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Occupation Details

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Literary agent

Job Zone

Most occupations in this zone require job specific training (vocational training) related to the occupation (NFQ Levels 5 and 6 or higher), related on-the-job experience, or a relevant professional award.

Related Experience
Previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, several years of full or part-time employment in the area may suffice.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognised apprenticeship or training program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organisational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include restaurant managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, hairdressers, and web developers.

€18k >
Literary Agent
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 -
Related Information:
Agents work on commission
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Although the data does not highlight any issues in this occupation, there have been indications from Enterprise Ireland that client-companies are finding it difficult to source suitably qualified staff to work in animation. As a result an apprenticeship for a CGI Technical Artist has been proposed.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Occupational Category

Artistic, Literary & Media Occupations

Also included in this category:

Artists; authors, writers, translators, interpreters; actors; entertainers and presenters; musicians; composers; singers; dancers; choreographers; film editors; production assistants (broadcasting); television producers; theatrical agents; photographers.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 25%
Aged over 55: 14%
Male / Female: 60 / 40%
Non-Nationals: 16%
With Third Level: 67%
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At a Glance... header image

Promotes authors and their work to the media and arts industries.

Videos & Interviews header image

The Work header image

Literary editors work as a link between authors and publishers or producers. They usually specialise in a certain genre such as fiction, non-fiction, film, drama or poetry. Within their chosen field they are responsible for keeping up-to-date with the trends and the needs of the market place. They must be able to spot appropriate works as they come along and be able to match these with the most likely facilitator.  
When negotiating terms on behalf of their client they must be aware of marketing, long term earnings, future placements etc.  
Increasingly agents are expected to have editorial skills. They should be able to liaise with the author to bring their work up to a standard that will be accepted.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Collect fees, commissions, or other payments, according to contract terms.


Confer with clients to develop strategies for their careers, and to explain actions taken on their behalf.


Develop contacts with individuals and organizations, and apply effective strategies and techniques to ensure their clients' success.


Schedule promotional or performance engagements for clients.


Negotiate with managers, promoters, union officials, and other persons regarding clients' contractual rights and obligations.


Keep informed of industry trends and deals.


Manage business and financial affairs for clients, such as arranging travel and lodging, selling tickets, and directing marketing and advertising activities.


Conduct auditions or interviews to evaluate potential clients.


Arrange meetings concerning issues involving their clients.


Prepare periodic accounting statements for clients.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others: Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.


Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.


Selling or Influencing Others: Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.


Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Scheduling Work and Activities: Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Sales and Marketing: Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Communications and Media: Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.


Administration and Management: Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Persuasion: Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Negotiation: Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a literary agent you will need a thorough knowledge of your chosen field, a flair for marketing and a persuasive and confident ability for bargaining. As a large part of your work will be dealing with authors, and perhaps having to edit or advise them on their work, you will need to have excellent inter-personal skills. You will need a good critical eye and be able to spot new talent.  
As a lot of your work will be office based computer skills will be necessary.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Literary agent - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Publishing Training Centre
Address: 45 East Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2QZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 8874 2718
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Publishing Training Centre
Address: 45 East Hill, Wandsworth, London SW18 2QZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 8874 2718
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Media & Publishing

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