Some DJs earn what is known as “the big bucks.” I’m talking six figures, ladies and gentlemen.
They’re not just playing music at one show a weekend; they play multiples shows throughout the week, travel all over the world, meet people from different countries, bring new music to your favorite venues every night of the week.
The average professional DJ can earn upwards of $100,000 per year. It’s not just for the rich and famous; many DJs are young professionals who “pick up” extra money on their nights off or when they’re done working at their full-time jobs.
Most of them play a lot more than one show a weekend; it’s not unusual for a DJ to play 3-4 shows per weekend and work another full-time job.
The best way for aspiring DJs to become successful is to do what they love, have a good attitude, and play great music. When you get right down to it, being a DJ is fun!
In this article we’ll present the results of our research in which we tried to find out how much do DJs actually make. Let’s dive right into it.
How much do DJs earn by Country/Continent?
Average per year
Average per hour
According to SalaryExpert.com, the average salary for a DJ in the United States is $26,587 per year or $13.27 per hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than $15,203, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $55,451.
In California, the average salary for a DJ is $27,988 per year or $14.07 per hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than $15,758, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $72,059.
In Canada, the average salary for a DJ is $30,022 per year or $15.21 an hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than $17, 670 and the highest 10 percent earn more than $50,189.
In Europe, the average salary for a DJ is €12,340 per year or €8.01 per hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than €8,098, and the highest 10 percent earn more than €25,467.
In Australia, the average salary for a DJ is AU$22,697 per year or AU$12.35 an hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than AU$11,260, and the highest 10 percent earn more than AU$42,438.
In Asia, the average salary for a DJ is ¥97,093 per year or ¥12.51 an hour. The lowest 10 percent of DJs earn less than ¥75, 256 and the highest 10 percent earn more than ¥149,719.
How much do DJs earn on average?
Many people think that DJs make a large amount of money, and while this is true for some DJs who play large events and venues, it’s not the average.
The average hourly pay for DJs is $31, and established DJs can expect to make around $300 per night.
DJs who play clubs and other venues will usually earn money per-night basis. This means that they make a set amount of money for the entire time they DJ instead of earning a percentage from each customer’s order. Usually, DJs make around $300 per night, but many also receive tips from satisfied customers.
Tips can help increase a DJ’s income. However, most DJs who play in clubs are paid per night, so they will not receive tips unless a tip jar or other system is in place.
When DJs are booked for large events, their pay is usually negotiated with the clients ahead of time.
Some types of events include weddings, corporate parties, and festivals.
A client may wish to set a budget for entertainment at their event and negotiate with DJs until they find one that fits well within their price range.
If a DJ’s fee is too low, it can reflect poorly on the company booking them and cut into the DJ’s profits. On the other hand, if a DJ’s fee is too high, the client may not be willing to pay it, and they will go with someone else.
A large event such as a wedding can offer an opportunity for DJs to earn more than their usual amount of money.
For example, there could be three or four DJs who are paid to play at the same time so that each customer could have music choices. A client could offer each DJ a different hourly rate for their services.
DJs who play large venues and events tend to have the highest pay, but those DJs who focus on teaching lessons or playing smaller venues can also earn a good amount of money by working as DJs part-time.
In any case, DJs should keep in mind that their hourly rate will vary depending on where they play and how often they do so.
How do DJs earn money?
There are many ways to earn money once you have the skills needed for being a professional DJ. There are opportunities of playing at more than one show per week, market yourself through social media, and meet people from other countries.
Other earning methods include having discounts on rooms when booking gigs in that city, getting hired by another company while DJing, a full-time job, etc.
Many DJs use their pay to supplement their income. For example, many will give private lessons or have a job during the day in order to earn money when they are not djing.
DJs can earn money in other places besides large events and clubs. For example, many DJs teach private lessons either one-on-one or with small groups. This can be an option for DJs who do not play as often as they would like or those who want to use their pay from club performances to supplement their income.
A series of private lessons can be a great way for beginner DJ to build up their confidence and abilities before they start playing in clubs and other venues.
DJs should also consider other ways they can earn money when not DJing. For example, many DJs work part-time in order to make the most of their time off.
When DJs are not working or studying, they can also volunteer their services for charities or other organizations. This will allow them to network with others within their field and possibly lead to more work opportunities.
How much do club DJs earn?
Club DJs make a lot of money. It’s a good job to have if you’re a music lover, as long as you can handle the odd smell and ear-piercingly loud music that club DJs have to play out over the weekends.
The better they are at their craft, the more money they’ll be able to earn. If you are planning to become a club DJ, you must know how much money you will be earning at the end of each month.
At first glance, this may seem like an easy question to answer, but there are actually quite a few different factors that determine how much money you’ll be making as a club DJ.
One of the biggest factors in where you live. Certain areas of the world are more likely to hire young club DJs than others, and this will have a huge effect on how much money you’ll be making.
The best place to start your search if you’re looking for work as a club DJ is in London. This is because there are always clubs looking for new recruits in London, and these club DJs can earn up to £200 per night.
However, this will only be the case if you’re a promising new DJ that has just started. The more experience you have as a club DJs earnings, the higher your per gig will become.
Another factor that can affect how much you earn as a club DJ is what type of club it is. To put it simply, the better the club, the more likely it is to have a bigger budget for hiring new DJs.
This means that if you are trying to get on as a permanent DJ at one of these clubs, you’ll be able to demand a higher salary. You can earn upwards of £500 per night if you are a permanent resident DJ at one of London’s superclubs.
If this is the kind of thing that interests you, then it may be worth checking out clubs like the Ministry of Sound as they do regular auditions for club DJs.
Even if you are just trying to get a residency DJing at one of the cheaper clubs, it’s still worth having experience, as this means that you can demand even more money.
Many other factors can affect how much money club DJs earn, so it’s impossible to estimate this answer accurately. However, it is safe to say that if you are willing to work hard, you can make a very good living as a club DJ.
Wedding DJ Salary
Yes, wedding DJs do get paid to spin and bump. And it’s not a bad living either. These days, the average good wedding DJ makes good money, and there is every reason in the world for someone looking for a job as a professional DJ to focus on weddings.
The busy season for this line of work happens to fall around the months of May through September, but there are always weddings happening somewhere in this country.
A few years ago, I worked as a mobile DJ for Weddings, Corporate Events, Birthday Parties, etc. It turned out I wasn’t charging enough! My services are now in high demand. I charge $400 per wedding plus travel expenses.
In my case, additional services such as MCing the wedding, running a photo booth, or providing music videos from a projector onto a big screen did not add to the bottom line. In this case, I did not bother with these extras because it did increase my time to set up and break down.
Most professional DJs work independently and set their own prices for services. Therefore, it is difficult to arrive at an average wage to use as a benchmark. It is safe to say that the typical wedding DJ charges $200-$400 per hour depending on the job location and amount of equipment they carry.
The more gear the DJ needs to set up, the higher their overhead cost, which raises their hourly charge accordingly. Factor in travel costs, and it might be safe to say that a wedding DJ is earning $200-$500 per wedding, on average.
However, there is always some degree of variance depending on the region of the country.
Most wedding DJs in urban areas make a little more, perhaps $250-$450 per wedding, while those in rural areas make a little less, perhaps around $100 -$200 per wedding.
What about mobile DJs? How much can you expect to pay for their services?
Depending on the country, a mobile DJ charges much less for their services, perhaps $125-$350 per hour.
The hourly fees are similar to those of solo photographer rates. What sets these folks apart from other DJs is that they have their own sound and lighting equipment. Like wedding DJs, these independent workers set their own prices.
I started out in 2008 charging $375 for gigs, but it hasn’t been long since I raised the price to $400 per wedding plus travel expenses. This is because I have been doing more events each weekend and have noticed a significant increase in service providers’ prices like DJs, Photographers, and Videographers.
As a mobile DJ, work is not as consistent as it was years ago because things have significantly changed in the industry.
Some still do weddings for $150-$250 or $200 per wedding plus travel expenses. However, the bar now has been raised by those of us who charge between $375 -$400 per wedding.
This hourly fee includes enough income to cover their travel costs if they have to drive a distance or rent gear if necessary.
The difference between the mobile DJ and the wedding DJ is that mobile DJs will typically play at nightclubs, bars, house parties, frat parties, and other events that may last for a few hours or go all night long.
Wedding DJs do not typically play at any other event aside from weddings. A wedding DJ will sometimes assist with sound and music production for an entire day – starting early in the morning with ceremony music until late into the night with reception entertainment like dancing and karaoke.
However, this is not the norm, as the wedding DJ who does this will have to charge a much higher rate for their services.
Do club DJs make more than wedding DJs?
This is an interesting topic. Club DJs are paid to play music for dancers who are usually under the influence of alcohol or other mood-changing/enhancing drugs.
If you think about it, these people aren’t dancing because they love to dance but rather because of the effects brought on by what they have ingested before heading out to the club.
This is why a DJ that plays music for dancers has to be versatile enough to read their audience and know when to play certain songs.
If you don’t, people will walk out because they’re not having fun…and no one likes an angry crowd of people! One could argue that nightclub DJs make more because they have faster turnarounds.
In a club, you have to set up your equipment and tear it down within 4 hours, which means you’re not going to be making a huge profit for the night. In fact, many people that work as DJs in clubs only make between $20 – $50 per hour because of all the expenses they have to pay for.
I know of club DJs that travel to different states every weekend to play music. They are required to have their own equipment, but they don’t have to buy a plane ticket because the nightclub pays for it.
This is why I’ve seen DJs charging between $750 – $1,500 per night in big cities like San Francisco for their services. I’m sure that the club owners are making a killing by charging each person an average of $10 -$20 per person to get in the door, but this is another story entirely!
The Highest Paid DJs in the World
From the looks of things, electronic dance music is overtaking popular culture and mushrooming into a dominant force in contemporary society.
With its remarkable dominance, it comes as no surprise that some of its top players are reaping in the serious dough.
These days, we can’t go a single day without hearing about how much money these guys and gals are making.
There’s no doubt that influential DJs such as Tiesto and Martin Garrix have garnered enough support from their fans to be able to dedicate themselves fully to their craft, but, remarkably, the top earners in the world are able to make five (or more!) digit figures for a single performance.
Their fees can range anywhere from five thousand dollars all the way up to hundreds of thousands, depending on who you’re talking about.
Here is our list of ten highest-paid DJs globally as of 2022.
10. Zedd ($24 Million)
Swedish EDM artist Anton Zaslavski, better known by his stage name Zedd, is a Russian-German record producer, DJ and musician signed to Interscope Records in the US. He produces songs that are of the house genre and with a hint of electro-pop. Zedd began his career in 2010 but gained exposure when he worked for Lady Gaga’s album “Born This Way.”
Zedd started earning from his work when he released singles through Interscope records and Columbia, which was followed by an extended play titled Clarity.
In 2013, Zedd released his debut studio album Clarity, which became Gold certified in 2015.
His debut album also featured Grammy winner Foxes and earned him his first Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording and appeared on the top ten charts of more than fifteen countries.
9. Armin Van Buuren ($28 million)
He is a Dutch DJ, record producer and remixer from Leiden. He is known for playing progressive trance, uplifting trance, and techno music.
Since 2001, Van Buuren has been hosting a weekly radio show called “A State of Trance” which according to him is the world’s most popular electronic dance music radio show in the world.
He started earning in 1997 when he released his first studio album Tranceology. He has released six more albums since then, three of them being in collaboration with different DJs and producers.
His most popular songs are Communication, Burned With Desire, and This is What It Feels Like. His albums have more than 10 million copies worldwide.
8. Afrojack ($30 million)
Nick is a Dutch DJ, record producer, and remixer of the house music genre. He was born in Spijkenisse, Netherlands.
