Band Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Oct 20, 2021

A band manager represents a music group in business-related matters within the music industry. This can involve numerous tasks, such as making travel arrangements, offering advice about business decisions, and negotiating a record deal. There is no education requirement for this profession.

Essential Information

Band managers are hired by music groups to handle the business aspects of the music industry. They guide the artists' careers, provide advice and act as a liaison between the band and others in the music business. There are no formal education requirements for band managers, but they must have strong communication, networking and negotiation abilities.

Required Education None
Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)* 12% for all agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Median Salary (2020)* $75,420 for all agents and business managers of performers and athletes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Band Manager Job Description

A band manager works closely with a music group to help make major decisions regarding the creative and business direction of the band. The manager is the person the musicians put in charge of the business side of the industry so that they can focus on making music. Some band managers work for management companies, while others work independently. A manager often works on commission. Some take on more than one client; others work full-time with one band.

Band Manager Duties

The duties required of a band manager vary greatly depending on the individual needs of the artist. Some managers focus exclusively on a few duties, such as advising the band on creative, business and personal decisions and assisting them in finding engagements. Others take on multiple roles, such as booking agent, promoter and travel arranger. Managers often negotiate recording contracts and help the band members understand their responsibilities.

Band Manager Requirements

The road to becoming a band manager is a unique experience that has many variables. There is no formal education requirement for the career. Some schools offer degree programs in music management which combine aspects of business, recording, law and music. While not a requirement, a bachelor's degree in music management can provide valuable education through classroom work and experience in the music industry through an internship in music management. Curriculum for these programs includes courses in sound recording, entertainment law, music theory, orchestration, marketing management, financial accounting and many other areas.

Because a band manager is the public face of the band, he or she must have excellent communication and networking skills. A large part of the success one achieves in this job relies on being able to create and maintain a trusting relationship with a band or an artist. A manager needs to know when to take control of the band and make decisions, and when to step back and let the band have creative control of the direction in which they want to go.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes are expected to see a job growth of 12% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations nationally. In May 2020, the BLS reported that professionals in the 90th percentile or higher earned $190,500 or more per year, whereas the bottom 10th percentile earned $35,840 or less per year.

A band manager often books shows and other public engagements for an artist or music group. Strong communication, interpersonal, and networking abilities are all valuable skills for band managers to have. There are degree programs in music management offered by some schools that may be helpful for aspiring band managers who are looking to learn more about business, law, and recording.

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