How to Become a Talent Agent

What To Do Now? Talent Agent Career Training

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Are you intrigued by the world of sports or entertainment, but also love business? A career as a talent agent could be an interesting option for you to consider.

Career Skills for Talent Agents

If you have any of the following skills--marketing, negotiation, promotion, public relations, and business administration or management--you already have much of what it takes to become a talent agent. Talent agents generally represent music or artistic groups or individuals, but this career path can also include sports agents. Some talent agents are also referred to as business managers because their focus is often on recruiting, negotiating, and finalizing business deals on behalf of their clients. Because talent agents need to network with everyone from the clients to photographers, directors, agencies, and sports managers--excellent communication skills are essential. Talent agents must also be highly organized and able to multi-task. Although some agents represent a variety of different clients, others specialize in only one aspect of the entertainment or sports industries.

Education and Career Advice for Prospective Talent Agents

Career training and education geared specifically toward becoming a talent agent is becoming more and more prevalent. Degrees in the music business and sports business are available both on-campus and online. Degree programs in communications, business administration, and management are also valuable training for a career as a talent or sports agent. Because a talent agent must understand human behavior, marketing, and contract negotiation, an MBA is also an excellent degree to pursue if you're interested in this career path. Experts recommend that, in addition to a degree, practical experience in the form of internships at talent agencies or part-time jobs at theaters, sports arenas, or concert venues can make you more competitive in the job marketplace.

The salary range for talent agents is very wide and depends on a number of things including: the number of years in the business, number and celebrity of clients, type of business, and geographical location.

Career Outlook

  • A List. Talent agents are broken down into three categories: A, B, and C. The A group represents the highest talent in acting, sports, writing, and other entertainment branches
  • Show Me the Commission. Established agents do not charge any upfront fees prior to signing up talent. The commission for talent agents is 10 percent. The fee for agents in the writing industry and other entertainment fields vary
  • Be Legit. Legitimate talent agents are always Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Franchised
  • You Hold the Cards. Talent agents are considered extremely powerful in the television and film industry because studios must go through them in order to start preliminary talks regarding jobs and projects
  • You Can Handle It. Talent agents work in an extremely fast-paced environment that is often filled with high levels of stress
  • The Training You Need. A four-year college degree is usually required for a job interview at an established talent agency. College graduates who majored in film, theater, or business have the best opportunities for positions as talent agents

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes