Music Manager: Music Management Career Education Overview

Sep 30, 2019

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

A music manager handles their client's financial and legal business in addition to getting recording contracts and live performances. Music managers can have numerous duties, some of which may be on a personal level with their client. It is mandatory for music managers to have at least a bachelor's degree in music industry or a related field.

Essential Information

Music managers are responsible for the business and legal affairs of their clients. They may also provide career development guidance. Music managers typically complete a bachelor's degree program in music business or a business field, which allows professionals to gain work experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in music business or business administration
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

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Information for a Music Manager

Music managers commonly complete at least a 4-year bachelor's degree program. Relevant fields include music industry, business administration, marketing and contract law. Music colleges and universities with music schools typically offer a music business or management degree alongside performance and music education programs. Common coursework includes music theory, industry history, computer applications in music, publishing, copyrights, tour promotion and business law. Courses in finance, record industry operations and business ethics may also be included in programs.

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredits over 600 postsecondary music programs and consults with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business on relevant business degree programs. The NASM requires music business degree programs to contain some work experience in the form of guest lecturers, workshops or internships (nasm.arts-accredit.org). Many institutions include an industry internship as part of the curriculum, which can provide some entry-level experience and help individuals build the critical business connections required to become a manager.

Career Profile for a Music Manager

Music managers oversee the business affairs of their clients. They represent their clients during business dealings and may provide career advice and guidance. They handle finances, supervise legal affairs, arrange performances and organize promotional efforts.

Duties include holding auditions, developing career strategies with clients, negotiating contracts, collecting payments, networking and investing. They also coordinate with talent agents, lawyers, union representatives, booking agents and other business professionals involved with their client's career.

Employment and Salary Information

In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were roughly 19,400 managers and agents of artists, performers and athletes (www.bls.gov). The annual median salary ranged from $33,440 to $187,600 or more.

Music managers must have the proper knowledge and skills to succeed in their career, which can be accomplished through a relevant bachelor's degree program. Their job can be very profitable if they hold expertise, experience, and credibility.

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