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How Much Money Do DJs Make?

When I first got into Djing, it was all about love, respect, and music. But it didn’t take long to understand that there was money to be made. And I now constantly get asked the question, “How much money do DJs make?’ And my reply is… how long is a piece of string? From the end to the middle times two!

It’s such an open-ended question that doesn’t have a specific answer. You get paid as much as a client is willing to pay you. Unless you are a popular DJ that already has a reputation, then you can demand as much as you like. 

How much you get paid as a DJ will also depend on the type of job you are undertaking. There are so many variables that we need to get more in-depth, so you can understand your options as a professional DJ. 

What Do DJs Earn in Specific Regions?

How Much Money Do DJs Make

It’s only common sense to assume that where you live will have a massive effect on how much money you get paid to DJ. For instance, if you live in a poorer country like Indonesia, you will get paid dramatically less than if you were in the UK. But this is the same for all jobs, not just DJ work.

On average, DJs in the USA get $13.27 per hour, so their annual earnings can be anywhere from $25,000 to $26,000. That might not seem so much in the grand scheme of things, but you work much fewer hours per month in a DJ job than you do working a 9 to 5 job in a warehouse or retail. 

The truth is that the salary for DJs on the lower level gets closer to $15k per year. However, some of the more high-end DJs (not celebrity DJs) make closer to $40k per year. Like I said earlier… how long is a piece of string?

Californian, Canadian, and European DJs

If you are a DJ in California or a major northern European country like the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, or Scandinavia, you’re in the best region to maximize your earning potential as a DJ. And that’s even on the lower levels. 

For example…

It’s been stated on many career websites that the average annual wage for DJs in California is between $27,000 and $28,000 per year. The expected average annual salary for DJs in Canada is even higher than in California. Professional Canadian DJs, on average, get paid between $30,000 to $54,000 per year. The average hourly rate for Canadian DJs is $27 per hour.

Northern European DJs, on average, get paid slightly more than their Californian counterparts, but not as much as DJs in Canada. The average annual salary of a European DJ from the UK is around $30,000 per year.

How Much Money Do DJs Make? – Pay Per Gig

The average annual earnings are one way to figure out how much money you can make as a DJ. But, the truer gauge is by breaking down how much a DJ can get paid per gig

Most professional DJs work on a gig-to-gig basis if they don’t have a regular weekly gig or a residency at a nightclub. Getting paid per gig can be more lucrative if you are a popular and in-demand DJ. 

It’s normal to be a DJ that specializes in certain gigs and job types…

 For example, some DJs focus solely on private parties and functions such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Other DJs might focus on nightclub and disco gigs, festivals, and concerts. Or even corporate events. 

There is no set pay rate for a DJ gig. Therefore, the amount you can make per gig massively differs from job to job. To find out how much money DJs make, I am going to break this down to its bare components from job to job.

How Much Do DJs at Weddings Get Paid?

One of the most common paid DJ jobs is playing at a wedding reception. It’s the job of the wedding DJ to ensure that everyone is entertained and enjoying themselves. This job is not about playing your favorite type of music. It’s about creating the perfect party atmosphere for families to have a good time. 

If you are a fledgling DJ starting in the industry… 

Weddings are the perfect type of gig to practice and hone your DJ skills in a live environment while getting paid. Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for DJs at a wedding to get paid between $500 and $700. 

You might have to take on a couple of extra duties, like being the master of ceremonies and interacting with the weddinggoers, but that’s part of this specific job. Some DJs can get paid close to $2000 for gigs like this. So, even then, the price is not set in stone. Working as a wedding DJ means you can probably bag one or two jobs per week, so it can be quite a decent earner.

How Much Do Nightclub DJs Get Paid?

Nightclub DJs

The vast majority of professional DJs play at some kind of club or disco on a regular basis. These are the most common and lucrative DJ jobs out there. You can make a ton of cash Djing at a club or by getting some type of weekly club DJ residency. 

This is the Holy Grail of reliable and constant jobs for professional DJs looking to make a career out of spinning tracks. Obviously, if you are a famous DJ, you can charge a massive fee to perform at a club because you are in such high demand.

But, in general…

It’s common for standard nightclub DJs to make approximately $100 to $500 per club gig, depending on your level of expertise and experience. It’s not unheard of for standard pro DJs to get 3 to 4 club jobs per week, so the cash can quickly stack up. 

