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Fashion Model Agent Job Description, Career as a Fashion Model Agent, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training Bachelor’s degree

Average Salary $59,000 per year

Job Outlook Good

Basic Job Description

Most fashion model agents are people who have previously been a part of the modeling industry. They must have a broad knowledge of fashion, modeling, photography, casting agencies, and directors as well as how they are all connected within the industry. They will be able to determine a models’ potential and find events or castings that are right for each particular model and their strengths. Agents will attend runway shows and open casting calls to find new models to bring into the field, as well as maintain schedules, appointments and photo shoots for existing models working under their agency. Some model agents work independently and manage various models looking for work, while others work for one specific company that hires models and manages the models working under their brand.

Education and Training Requirements

There is no specific degree for someone who wishes to work as a fashion model agent. Most agents need to be familiar with the media industry, so a Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing or public relations is a good way for a potential agent to get their foot in the door.

Most jobs in any media or managing type of industry will work as an intern or apprentice under an experienced agent. Most fashion model agents will start off working as an intern for a modeling agency, occasionally working on casting calls and helping to schedule appointments and events for models. The best way for an aspiring agent to gain contacts and move up in the field is to work for various agencies and train with several agents in order to get a feel for how the job works.

Getting the Job

In any media industry, it’s all about who knows who. Many agents gain a reputable name because they are often retired models who are well known throughout the industry, and because of that, are able to determine what agencies look for and scope out models who are a perfect fit.

Someone who wants to work as an agent must also have excellent connections with others in the industry. Models will not want to hire someone as an agent who cannot display a proven track record of managing models jobs and providing them with successful career opportunities. The bigger a “portfolio” of previous clients and successful casting calls an agent displays, the more likely they are to get a job working with larger agencies or gaining clients all on their own.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Most fashion model agents start off working for an independent agency that manages local models in their city. This helps agents to become known throughout various organizations and gain contacts and resources for people who are hiring models from the area. If someone aspires to be an independent agent and work exclusively as their own business for several models, they will have to show that they have this experience and knowledge in order to provide the best career opportunities for each model.

Many agents develop their career by starting an agency of their own. This can be one agent working as an independent agent for various models and scheduling all of their appointments, or an agent moving on to start a large agency business that hires several agents, photographers, fashion designers and publicists to provide a wide variety of services to models to help kick start their career and connect them with where they need to be. Other agents may work for a large scale agency as one of the head agents, who often work with designers to find models for runway fashion shows and major label advertisements.

Employment outlook for fashion model agents is on the rise as more companies are looking for professional help in finding models. Someone with an eye for what a company looks for in a model, how to train models to pose and which models would look best for different shows or advertisements is someone many companies need on staff. Some of the most popular model agents are known exclusively by their name in the industry and have models and companies knocking on their door for a chance to use their services.

Working Conditions and Environment

The average work day for a model agent typically involves office work managing models information, scheduling appointments, and holding meetings with models and companies who are looking to hire them. When they are not in the office, agents spend most of their time assisting models at photo shoots or casting calls, helping them prepare for runway shows, and on top of everything, promoting their services. Fashion model agents first need to sell themselves in order to get noticed. There is plenty of competition out there and an agent cannot go into the field simply expecting the business to come to them. Agents have to be aggressive and passionate about the industry and cannot be afraid to go out of their way to attend events and promote themselves to get their name out there.

The fashion world is extremely fast-paced and filled with competition. Agents need to be able to work under intense pressure and stressful situations. If an agent’s model is about to do a runway show and they have a serious wardrobe malfunction moments before they are expected to walk the runway, the agent will often have to think quickly to hide the flaw or find an alternative outfit. Agents must be able to handle a high-stress environment and think on their feet.

Modeling agents frequently work long and unusual hours. They may be needed last minute to attend a photo shoot with a client, or assist a client in rehearsing for an upcoming fashion show. It is rare for an agent with many clients to work a routine schedule.

Salary and Benefits

The average salary for an agent in the talent industry, including modeling, is about $59,000 per year. Agents who are just starting out will often work for little pay, as the experience is needed more than anything. However, many agents will develop their career and make a name for themselves working for a widely known agency, or independently for themselves. If this is the case, it is not uncommon for an agent to see a six figure income after several years.

Agents working for a modeling agency as a full-time employee will often receive benefits such as health insurance, vacation time and sick leave. Self-employed agents will have to purchase their own health insurance plan as well as revolve their vacation and sick time around the schedules and needs of their clients. Most agents find little time to coordinate away from their job, but are passionate about what they do and are willing to sacrifice personal time for their rewarding career.

Where to Go for More Information

Elite Model Management
404 Park Avenue South, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 529-9700

Wilhelmina Models
300 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
(212) 473-0700

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts