Do you love working backstage at events? Do you love organization and planning?

Then a career in tour management may be for you!

A band setting up for a concert.

What does a tour manager do?

Tour managers take care of everything that goes on behind the scenes of a tour and are responsible for ensuring that the tour runs smoothly and without complication.

They provide administrative and organizational support to entertainers and crew for the tour duration. This includes finding accommodation and coordinating relationships between sound and lighting techs, the venue, and the entertainer.

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Skills needed to be a tour manager

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills are needed to work with a range of people.

  • Having a tightly packed schedule and a large number of day-to-day tasks means that time management and organizational skills are invaluable to a tour manager.

  • Industry knowledge is needed to ensure tours are operating to the industry standard.

  • Problem solving skills are needed to address issues quickly and effectively so that disruption is minimal.

  • Flexibility to adapt to diverse and quickly changing situations.

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What's it like day-to-day?

Being a tour manager is a very multifaceted career. The day-to-day life of a tour manager varies greatly and is dependent on the type of entertainment that is being managed as well as the individual needs of entertainers.

Some tasks commonly completed by a tour manager include: ensuring equipment is in good condition and ready to use, budgeting, and making sure the program is running to schedule.

Check out the video below to see an example of the day in the life of a tour manager working for an EDM artist!

Some tasks the tour manager is responsible for in the video:

  • Meetings

  • Meet and greets

  • Lighting and camera setup

  • Pyrotechnic safety checks

  • Programming

  • Soundcheck support

  • Performance support

  • Packing up

Education and learning the role

There are many pathways to securing a job as a tour manager.

  • Getting a university degree in music business or entertainment management is a great place to start!

  • Consider your past work experience and determine if any of your skills are transferable. If they are you may already be on your way to securing a position.

  • Get some experience by volunteering or completing an internship. Offer your skills to small scale tours and start building your reputation.

A student at a computer learning. She raises her hands in the air with enthusiasm. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


What can you do to build your reputation when you're new to the industry?

How much do tour managers earn?

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In Australia, tour managers earn an average of $53,000 AUD per year.

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Tour manager salaries vary greatly in the US, with a range between $35,000 USD and $100,000 USD per year.

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In Canada, the salary of a tour manager ranges between $32,000 CAD and $47,000 CAD per year.

What are the pros and cons?


  • Travel opportunities: You'll get to travel to a range of destinations.

  • Free events/concerts: Attend events as part of the backstage crew.

  • Meeting new people: Work with a range of people from all over the world.

  • Variety in day-to-day tasks: You'll develop an array of skills.


  • Long hours: Tour managers don't just work a 9 to 5.

  • Lack of personal time: Travelling with a tour is a full time commitment.

  • High pressure/stress: A lot of tasks are time sensitive and require quick thinking.

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Take Action

So you've decided tour management is the career for you.

What next?

Excited woman on the phone 'I got the job'


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