Careers in Music Business/Management

Below are some of the many careers a music business/management major can pursue.

Visit Berklee's Career Communities site to explore more roles by community, industry, program, or location.



Description:

A&R (artists and repertoire) administrators handle many financial and clerical tasks in a record label or music publisher’s A&R department. 


Also called:

Director of A&R

Description:

A&R (artists and repertoire) directors run the record label or music publisher department concerned with signing and developing musical talent. Wielding immense power and influence within their companies, A&R directors can be almost singlehandedly responsible for shaping the aesthetic direction of the label's artists and releases.


Description:

A&R (artists and repertoire) managers negotiate with and sign new artists for record labels and music publishers.


Also called:

A&R Rep, Talent Scout, Music Scout

Description:

An A&R (artists and repertoire) representative is responsible for finding promising new artists for a record label or music publisher to sign.


Also called:

Talent Manager, Band Manager, Manager, Personal Manager

Description:

Artist managers guide every aspect of their clients' careers, counseling them on professional decisions and opportunities, overseeing their day-to-day schedules and activities, and representing their interests within larger productions and teams.


Also called:

ARM, Artist Relations Representative, Artist Development Representative

Description:

An artist relations manager (ARM) acts as the liaison between an arts-related company and an artist, ensuring that all of the artist's needs are met.


Also called:

Entertainment Accountant, Music Business Accountant

Description:

Arts and entertainment accountants advise both individual artists and arts-related businesses on financial matters.


Also called:

Symphony Business Manager, Orchestra Business Manager, Theater Business Manager, Chief Financial Officer, Controller

Description:

Business managers control the financial resources of an orchestra or theater company by devising and implementing a general budget for the organization, investigating and reducing major expenses, distributing payroll and reimbursement to employees, and approving all purchases on the organization's behalf.


Description:

Personal business managers oversee their clients financial affairs. Duties include paying bills, collecting monies owed, and ensuring the proper handling of taxes, budgets, investments, and contracts. 


Also called:

Campus Representative, College and Lifestyle Marketing Representative

Description:

College marketing representatives are college students or recent graduates who work part-time to promote label artists among the young adult demographic. In the process, they gain early marketing experience and a valuable introduction to the record industry. 


Description:

Company managers are broadly responsible for the logistical and administrative operations of a theatrical production, including payroll, contract negotiation, lodging, transport, scheduling, interdepartmental communications, and much more.


Also called:

Concert Hall Promoter

Description:

A concert hall marketing director is broadly responsible for promoting their space and the events held there, with the ultimate goals of selling more tickets and raising the venue's profile. 


Also called:

Tour Promoter, Promoter

Description:

Concert promoters organize and present live music events, taking care of everything from booking talent and securing venues to setting ticket prices and marketing the show. 


Also called:

Development Officer, Fundraiser, Grant Writer

Description:

Development associates are skilled communicators who generate financial resources for their organizations by applying for grants, writing fundraising letters, planning events, and cultivating strong relationships with potential donors and institutions.


Also called:

Content Creator, Freelance Writer, Social Media Content Producer

Description:

Digital content producers work with a mix of words, images, videos, and other media to create content for websites, apps, and social media pages.


Also called:

PR Director, Publicity Director, Head of Publicity

Description:

A director of publicity manages the publicity staff at a record label, entertainment company, or independent public relations company, and is broadly responsible for developing and overseeing publicity strategies for the company's clients. 


Also called:

Entertainment Lawyer, Music Lawyer

Description:

Entertainment attorneys provide legal advice and representation to individuals and businesses in arts and entertainment industries.


Also called:

Director of Event Operations, Events Coordinator

Description:

Event operations coordinators are responsible for every logistical aspect of staging an event, from ideation to cleanup. 


Also called:

Festival Organizer, Festival Producer

Description:

Festival directors manage the behind-the-scenes logistics associated with planning and presenting a music festival. They work with a large assortment of people and businesses, among them city officials, local police, vendors, on-site staff, talent buyers, musical artists, insurance companies, and security. 


Also called:

Merchandising Representative, Field Representative, Field Marketing Rep

Description:

Field merchandisers distribute merchandising materials and provide support for in-store promotions at record stores, retail music departments, and other partnered businesses.


Also called:

Orchestra Manager

Description:

The general manager of an orchestra oversees its human and financial resources, and is responsible for scheduling and production; negotiating and fulfilling contracts with musicians, venues, and vendors; and managing the details of the orchestra's recording, electronic media, and outreach projects. 


Also called:

Academic Administrator, College/University/Conservatory Staff, Dean

Description:

Higher-education administrators help keep colleges and universities running by designing, implementing, and overseeing the school's approach to subjects including academics, student life, and more.


Description:

Radio promoters utilize professional connections to introduce new artists and records to the radio marketplace with the combined goals of acquiring airplay, making it on the charts, and increasing sales for the artists they represent.


Description:

In order to ensure that the label's releases are on time, within budget, and on brand, the label manager coordinates and oversees all operations at a record label, from product management and sales to marketing and A&R.


Also called:

Licensing Agent, Licensing Sales Representative, Licensing Rep

Description:

Licensing representatives pitch and handle requests for the rights to use music in films, television, advertisements, video games, businesses, and performances. 


Also called:

Digital Marketing Manager, Advertising Executive, Advertising Account Manager

Description:

Marketing managers work all over the music industry, where they design and implement advertising campaigns to promote products, artists, and releases.


Also called:

Marketing Rep, Marketer, Marketing Coordinator, Music Marketing Representative

Description:

Marketing representatives use advertisements, promotions, and more to control how a company’s products are perceived and attract new customers.


Also called:

Talent Agent, Booking Agent

Description:

A music agent books live shows and in-person appearances for artists and bands.


Also called:

Contracts Specialist, Orchestra Contractor, Fixer (U.K.)

Description:

Music contractors connect clients in the film, television, theater, and live music industries with the musical talent they need for their recordings and performances.


Also called:

Music Supervisor

Description:

Music coordinators are responsible for everything related to finding and placing music in a production, including recruitment, rights management, budgeting, and contracts. 


Also called:

MD, Music Curator

Description:

Music directors for radio work closely with program directors to craft a station's musical playlist. They also serve as the liaison between the radio station and radio promoters, musical artists, and listeners. Similarly, in-house curators at streaming services such as Spotify and Google Play seek out new music in order to create and maintain popular playlists, at the same time monitoring listener habits and algorithm research.


Also called:

Music Critic, Music Blogger, Music Reporter, Music Writer

Description:

Music journalists cover the world of music for print publications, online journals, magazines, and broadcast media outlets. They review concerts and new releases, report on the business of music, write artist profiles and feature stories, conduct interviews, and break music-related news.


Also called:

Merch Designer, Celebrity Merchandiser

Description:

Music merchandisers design, manufacture, ship, and sometimes sell products related to musical artists and their brands.


Description:

Music publisher can refer both to an organization that secures and manages copyrights for musical compositions and to the person who runs it. Their tasks include promoting their catalog's songs to recording artists; licensing compositions for use by films, television, advertisements, and other media; monitoring song usage; and collecting and distributing royalties to clients.


Description:

Music supervisors artfully select and license preexisting songs and recordings for use in movies, television shows, and video games.


Also called:

Executive Producer, Line Producer, Supervising Producer, Coproducer, Associate Producer

Description:

Producers oversee and manage every aspect of a film, television, or theatrical project, from the creative to the financial.


Also called:

P.D., Chief Content Officer, Content Director

Description:

Radio program directors oversee the conception and selection of all the station's content, and in the process shape the station's demographic, identity, and core values.


Description:

Project managers break large, long-term projects down into manageable chunks, coordinating the efforts of the team and tracking ongoing progress in order to avoid obstacles that might delay the project.


Also called:

Radio Promotion Manager, Regional Promotion Manager

Description:

Promotion managers work for record label promotion departments, where they strive to grow the audience for the label’s artists and bands by generating radio airplay.


Also called:

Press Agent, Public Relations Counselor

Description:

Publicists generate media attention and manage public relations for musical artists and music-related businesses. 


Also called:

Music Executive

Description:

Record company executives work in senior management at record labels, where they make high-level business and creative decisions concerning the company's strategy, vision, administration, and operations, as well as decisions about the careers of artists on the label's roster.


Also called:

Music Producer, Producer

Description:

Record producers oversee and direct recording projects for musical artists. Although their roles vary by project, producers commonly help artists choose material and adapt arrangements, coach them in the studio, select and hire side musicians, work with the recording engineer, and weigh in on decisions about mixes.


Also called:

Royalty Analyst

Description:

Royalty coordinators process, review, and solve discrepancies in royalty statements for organizations such as music publishers, record labels, and performance rights organizations, ensuring that these companies—and the artists they represent—are properly compensated.


Also called:

Social Media Officer, Community Manager, Digital Communications Specialist, Online Brand Ambassador, Social Media Specialist, Social Media Marketer

Description:

Social media managers are internet extroverts who use detail-oriented writing, smart content curation, speedy customer service, and digital marketing techniques to increase their clients’ reach on social media.


Also called:

Independent Song Plugger, Professional Manager

Description:

Song pluggers are musical matchmakers who pitch compositions to recording artists and record label teams in the hopes of making a hit.


Also called:

Booker

Description:

Identifying artists appropriate for a venue, negotiating with their agents and managers, and booking them are all central to the talent buyer's job. Besides having a good ear, talent buyers have to understand the many variables that go into a successful show, including marketing, setting ticket prices, and managing concession sales. 


Also called:

Road Manager, Concert Tour Manager

Description:

Tour managers travel with musicians and crew members on touring journeys that can span the globe and last for months. Their job is to make sure everything runs smoothly, which usually means arranging travel plans, coordinating with venues, managing money, facilitating media interactions, and scoping out local services at each tour stop.


Description:

Tour publicists handle all of the media relations and promotional activities for an artist or band's tour, engaging with fans and media to attract attention for shows and maximize audience turnout. 


Also called:

Concert Hall Manager, Club Manager, Facility Manager

Description:

Venue managers are industrious multitaskers who oversee all of the activities, employees, and business associated with a concert facility. They make it possible for concertgoers to waltz into a bar, nightclub, or theater for a seamless live music experience.