At the age of 12, when his parents gave him his first PlayStation game console, he started to teach himself how to mix sounds from video games in which he developed his music skills.
In 2009, he released his debut studio album titled Forget the World, which became a success and was certified Gold in the United Afrojack started earning from his work since then. He has been featured on 14 top ten singles including 10 number ones. His popular songs are The Spark, Ten Feet Tall and Forget the world.
7. Deorro (30 million)
He is an American DJ and producer who was born as Erick Orrosquieta in Los Angeles, California. He started producing music at the age of 15 using a FL Studio demo version which he got from his father.
In 2011, Deorro broke through to the mainstream when he released his first single titled “Let Me Love You” which sampled the song “Let Me Love You” by Mario.
His debut studio album Good Evening was released in 2015 and reached number 1 on US dance charts. His most popular songs are Five Hours, Bailar, Flashlight and Bootie in Your Face. He is also known for his remixes of songs belonging to other genres including “Cinema” by Benny Benassi, “Kokiri” by Thegiornalisti and more.
6. Martin Garrix ($32 million)
Although he was born on May 17th in 1999, his actual age is only 17 years old but has already made it big in the world of EDM. “Animals” is the most popular song by Martin Garrix and it has already gained 1 billion views on YouTube.
He started earning when he was 13 years old. His first studio album titled Gold Skies was released in 2013 which went to number 1 in Belgium and Brazil, among other countries. Since then, he has produced several songs and has been included in the “DJ Mag” top 100 DJs list.
5. Don Diablo ($40 million)
Don is a popular DJ and record producer from London, UK who started earning at the age of 16 as a DJ at clubs. In 2012, he made his breakthrough as a producer with his debut studio album titled My World which reached number 1 on the US iTunes dance chart as well as in his own home country.
His second studio album titled The Devil’s Playground was released in 2015 and included features from Emeli Sande, Kay, Holly Thomas, among others. His most popular songs are On My Mind, Cutting Shapes and M1 Stinger. He has also collaborated with several well-known artists and producers such as AJR, Tiesto and Diplo, among others.
4. Skrillex ($45 million)
Sonny John Moore is an American world-renowned DJ, singer and songwriter known by his stage name Skrillex and he was born on January 15th in 1988. He started earning at a very young age by making his own music and uploading it on MySpace.
His debut album titled “Bells” was released in 2010 which won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the song Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. He then went on to produce several songs including Bangarang, Breakn’ A Sweat and his latest single “Red Lips.”
3. Steve Aoki ($45 million)
Steve is an American electro house singer and producer who was born as Steven Hiroyuki on November 30th in 1977. He started earning at the age of 14 when he began working at a nightclub named as “Neck Noriega”. His debut studio album titled Wonderland was released in 2012 which went to number 2 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart.
His second studio album titled Neon Future I was released in 2014 and his latest album called Neon Future II has been trending since its release on September 30th 2016. His most popular songs are Cudi the Kid, Nightmare and Back 2 U.
2. Calvin Harris ($63 million)
Calvin Harris is a Scottish singer, producer and songwriter who was born as Adam Richard Wiles on January 17th in 1984. He started earning at the age of 23 when he signed his first record deal with EMI and Sony BMG after sending them a demo recording of one of his songs.
His debut studio album titled I Created Disco was released in 2007 which reached number 8 on the British music charts. His most popular songs are Under Control, Feel So Close and Summer among others. He is also known for collaborating with several well-known artists such as Rihanna, Ellie Goulding, Disciples among others.
1. Tiesto ($75 million)
Tijs Michiel Verwest is a Dutch DJ and record producer who was born on January 17th in 1969. He started earning at the age of 16 while making music using his father’s cassette deck as an interface for his synthesizer.
His debut studio album titled In My Memory was released in 2001 and went on to sell over 300,000 copies. His second album titled Just Be was released in 2004 and it too reached number 1 on the Dutch charts. His most popular songs include Adagio for Strings, Lethal Industry and Traffic which is one of his most successful songs so far.