Musical Arts Manager: Job Description & Career Requirements

Mar 05, 2019

While rock stars and opera singers might be the public face of the music industry, there are many people who work behind the scenes to make the magic happen, such as musical arts managers. For information about education options and potential salaries for music managers, read on.

Career Definition for a Musical Arts Manager

In general, musical arts managers are employed by bands, individual artists, music-related organizations or recording labels. Responsibilities typically include booking concert venues and overseeing contract negotiations and agreements. Musical arts managers may also provide artists with career advice and support, interact with media and press outlets on their behalf or assist with marketing and promotional activities.

Education Bachelor's and master's degrees in music and business administration recommended
Job Skills Interpersonal, communication, business, critical thinking
Median Salary (2017)* $64,940 for agents or managers of artists, performers, and athletes
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 5% for agents or managers of artists, performers, and athletes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Many colleges and universities now offer undergraduate or graduate programs in music management that can lead to a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science or Master of Business Administration. In general, an undergraduate major in music management can provide aspiring professionals with an introduction to the business, contractual and legal aspects associated with the industry. The curriculum may also include topics in accounting, general management, musicology and marketing. Some programs can provide students with the opportunity to join a band, participate in internships, promote concerts or work for campus-based radio or television stations.

Skills Required

Interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with industry executives and musicians, are key to a career as a music manager. A background in business, as well as critical-thinking and decision-making abilities, can also be useful.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were approximately 19,100 people employed as agents or managers of musicians, artists and athletes in 2016. As of 2017, professionals employed in these positions earned median annual salaries of $64,940 (

Alternate Career Options

Check out the following alternatives for careers in creative management:

Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers

Advertising, promotions and marketing managers develop programs and strategies designed to interest the public in commercial goods and services. In concert with art directors, financial experts and sales reps, their activities can include choosing media outlets and planning advertising campaigns, such as those associated with print-based publications, radio, television and websites. Educational requirements typically include a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study.

As reported by the BLS, employment opportunities for advertising, promotions and marketing managers across the country are expected to increase by a faster than average rate of 10% between 2016 and 2026. In May 2017, advertising and promotions managers and marketing managers received median yearly salaries of $106,130 and $132,230, respectively (

Producers and Directors

Producers and directors oversee the production and post-production of films, live theater productions and television episodes. Activities can include interpreting scripts for the screen or stage, choosing music, editing films and adding special effects. A bachelor's degree is usually required in order to enter the field, along with prior work experience in acting, cinematography or film editing. A 12%, or faster than average, increase in employment is projected for producers and directors nationwide from 2016 to 2026. As of May 2017, professionals employed in these positions earned median annual wages of $71,620 (

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