Entertainment Business Manager: Job Description and Requirements

Sep 13, 2019

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

If you are interested in becoming an entertainment business manager, you will need a bachelor's degree and a background in the field in which you are representing clients. Additionally, you should possess strong communication, business, marketing, and interpersonal skills.

Essential Information

Entertainment business managers act as liaisons between entertainers and businesses. Managers handle communication with employers, negotiate contracts and tend to other business aspects that the artist does not have the time or expertise to do. It is not unusual for job duties of entertainment business managers to crossover or even replace those of entertainment agents.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Excellent communication and marketing skills
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) 10% (for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes)*
Mean Annual Salary (2018) $90,930 (for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

Entertainment managers need to be well versed in the art field or fields that they choose to represent in addition to having a significant background in business and marketing. There are degree programs in entertainment business. Students interested in this career may have to learn the various facets involved in entertainment management in separate programs. It is important to study advertising, marketing, market research, making deals, acquiring rights, branding, psychology, public relations, accounting, economics, finance, business administration, statistics, business law and contracts. A battery of courses in arts management, history and entertainment technology is also required.

Job Duties

An aspiring entertainment business manager must be adept at social networking. Building and maintaining contact bases for clients are a large part of the job as well as assuring that the contacts keep the clients top-of-mind. Much of a manager's day is spent on the phone arranging appearances and seeking engagements.

Communication and reasoning skills need to be above-average for this occupation. The manager must be able to assess the client's abilities from talent to physical condition in order to book engagements that will showcase rather than over-tax. The manager should also be able to discern which types of formats will highlight the client's particular talents and keep the client from over-reaching. The business manager should be willing to offer support and encouragement while maintaining a firm but pleasant demeanor in the course of dealing with clients who may have fragile egos or be slightly temperamental. Personal resiliency is an asset for entertainment business managers.

Managers should be able to properly advise clients on financial issues as well. Whether they handle the client's finances personally or recommend accountants, they must keep the client's best interests in mind. Along with personal financial advice, the business manager must balance performance costs against the client's income. For example, the manager must be able to estimate whether payments for crew and equipment related to a performance will run higher than the payments received. This can be especially difficult at times when house receipts or net percentages are part of the contractual agreement.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), entertainment managers are grouped with agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes. As of May 2018, there were 19,400 of these individuals employed (www.bls.gov). The BLS expects a faster than average growth of 10% for agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes from 2018-2028. This will result in 2000 new job openings over the decade. The mean annual wage for these agents and business managers was $90,930 in May 2018.

Entertainment business managers network, book engagements, negotiate contracts, and provide support and financial advice for clients. They typically complete a bachelor's degree program with a wide range of studies, including courses in business, law, marketing, public relations, finance and arts management. Interpersonal and communication skills are important for this field, and agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes can expect to see a 10% increase in job opportunities through the year 2028.

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