Many musicians and music enthusiasts find rewarding--and sometimes lucrative-- careers in music management. The amount of money you can expect to make as a band manager can vary dramatically due to a number of different factors that may include the income of the band, how many clients you work for, and what type of position you hold. Though it's extremely difficult to pinpoint what your exact income will be, several sources indicate that it is possible to earn between $10,000 and $150,000 per year as a band manager.
Band Business Management
Music lovers with a business degree are ideal candidates for band management positions and typically take on all business related financial responsibilities for the band, as well as certain booking and promotion tasks. This may include accounting duties, balancing budgets, paying studio recording or rehearsal space bills, purchasing merchandise, and organizing sales and salary reports. As a business manager for a band you can expect to earn a percentage--usually 15 to 20 percent--of the band's gross earnings.
People who enjoy traveling and have excellent navigational and organizational skills can make ideal road managers for bands. In the music industry, road managers--also known as tour managers--are responsible for handling all of the administrative duties involved in taking the band on the road. Such responsibilities often include creating travel routes and schedules, booking flights and hotel accommodations, scheduling load-in and sound-check times at venue locations, and arranging hospitality and equipment rentals. As a tour manager you may be paid a flat rate per tour with a daily per diem or a weekly salary, depending on the client. The Careers In Music and Entertainment Management Online websites report that tour managers of small, unknown bands earn between $10,000 and $20,000 per year and managers of major record label acts can earn up to $150,000.
Individual Artist Management
Managers of successful bands sometimes find opportunities to work directly for individual artists. When a popular member of the band goes solo--like Justin Timberlake, Diana Ross or Beyonce--they often look to employ their former band managers to handle their careers. In this position, you may take on all managerial aspects of the artist's career including scheduling rehearsals, recording time, photo shoots, public appearances, concerts and public appearances. You may handle financial duties, negotiate contracts and work directly with the artist's wardrobe assistants, hairstylists, sound engineers, photographers and stage hands. According to SimplyHired, the average salary for a music artist's personal manager in 2011 is around $56,000 per year.
If you are working for new bands that are just starting out, you can't expect your salary to come even remotely close to that of managers who handle major recording artists and well established acts. Unfortunately, you may receive far below the median average band manager's salary in such instances, yet still assume similar work schedules and duties. Band manager Ian Tomele of Wrecking Ball Promotions in Chicago says, "If I calculated my hours and deducted what I re-invested no one would even consider this a job, as much as an indentured servant. But I estimate around $8,000 per year."