im in a local band here in SD and we are struggling to find a fan base and getting gigs so we were thinking about getting a booking manager. we are all very confident and serious about our music and want to take it to the next level. we are all 16-17 and in high school. do you think a booking manager would be over our heads? how do they normally charge? do they take money up front or just extract from how much you make at shows?

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I think managers usually take 10% of what you get.
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There is not much point in getting managment involved until you get a fan base of a couple of hundred, a lot wont even bother with you as they would make no money until then.
Just go to loads of gigs and sell yourself, get to know everyone from the bands, the promoters, organizers, sound engineers....absolutely eveyone.
knowing these guys means its easier for you to get support slots, once you've got regular support slots people begin to hear about your band, then you get one of the organizers to get you your own headline gig, the sound guys you know to work at it, promotions involved etc. the more headliners you play the more people know you, the more people that know you the more interest mangment would take in you!
Always be willing to help bands in your area out as they will then do the same for you!