools offer a single 5-year track for both)|
|Degree Field||Music management, marketing, accounting|
|Experience||Internships and entry-level experience beneficial|
|Key Skills||Management, accounting, computing|
|Salary||$95,810 (2015 average for all agents and managers of artists, performers, and athletes)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Music agents represent singers, bands, composers and other musicians. They may find engagements or employment for the artists, negotiate contracts and create strategies to further a musician's career. These agents may also advertise for their clients and manage their client's finances. These professionals must be enterprising, social and strong negotiators. The career is not easy to get into and may be stressful and require long hours, but it does typically pay a higher-than-average salary, with the average salary for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes being $95,810 as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Earn a Degree
The first step to becoming a music agent is to complete a bachelor's degree program. Music agents may start their careers by pursuing a degree in music management, marketing or accounting. Music or arts management programs often include courses in contract negotiation, copyright law, product development and music technology. Some may also include coursework in finance, sales and marketing.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Music Composition and Theory
- Music History and Literature
- Music Merchandising and Management
- Music Pedagogy
- Music Performing
- Musical Conducting
- Musicology and Ethnomusicology
- Piano and Organ
- Stringed Instruments
- Voice and Opera
The second step to becoming a music agent is to begin working in an entry-level position in the field. Students can enter the industry by interning for a music retailer, venue or agency or by looking for entry-level administrative and assistant positions at talent agencies or other entertainment-based organizations. Interns may assist with promotion, research, event scheduling, sales and administrative tasks. Entry-level employee duties may include arranging lodging, transportation and meetings for artists. With experience, candidates might be able to work under an established agent to learn the daily tasks that a music agent performs.
The third step to becoming a music agent and being successful is to work on advancing your career. Daily tasks of the professional manager often include meeting with and evaluating the skills of potential clients, finding potential employment for musicians, collecting payments, and maintaining records. Aspiring agents may also negotiate contract disputes and resolve grievances. Some agents choose to work independently or represent one band or artist exclusively.
It may also be useful to consider attending graduate school. Some employers may prefer applicants with a graduate degree, particularly for high-ranking positions. Several universities offer joint undergraduate and graduate music business programs that allow students to earn the two degrees in approximately five years.
In summary, remember to complete a bachelor's degree program, begin working in an entry-level position and strive to advance your career in order to become a music agent and be successful.