Average Salary: $64,490
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,692,000
The "average" an agent takes home is $97,220 (source). We put quotations like that because there's no such thing as an average agent. Some years your clients book everything, and some you can't get them into the room to even get rejected in the first place.
This is where your client list counts the most. You need to make sure your talent isn't just talented, but they're going out for the right parts. If you keep sending that twenty-two-year-old out for middle-aged grumpy doctor roles, neither of you will end up getting a paycheck.
There's a reason agents are so concerned with how their clients are faring out in the scary world of entertainment—if the talent isn't making money, the agent isn't making money. If the agent isn't making money, the talent will soon find themselves looking for a new agent.
This is true regardless of how talented the actor/model/musician is; they can have all the talent in the world but if they go to auditions and meetings and loads of business lunches and just can't seem to get a job, eventually you've got to cut them lose.
It may seem unfair to the actors but they can take the rejection—and if they can't, well then they weren't cut out for this business to begin with. Look at it like you're doing them a favor. Just remember: some agent is getting that twenty percent commission, and if it isn't you, it's someone you're competing with.
That Talent Train better start rolling through Money Station at some point is all we're saying.