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Entertainment agent Entertainment manager, talent agent

Entertainment agents promote the careers and manage the business affairs of performers and other professionals in the entertainment industry. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £100,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. Your experience, enthusiasm and ability to make contacts are more important than academic qualifications.

You could start as an administrator or assistant in an agency or artist management company, and work your way up. Voluntary work experience can be as useful as paid experience.

Relevant work experience includes:

  • business management
  • accounting and administration
  • media or performing arts, particularly if you are applying to work in a larger agency
  • public relations
  • organising and promoting events

You could become an agent or manager after having been a performer yourself, or by managing friends’ careers. This is quite common in the music industry.

Foreign language skills and knowledge of contract law could also be helpful. 

2. Skills required

You’ll need: 

  • a highly organised approach to work
  • business sense
  • excellent persuading and negotiating skills
  • the ability to build contacts and close working relationships
  • IT and administrative skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • arranging auditions and bookings for clients
  • negotiating contracts and fees
  • organising tours and booking venues
  • advising clients, like advising actors which roles to audition for
  • arranging publicity and promotion
  • winning clients and scouting for new talent
  • handling media enquiries, fan mail and requests for personal appearances
  • dealing with travel arrangements and work permits

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000

Experienced: Up to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £100,000 (agents for high profile clients)

As an agent or manager, you’ll usually keep between 10% and 25% of your client’s overall fee.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work standard office hours although you may need to be flexible. You may need to attend performances in the evenings or at weekends, or speak to international contacts in other time zones.

You’ll be office-based, but will often travel to meetings and events, possibly internationally. 

The work can be stressful, as there is strong competition to win and keep the best clients.

6. Career path and progression

You could work for an agency or artist management company, be self-employed or set up your own agency. 

Your progression will depend on building a strong reputation, and attracting top performers onto your books.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016