How Much Do DJs Make? (Are They Making The Big Bucks?)


The more pull and experience a DJ has, the more they get paid. If they have number-one hit songs, their appeal will be even higher. On top of that, an outstanding show will make them undeniable. DJs can make anything from $0 to $160,000 per show.

Making Money As A DJ

There are so many different levels of DJ and so many different amounts they are getting paid.

Are you just starting as a DJ, thinking about getting into it, or already performing and want to know where it could lead?

In this article, we shall discuss the average pay of different types of DJs in other locations and festivals.

On top of that, we will look at the 5 top paid DJs worldwide as of 2023.

how much do djs make

How Much Do DJs Get Paid? – Type Of DJ

There are multiple venue types and experience levels of being a DJ. However, there are average amounts for each scenario.

For each venue, the estimate is based on the size of the venue and/or the experience level.

Other factors can include the club DJ’s fanbase, meaning that more people will attend and the venue will make more money, and the genre can be considered concerning payment amounts.

Of course, a DJ doesn’t have to stick to one of these lanes; in fact, DJs usually only do if they have the luxury to. Most DJs who aren’t world-famous will do a smattering of different gig types, as it allows for more opportunities for work.

How Much Does A Club DJ Make?

A club DJ is expected to make between $100 and $500 per gig.

If the DJ is an experienced DJ and is the resident DJ for the venue (or works for a company with regular shows), then they can earn more than $100,000 per year.

Considering that a gig is between 2 and 4 hours, this is a good deal.

At a club, there are usually no extra expenses either. Most clubs wanting DJs to perform will have the DJ equipment needed there, so there is no need to buy or rent DJ equipment. They turn up with a memory stick or a laptop.

How Much Do DJs Make At Bars?

A bar DJ can make $50 to $200 per performance.

Think of a bar DJ as the level below a club DJ, where there is usually a smaller capacity, so the price will go lower than a club as the potential for earning is lower. In terms of DJ cost, this can be varied depending on the venue. 

Some bars will have the equipment needed to perform a set, others will have speakers, and some will not have anything. This means that sometimes you’ll need to bring your gear or rent a mobile DJ set.


For an in-depth look at the performance of a DJ, check out an article on what DJ set means.

How Much Does A Wedding DJ Make?

Weddings, in general, are costly. Regardless of the type of work you’re doing, you’re usually paid a substantial amount if you’re working a wedding. A wedding DJ can earn between $900 to $2000 for the wedding.

However, the DJ will need to provide their equipment, which is a costly purchase but worth it for the amount they could be earning. On rare occasions, the wedding venue may have something, but usually, it’s all provided by the wedding DJ.

Wedding DJ

How Much Do Corporate Events DJs Make?

If you think the pay of a wedding DJ is excellent, get ready to be an event DJ. This professional DJ can earn over $2000 per gig.

It entirely depends on the DJ’s popularity, demand, social media presence, location, the size of the company, and the time of the year.

Suppose the DJ is famous worldwide, like Steve Aoki or David Guetta. That price will be unimaginably high, but if the company is huge, they have more money to spare for the best. 

Some big companies have corporate events in different countries, so they will have to cover travel and accommodation costs for the DJ. If it’s a busy part of the year for the DJ, for example, during festival season, then the demand is up, so the price is up.

How Much Does A Radio DJ Make?

A radio DJ is different from the rest of these types of DJs. This is not only in the duties performed by this DJ but because it’s typically a full-time position unless they are doing guest spots on shows.

On average, a radio DJ can expect to make between $30,000 to $72,500 per year. But of course, this number can be much higher based on experience, popularity, and the station.

Radio DJ

How Much Do House-Party DJs Make?

Being a DJ at a house party is the most common way aspiring DJs/beginner DJs will cut teeth. They could be performing for free to gain experience and build their following. Of course, the better the DJ and the better experience they can put on, this can be up to $200 typically.

DJ Playing At A Party

The DJ Hierarchy

As with any live performer, there are different levels of DJ. This will depend on their level of experience, their following, and the size of the venues they perform at.

Up-And-Coming – Local Resident DJ

Being a resident DJ is an excellent way for an up-and-coming DJ to gain experience and fans, all while getting paid good money.

A resident DJ will be part of the workforce at their performing venue. They will regularly DJ at that venue for several nights a week and will be treated as employees rather than freelancers. Of course, this also means they could get health benefits from their employers.

They can still travel and DJ elsewhere on their days off. This doesn’t prohibit that. A lot of festivals have an up-and-coming stage or segment for DJs. But their primary full-time position will be as the resident DJ of a particular venue or a chain of venues. With this, they will get a DJ salary.