Resident DJ positions where you work every week for the same club can make you between $17,000 to $77,000 per year, so the earning potential is there. The location of the said nightclub will also affect how much you get paid. For example, a gig in a London nightclub will usually net you way more than a club in Bangkok, Thailand. 

However, if you are a world-renowned or famous DJ, you can make a boatload more per gig performing at a club, with some of the biggest nightclub DJs in the world getting between $10,000 and $20,000 per gig. Especially if you are the type of DJ to attract a crowd with your presence. 

How Much Do Mobile DJs Get Paid?

Mobile DJs, as the name suggests, are always on the move. These types of DJs make a living playing at different types of places for different audiences that might need a lot of varying music styles. You need to have a very eclectic choice of music and knowledge to be a mobile DJ. And, be ready for almost any eventuality, which can be difficult or part of the fun, depending on how you look at that.

The problem with working as a mobile DJ is that you need to have all your own equipment. In other words, you pretty much need to have a mobile DJ setup at a moment’s notice. That way, you can arrive at a venue that doesn’t have sound equipment and make the party happen. Here are some of the most common things you need to have as a mobile DJ:

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It’s your job as a mobile DJ to provide these things in venues that have little to no equipment. As a consumer, it’s very expensive to hire mobile DJs for this precise reason. How much money mobile DJs get paid really is an open book. Mobile DJs can get paid anywhere between $100 to $5000 per event, so this type of DJ job is really difficult to gauge. 

How Much Do Radio DJs Get Paid?

Last but not least, let’s talk about the lesser-spotted radio DJ. A radio DJ job is rarer than those above and is usually a well-paid full-time DJ job with a set annual salary. The average annual salary of a full-time radio DJ can be anywhere between $30,000 to $48,000 per year. 

How much you get paid in this type of role will depend heavily on your experience. For example, if you are a famous DJ and a major radio station needs you, the average rates are on the higher end, and you can expect to get paid much, much more.

Which Famous DJs Get Paid the Most?

Paid the Most

One of the highest-paid DJs in the world is Calvin Harris. He routinely gets paid around $40 million per year, mainly for his production duties, not as a DJ. However, Calvin Harris is known to get paid around $150,000 to even $400,000 per gig at certain venues in places like Las Vegas. 

When you look at lists that talk about the highest-paid DJs in the world, most of the cash is generated from record deals, endorsements, and other things that are not DJ gigs. So, in most cases, these lists are not a true reflection of the highest paid DJ per gig.

Some of the other most famous… 

And the highest-paid DJs in the world are David Guetta and Steve Aoki. Guetta is stated as making around $25 million in 2017 from performing DJ gigs across Europe, Africa, America, and Asia. Aoki, on the other hand, has an estimated fortune of around $100 million, which he mostly made from DJ gigs. He normally performs approximately 200 shows a year, so he does put in the work.

Are You An Aspiring DJ?

If so, check out our reviews of the Best DJ Mixers, the Best DJ Table, the Best DJ Headphones, the Best Hardware Sequencers, the Best DJ Controllers, and the Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs you can buy in 2023.

Also, have a look at our Denon DJ Prime Go Review, our Arturia MicroFreak Review, our Pioneer PLX-500-K Review, our Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer Review, our Pioneer DDJ 400 Review, and our Denon DJ Prime 4 Review for more great DJ equipment currently on the market.

How Much Money Do DJs Make? – Final Thoughts

It seems easy to make a decent living as a professional DJ, but you have to put in the work. You might need to start by Djing at weddings, local functions, and parties. But that’s a great way to learn how to be a DJ. And, still getting paid at least a couple of hundred bucks in the process. 

When I get asked, “How much money do DJs earn?” I jokingly answer anywhere between $50 to $400,000. Depending on the gig and who you are. The idea is to learn your trade at local parties before trying to find nightclub jobs. Especially resident DJ jobs at clubs where you get paid an annual salary. 

The truth is that the more popular and in demand you are, the more you can charge. It’s a supply and demand thing like most businesses. And, if you treat your professional DJ gigs as a career, there is no real ceiling to your earning potential. 

Until next time, good luck, and happy listening.

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