Talent Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a talent manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree options, job duties and necessary skills to find out if this is the career for you.

Essential Information

Talent managers help shape their clients' careers and guide artists toward new opportunities. They set up performances and public appearances, introduce clients to agents and offer advice on contract negotiations. Some managers perform multiple duties by acting as managers, agents and publicists. Many managers hold bachelor's degrees in a field such as marketing or management, though there isn't a standard education level required for this job.

Required Education None specified; bachelor's degree is typical
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 10% for all business managers and agents of artists, performers and athletes
Average Salary (2013)* $96,410 for all business managers and agents of artists, performers and athletes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description for Talent Managers

Talent managers typically supervise the careers of musicians, artists and authors. O*NET Online reported that managers negotiate contracts, oversee business deals and arrange meetings (online.onetcenter.org).

Most managers have multiple clients, but usually specialize by choosing to exclusively represent a particular genre of music or writing. In the music industry, personal managers don't always act as booking agents, but they tend to create strong business relationships with agents and record labels. In the writing and art industries, some managers may fulfill the dual role of business manager and promoting agent.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 18,300 business managers and agents of artists, performers and athletes working in the nation in 2012, and opportunities in the field are expected to increase by 10% over the 2012-2022 decade. These professionals earned an average salary of $96,410 as of May 2013, as reported by the BLS.

Talent Manager Job Duties

Managers seek out clients, which can involve conducting auditions, viewing art portfolios or reading manuscripts. They keep up with new trends in their industry by examining trade magazines, going to concerts and networking with agents and other executives.

After obtaining a client, managers usually offer creative guidance to make a client's work more marketable. Music managers schedule and promote performances. Likewise, artist managers set up events to launch new exhibits, and literary managers submit manuscripts to publishers.

On the legal side, managers use contracts to protect their clients' rights and commitments. Each contract is different, but they generally provide the manager with power to maintain a client's professional image. Contracts may allow managers to collect money on behalf of their clients and disburse funds as needed. When managers have financial control, they usually have to report incoming and outgoing transactions in an accounting report.

Requirements to Become a Talent Manager

There is no minimum educational requirement for talent managers. As of 2012, O*NET reported that 50% of agents and managers possessed a bachelor's degree. Considering job duties, earning a degree in management, marketing or public relations may provide appropriate job training. Relevant classes cover such topics as talent acquisition strategies, entertainment marketing techniques and contract negotiation practices.

O*NET stated that managers should be capable at persuading, negotiating and managing schedules. Since they work for clients and conduct business with agents as well as other business executives, it's helpful for managers to have listening, communication and interpersonal skills.

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