How Much Do DJs Get Paid in 2021? A Guide for Beginners

The salary of a DJ depends on several factors. The first question you should be asking yourself is whether this career is really what you want to do in your life and how much do DJs get paid?

Most people make a choice in which they keep their career and passion separate from each other, but if you want to choose the career of DJ, music must be your passion.

How Much Do DJs Gets Paid


The reason I shared the above detail is that I know if you are looking at this article, you must be thinking about starting a career as a DJ or maybe you think you are underpaid.

Before proceeding further, let me tell you that an average middle-class DJ makes around 50 dollars per hour in the USA. However, you can raise it above 100 if you are working in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, etc.

Besides the average per hour rate, there are many more ways to answer the question “how much money do djs make?”

Just In: Top Rated DJ Controllers

Salaries of Famous DJs in 2021:

Being a beginner or an average DJ, you can increase your income in several ways. It might be surprising for you to know that top-rated DJs like Chainsmokers, Marshmallow, Calvin Harris, etc. make as much as 40 million dollars per annum. Let me give you a bit more detail which might blow your mind of the roof.

Calvin Harris was the DJ King in the industry who ranked 1st in top paid DJs for 6 consecutive years. According to Forbes magazine, they were finally dethroned in 2020 by the Electronic-Duo Chainsmokers as Calvin Harris fell to 3rd in the list.

Here are the exact annual earnings of top DJs from the list of Electronic Clash King of 2019:

  1. Electronic Duo-The Chainsmokers ($46 million)
  2. Marshmello ($40 million)
  3. Calvin Harris ($38.5 million)

How Much Do DJs Make?

A DJ can make money in several ways, not only in clubs. A DJ can attend several functions like home parties, weddings, concerts, nightclubs, ceremony venues, and raves. All of these functions can bring a separate amount of income into your monthly salaries. An average DJ can earn between 1500-2500 dollars per month if he works for about 4 hours per day.

DJs mostly work during weekends which sometimes start on Thursdays. Other than that they are also hired in parties, raves, functions, etc. each of which pays differently. We will discuss them a bit in detail:

Club DJ:

If you are good at mixing music enough to make people dance, you can easily get a chance in smaller clubs where you can get rates up to 50 Dollars per hour. However, if you move to bigger cities, you can get up to 100 dollars per hour.

One of the major challenges of moving to bigger cities is competition. You need to prove your worth to get selected at a club. They will also do a bit of asking around or internet surfing to see if you are legit.

Once you earn some rep, become famous in people, start creating your content and get regular gigs, you can earn much more as a club DJ and you will also be invited to other venues for your services.

House Parties:

House parties can pay you different amounts as per your per-hour rate as well as the generosity of the host. You might get an economic fella who is on a tight budget and might pay you the exact amount for which you are hired or you might get a person who will pay you a hefty tip for your impressive performance.

On average of 50-100 dollars per hour, you can get up to 400 dollars for one house party. However, this price can be increased if the owner asks you to bring your sound system, hence you can charge a bit more for that.

Weddings and Parties:

Wedding Ceremonies and Flaming Hot Parties can pay you more than house parties. These functions have a larger sound system and a larger crowd, hence you have a nice chance of earning some rep.

Besides this, there are raves in which you can also get a bit more than your usual rates. Raves are hot parties with lots of excited crowds who only want fast tract music to dance for the whole night, hence you are in for a big income if you get one of these gigs.

Salary Of a DJ

How Much Do DJs Get Paid in the UK?

According to, the average DJ in the UK earns up to 25 pounds (35 Dollars). However, the earnings vary from person to person and gig to gig. If you become a successful and full-time DJ, you can get up to 200 Pounds (275 Dollars) per session in a nightclub and up to 600 pounds (825 Dollars) in a wedding. Plus, if you own equipment you can raise the charges and earn even more.

How to Start as a Professional DJ:

If you are looking to step into a professional full-time career as a DJ, you might want to make some early preparations for a successful start. First things first, you must develop your skills. You have to put in hours of work into mixing and creating new tracks by mixing two or more. Creating your content gives you a bit boost. However, if you are taking an early start you can keep working on your track while playing other mixings at the club.

Another thing which you will be needing for an early bombastic start is your equipment. If you are willing to invest in getting fully featured gear, that’s good. Otherwise, you can get an average gear and upgrade with time. Good equipment will always enhance your earnings, never allowing you to regret buying them. Moreover, the equipment is more like a DJ’s companion that writes an important part of his success.

How to Increase Your Earnings:

You can increase your earnings as you move up the chain in the career of a DJ. Some of the key features of enhancing your earnings are:

Creating your Content

Creating your content can be a big bonus for your career. You can get signed for a label if your content is good. Besides, people in clubs always like new content, that’s the reason they need a DJ at the club, not a jukebox.

Working with Other DJs

Try to get a chance with some good DJs in your area. While working with them, if you perform well, you will earn some fame. Moreover, it will enhance your gigs as now club owners will be able to verify from YouTube videos or other DJs if you are legit. Hence, you will get better rates and gigs.

Upgrading Your Equipment

Good equipment is always a DJ’s best companion. It can enhance your music as well as your per-hour rates. Moreover, in private functions to which you are invited, you can even get a plus for charging the host for equipment cost. All in all, equipment amounts to a major factor in your earnings.

Doing Free Shows

At the beginning of your career, and even in between your career, consider dropping a free show or working for free every once in a while. This will add to your rep in the area as well as in the field. When people will see how you perform, they will certainly be ready to pay you more.

Using the Internet and Social Media

The modern and globalized world has also allowed you to share your content globally which allows for a wider following as well as more opportunities for earning. Moreover, social media and YouTube can spread your content which can allow more people to reach you for gigs.

Challenges faced by DJs:

Just like other careers, you will also face lots of problems in the early stages of your career development. So, you must brace-up for some real challenges if you are planning on becoming a DJ.

In the early stages, the biggest challenge is getting a gig and also of investment in equipment. You might spend weeks without a gig. Other challenges include competition which is very high among clubs.

Once, you get to the intermediate stage you must avail every opportunity you can find. Earn as much street rep as possible and also work on social media. Work for paid promos. Look for a chance to get your content on a record label. So, you need to work hard, keep devoted and try to create genuine content, and one day, you will dethrone even the Chainsmokers.

Frequently Asked Questions: How Much DJs Make?

Q:1 How much do DJs get paid in 2021?

An average DJ earns up to 50 dollars per hour in the US. However, if you move to bigger cities you can earn up to 100 dollars. This means that a session of 4 hours can earn you half a K in one day.

Q:2 How much do top DJs get paid?

Top DJs have reached there with a lot of hard work and devotion. The top performers like DJ Khaled, the Chainsmokers, Calvin Harris, and the Marshmallow have earned up to 40 million in one annum.

Q:3 How much do underground DJs get paid?

An underground DJ can earn up to 100 dollars an hour on an average level. They play unique content in clubs by mixing two or more soundtracks. They also create their content.

Some Last Words: How Much Does a DJ Make a Year

Passion has always a strong bond with devotion, so if becoming a DJ is your passion, the pay won’t even matter to you. An average DJ earns up to 50 dollars in the US. This rate is increased as per his hard work, devotion, and content mixing. Everyone can reach the top if he aims for it.

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