Why We Love It
$95,810Potential Avg. Salary
2.5%Job Growth Rate
Growing DemandJob Outlook
Deal MakingCareer Attribute
Talent agents represent creative professionals—actors, bands, writers, athletes, and models. They act as a liaison between the creative professional and businesses that need creative services. Through a large network of professional contacts, talent agents find and secure work for the individuals they represent.
What is a Talent Agent?
The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in talent agent roles:
- Find and secure job opportunities for represented creative professionals
- Grow network of professional contacts in the field to utilize when placing creative professionals into new roles
- Send client promotional materials—headshots, portfolios, manuscripts, and music demos—out to hiring entities
- Conduct research to collect new opportunities for clients
- Negotiate on behalf of represented clients to ensure client interests are always served
A Day in the Life
Individuals interested in breaking into creative fields depend on talent agents to enable their dreams. Talent agents serve as middlemen between creative professionals and the businesses who need to hire them. They may manage a variety of creative professionals in many different areas, including models, actors, writers, musicians, and athletes. Talent typically agents earn a commission—a percentage of the negotiated pay—when they secure new work for their clients.
Talent agents work over the course of their careers to build a network of professional contacts that simplifies the process of connecting creative professionals with the companies that need them. Most film studios, publishers, designers, and record labels prefer to work directly with agents when filling open roles and forgo publishing open casting calls. Instead, they work directly with agents to fill roles. Because of this, talent agents must work to build and maintain relationships with hiring companies to ensure that they’re alerted to new opportunities that fit the needs of their clients.
When seeking new work for clients, talent agents must work to ensure the opportunities they find serve the best interests of clients. This may include reviewing contracts and ensuring pay is commiserate with expectations. While most talent agents begin their careers working for talent agencies, after gaining many years of experience and growing a network of clients and contacts with hiring companies, they move on to open their own agencies, or they may move into self-employment.
Typical Work Schedule
While the majority of a talent agent’s work may occur during normal business hours, talent agents commonly work overtime to fulfill all of their job responsibilities. They may need to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines or best serve their client’s interests.
Talent Agent Specializations
- Commercial agents work with actors, actresses, theater professionals, and voice actors and find audition opportunities for TV shows, commercials, and major films.
- Literary agents connect writers and aspiring authors with book publishers.
- Sports agents seek to find work for professional athletes in many different sports.
- Modeling agents work with models to find roles in runways shows for designers or in photo shoots for publications.
- Music agents seek to place bands and musicians with record labels or to secure live performance opportunities.
Talent agents usually either work for talent agencies or are self-employed. Many work for the big four U.S. talent agencies: Creative Artist Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor, and International Creative Management.
How To Become a Talent Agent
There is no standard path to becoming a talent agent; in fact, you can take a number of different paths to become a talent agent. Many talent agents begin their careers as creative professionals in the field—actors, models, writers, or athletes—and move into talent agent work after their professional career comes to an end. On this path, no formal higher education is required. By working in the field professionally, you grow your network of contacts and learn what it takes to succeed as a talent agent.
However, the more common path to becoming a talent agent is to pursue higher education in your field of interest. While general degrees like business, marketing, sales, law, or advertising can teach aspiring talent agents the skills they’ll need to succeed in their role, some choose to specialize in a specific field and cater their studies to that specialization. For example, aspiring literary agents may earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature and then move into a master’s degree program in publishing.
Finding entry-level opportunities in your field of interest is critical from growing your career as a talent agent, and college can help with that by providing students with internship opportunities. Many successful talent agents begin their careers as interns for talent/publishing agencies and work their way into higher positions over time. For most aspiring talent agents, success is a matter of starting off in low-level positions, and working hard over the years to build a network of clients and employers.
Talent Agent Salary Data
We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Anual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Talent Agent salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Talent Agent's can make an average annual salary of $95,810, or $46 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $40,080 or $19 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#74 Nationally for All Careers
Above Average Salary Nationally
Programs and Degrees
Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Talent Agent. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.
Highest Education Among Talent Agents
- 4.4% Doctorate
- 9.4% Masters
- 46.2% Bachelors
- 9% Associates
- 20.8% College
- 9.3% High School
- 0.9% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs19,700
2024 Est. Jobs20,200
Job Growth Rate2.5%
Est. New Jobs500
How does Talent Agent job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 500 jobs for a total of 20,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 2.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#533 Nationally for All Careers
Above Avg. Growth Nationally
What Companies Employ The Most Talent Agents
|Industry||Current Jobs||New Jobs Needed||% Increase|
|Agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers, and other public figures||8,400||---||0%|
|Promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events||800||100||0%|