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how much do djs earn?

How Much Do DJs Earn?

If you’re trying to decide whether DJing is feasible as a career choice, it may be handy to know how much money DJs earn in different parts of the world. Big room club and festival DJing is more often than not where the money is, but is it possible to earn a living playing other kinds of gigs?

We’re going to break down how much money you could expect to receive through looking at the varying types of gigs available to beginner, semi pro and pro DJs.

We reached out to our global DJ community and asked them what their experiences were and used the feedback to help with our figures.

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In order to make things a bit easier to figure out, we have converted the rates into US dollars.

How Much Do Beginner DJs Earn?

Bars & Clubs

Bars and clubs are a great way to get yourself in front of a crowd for the first time. In most big towns or cities there will be loads of venues to approach, so getting a gig shouldn’t be too hard. Don’t expect to earn too much money at these types of gigs and instead look at them as a way to gain live experience.

It’s also worth noting that if you get established at a local venue, then you can command a half decent fee. Some residents at local bars and clubs can earn between $100 -$300 per night in Europe and North America.

Beginner DJs earnings playing at a bar, pub or small local club.

ContinentEarnings Per Hour (Average)
North America$25 – $30
South America$5 – $15
Europe$20 – $30
Asia$5 – $10
Africa$5 – $10

Wedding & Mobiles

Playing wedding and mobile gigs can provide DJs with a half decent living. These kind of gigs require a DJ who is able to read a dancefloor well and have a varied music selection to cater for diverse crowds. Wedding and mobile DJs also tend to be great at using a mic and engaging with audiences. It can be a great option for beginner DJs because you don’t necessarily need to be technically brilliant as it’s all about playing the right music at the right time rather than mixing music.

The best way pursue this type of DJing is to shadow a DJ that you know and see how they do it.

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Usually these gigs require the DJ to provide their own sound and lighting system and as a result, the fee should be a lot higher than usual.

Beginner DJs Earnings Playing at a Wedding Or Mobile Show (with sound & lighting equipment)

ContinentEarnings Per Hour (Average)
North America$50 – $100
South America$20 – $50
Europe$50 – $150
Asia$10 – $75
Africa$10 – $50

Apart from playing for free at house parties or online radio etc, the gig types covered above are going to be the most typical ways in which to earn money as a beginner DJ. As your experience levels grow, so will your ability to play larger venues and subsequently earn more money.

How Much Do Semi Pro DJs Earn?

Bars & Clubs

As the name would suggest, semi pro DJs often have an alternative income and have to balance their gigs with their day jobs. This can be a really tough situation to be in as most gigs will be evening based and often becomes draining and infringes a bit on the work life balance. That said, it’s a great way to gain some extra cash and experience.

Semi pro DJs have often built up a good reputation in their local area and may hold residencies at some venues. They have become skilled at reading a room and mixing music and venues see the value in rebooking them. This extra value that they bring to venues and promoters are reflected in their wages.

Semi Pro DJ earnings at a bar or local club

ContinentEarnings Per Hour (Average)
North America$50 – $100
South America$20 – $80
Europe$40 – $100
Asia$20 – $50
Africa$15 – $50

Weddings & Mobiles

Experienced wedding and mobile DJs can make some good money. This isn’t only down to the skill level of the DJ but also the equipment they are providing. Semi Pro DJs have often invested some of their gig money back into their sound and lighting set-up and therefore can cater for larger crowds and subsequently command high fees for their services.

Semi ProDJ Earnings Playing at a Wedding Or Mobile Show (with sound & lighting equipment)

ContinentEarnings Per Hour (Average)
North America$100 – $200
South America$50 – $100
Europe$120 – $250
Asia$50 – $100
Africa$40 – $100

How Much Do Pro DJs Earn?

Pro DJs have built their DJ brand to a point where they are in demand and playing gigs and festivals outside of their home town. This is partly down to their skill levels but also due to their ability to market themselves effectively. Many big name DJs do this by releasing tracks or remixes and run record labels or host radio shows.

DJs at this level understand the need to differentiate themselves in order to build a unique DJ Brand. This often means they create personalised track edits or incorporate a live aspect to their sets using hardware. This means a lot of time spent in the studio and again is a factor in commanding higher fees.

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That said, the main reason pro DJs get paid so well comes down to business. If the promoter is earning money through ticket sales that are a direct result of the DJ on the line-up, then the large fees can be justified in a business sense.

Pro DJ earnings at a club or festival

ContinentEarnings Per Hour (Average)
North America$500 – $10,000
South America$300 – $5,000
Europe$500 – $10,000
Asia$200 – $5,000
Africa$200 – $3,000

Ultimately, DJs tend to get paid based on their value to the client. A couple getting married will expect you to entertain their guests and make their day even more special, whereas a bar owner may want you to keep people in the venue to boost their bar takings. A festival promoter may expect 1000 ticket sales to justify your $2000 fee. It doesn’t really matter what the scenario is, If they believe they are achieving their goals through booking you, then they’ll be happy to pay.

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