Modeling agencies employ agents and scouts as well as stylists and photographers. Agencies are located throughout the United States and internationally, though there are established major and minor markets for work. In the United States, the top market is located in New York City, undeniably the fashion capital of the country. Flagship offices of major modeling agencies are located there, such as Ford, Elite, IMG, and Wilhelmina, not to mention top-notch photographers, designers, and advertising agencies. While New York City may offer the best job market and most lucrative bookings, competition for work is intense. Still, many models flock to the city in hopes of making it big. Numerous agents also make their way to the city, hoping to represent those promising new talents.
Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta are also good modeling markets. Chicago offers plenty of commercial work for models. Miami, specifically Miami Beach, is a favorite modeling market due to its great location and weather. The largest modeling markets abroad are Paris and Milan. Again, however, agents face stiff competition for jobs.
Do not be afraid to be aggressive in this business. If you hear about a job opening, move quickly to contact the modeling agency or simply e-mail your resume to the hiring manager. Although you may not be offered a full-time position right away, you might receive a chance to prove your abilities by working as a temp.
If permanent, full-time positions are unavailable at a particular agency, you might opt to work as an assistant or in a clerical job while you wait for an opening. Another option is to find out from the agency's human resource department what temporary employment agency they use, get a job there, and request to only be assigned to that specific modeling agency. From there, getting noticed is up to you.
One advantage of going to college is that you will be able to use the school's career services office and network with alumni when you are looking for your first job.
Advancement in this industry can mean representing a larger roster of models or working with more lucrative client accounts. The higher a top model's hourly booking charges, the more the agent's total fee will be. Some agents may choose to move into other areas of the fashion industry and work as a stylist, fashion coordinator, or forecaster of new trends.
Working as a modeling agent is the perfect training ground for sales and management. Experienced and successful agents may opt to open their own agencies representing models, actors, or other forms of talent. Other agents may move outside of the industry and open businesses unrelated to the fashion world.
Participate in internships or part-time jobs that are arranged by your college’s career services office.
Land an entry-level job at a talent agency to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.
Conduct information interviews with agents and let it be known that you are looking for a job.