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Difference Between Talent Agent Vs Talent Manager

Agents and managers make their money by working for entertainment clients. This article compares talent agents and managers, including what they have to offer a client, their duties, and possible salaries.

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Comparing Talent Agents to Talent Managers

Although both of these professionals work for entertainment clients, talent agents are very different from talent managers. On the one hand, a talent agent works for an actor, singer or athlete to promote and find his or her client work. A talent manager, however, acts more like a life coach, managing many of the day to day activities of a busy star. Below, you'll find information about the common education required, along with salary and job growth expectations.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Talent Agent Bachelor's degree $62,080 (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes) 2-4% (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)
Talent Manager Bachelor's degree $62,080 (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes) 2-4% (for all agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Talent Agents vs. Talent Managers

Talent agents will often enter into contracts with talented people looking for representation and work. Managers of successful actors, musicians or athletes take care of the day to day duties of a busy star, like arranging transportation, paying bills, preparing updated resumes and photos, or monitoring social media sites. Talent agents work for a variety of clients, whereas talent managers will limit their number of clients and in most cases only work for one major artist.

Talent Agent

Reputable agents for entertainers are often franchised by SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). Some cities or states require licensing. Many talent agents work for large agencies. Good agents work diligently for their clients in finding auditions and casting calls or negotiating with studios. If they believe an announced role in a film or television show fits one of their clients, they will contact casting directors for an actor or actress and inform their clients.

Job responsibilities of a talent agent include:

  • Stay apprised of upcoming auditions
  • Work with clients to prepare for auditions
  • Negotiate contracts
  • Do research of upcoming roles and scripts
  • Handle contract issues

Talent Manager

A talent manager is usually not signed by an actor or singer until they have achieved some modicum of fame and their lives start to feel overwhelming. Talent managers normally take care of daily activities like checking fan mail, paying bills, or arranging flights for shows. Managers arrange audition tapes, headshots and promotional events. They set schedules for everything from doctor appointments to studio recording times. Managers' job duties are usually negotiated at their hiring.

Job responsibilities of a talent manager include:

  • Run actor/singer/athlete accounts on social media pages and casting sites
  • Work to help create a brand for clients
  • Collaborate and practice or recommend classes or workshops
  • Find a publicist
  • Help in attaining membership in SAG-AFTRA

Related Careers

Like talent agents, public relations specialists focus on creating a positive spin on an organization or person. Similar to talent managers, advertising managers work hard to control positive advertising feeds for companies and handle their campaigns through a variety of marketing techniques and promotions.

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