Band Management: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Nov 14, 2020

Career Definition for a Band Manager

Band manager is a flexible title that encompasses duties from promoting and booking a band to negotiating its contracts. As a rule of thumb, the less established a band is the more jobs its band manager will perform. An unsigned band's manager may carry out all necessary marketing tasks and media pitches; act as an accountant, social secretary and press agent; and serve as transportation supervisor, if necessary. Management of a signed band usually focuses more on contract negotiation and tour booking, along with overseeing accounting, road crew and other ancillary band personnel. Just as with top musicians in the U.S., top band managers often end up in the New York, Los Angeles and Nashville markets.

Education Degree in finance and marketing desirable, but not required
Job Skills Social skills, negotiation, assertiveness
Median Salary (2019)* $73,740 for managers and agents of artists, performers, & athletes
Job Growth (2019-2029)* 12% for managers and agents of artists, performers, & athletes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

There are no formal educational requirements to become a band manager; by tradition, this is a career launched from proximity to and needs of a group of acquaintance-musicians. Because so many of a band manager's duties center on finance and marketing, however, secondary-level instruction in business administration is highly desirable. Most U.S. colleges offers some form of associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in this area.

Skills Required

Beyond business aptitude, a band manager must possess excellent people and social skills. He or she is often the 'face' of the band in PR, radio station, record label and venue circles. Additionally, band managers often act as negotiators, so a tactful and discrete, yet assertive, personality is a plus.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes, including band managers, are expected to grow by 12% from 2019-2029. There is no standard pay range in the music industry; a manager can gross a percentage of millions or zero dollars per year. The BLS reported that the median annual income among agents and business managers of artists was $73,740 as of May 2019; however, it's all dependent on the band's talent, the band manager's expertise and ambition and, of course, luck and timing.

Alternate Career Options

For other options in the field of management and PR, consider these:

Public Relations Specialist

With a bachelor's degree in fields such as journalism, public relations, business, communications or English, these specialists perpetuate positive public perceptions of the organization for which they work, releasing select information to the media. Job growth predicted by the BLS, from 2019-2029, was faster than average, at 7%. A median annual salary of $61,150 was reported by the BLS in 2019.

Meeting, Convention and Event Planner

According to the BLS, faster-than-average job growth of 8% was expected for the 2019-2029 decade for these planners, who organize all aspects of meetings and events for professionals. A bachelor's degree and some experience working in planning or hotels is the most common education and training background for this career, which offered annual median earnings of $50,600 in 2019, per the BLS.

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