Warm-Up DJ – National Talent

Think of a warm-up DJ as the supporting band at a gig. They perform first, before the headliner. It could be for a one-off show, or they could even join the headline DJ on tour as their support act.

This is an excellent opportunity for a DJ to gain a fanbase and credibility. Playing to a headline DJ’s fans will give a warm-up DJ a chance to grab people’s attention. It’s standard that the support DJ and headline DJ will have things in common, so the fanbase will enjoy both sets.

Whether the commonality is that they both are classed as EDM DJs or any other genre, the two DJs will have ties to each other in some way.

These DJs will also play festivals on the main stages but earlier in the day, which is another excellent way to gain traction in their careers.

Headline DJ

A headline DJ is someone that is the main event. They are who you buy tickets to go and see on tour. They get the headline slots at electronic music festivals. Think of Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, or Calvin Harris.

They have a large enough following that they can be the biggest draw for a show or festival. Usually, this comes with years of experience and touring first, but there are always exceptions.

These are also the DJs that will command the most money, as they are one of the main reasons the show will make a lot of money. This category of DJ is reserved for the superstar DJ.


If you’re unsure, here is a detailed look at what DJs do on stage.

Where Is The Money In DJing?

This section will examine how much the average DJ makes in these different places. Of course, big headline acts play in all of these places, but that’s a separate thing, and the amount they earn isn’t specific to the average pay of that location. Remember that these numbers are averages and vary from DJ to DJ.

How Much Do DJs Make In…

  • Las Vegas – $39,021 per year
  • New York – $38,011 per year
  • Miami – $40,000 per year
  • Toronto – $58,544 per year
  • London – $35,000 per year
  • Ibiza – $39,995 per year
  • Dubai – $38,544 per year

Of course, you have to consider the cost of living in different places to discuss the DJ living the most comfortable life.

How Much Do DJs Make At Music Festivals?

It goes without saying that the larger the artist, the higher the pay. The main draw for people to purchase a festival ticket is the big acts, so they will demand more money to bring in more people.

DJ Playing In A Large Club

How Much Do Artists Get Paid To Perform At…

  • Coachella – Between $2,000 to $100,000
  • EDC – Between $500 to $50,000
  • Tomorrowland – Between $2,000 to $100,000
  • Ultra – Between $10,000 to $50,000

What’s The Highest Paying Genre For DJing?

EDM is the most popular, and judging by Calvin Harris Djs in this style, it’s safe to say it’s the top. Other genres that do well in the DJ world are house, techno, trance, hip-hop, drum and bass, and dubstep.

How Much Do DJs Make (Top 5 Highest Earning DJs)

There is a wide range that a Dj can earn for many factors. But for a second, let’s focus on the biggest names in electronic music and DJing. It’s impossible to see whether they earn more from their performances or song releases. They both fuel each other, so we shall consider the whole package.

Calvin Harris

The Scottish DJ Calvin Harris arrives at the top of this list, with a net worth of $240 million. He has been active in the DJ world since 1999. His most significant release was We Found Love in 2011, featuring Rihanna on vocals.


Next, we have the Dutch DJ Tijs Verwest, known as the DJ TIESTO, with a net worth of $170 million. One of his biggest songs is The Motto, featuring Ava Max, which has over 500 million streams on Spotify alone.

David Guetta

Third, we have the French DJ David Guetta, with a net worth of $150 million. His most considerable mainstream success was his release with Sia, called Titanium. It was one of, if not the biggest, songs in 2011. Hence why, it has over 1 billion streams on Spotify. In 2011, you couldn’t find a radio station that wasn’t playing this.

Steve Aoki

Of course, every list of the highest-earning DJs is complete with American DJ Steve Aoki. He has a net worth of $120 million and has over 14 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Daft Punk

Daft Punk is a French DJ duo consisting of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. They have a net worth of $140 million, which is split between them for a not-so-measly $70 million each. 

Daft Punk became pioneers of vocoders and vocal synthesis. Their biggest hit is Get Lucky with Pharrell Williams, which has over 800 million streams.

Can You Make A Living Being a DJ?

You can. It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s achievable. 

The easiest way to determine whether you can make a living as a DJ is by taking your area’s average pay per set, then taking your monthly outgoings and dividing it by the average pay per set. This way, you can see how many sets you need to do a month to reach the minimum amount of money you need a month.

Of course, there are other ways to make money as a DJ than just performing.

DJ Playing In A Smaller Club

How To Start Making More As A DJ

The best way to make more money as a DJ is to diversify your income streams and build your fanbase.

The larger your fanbase, the more tickets you can sell and, therefore, the more money you can demand. But if you’re looking for ways to make more money as a DJ while building up your fanbase, then having multiple income streams is the best way. But what else can you do as a DJ?

As a DJ, you have specific and valuable skills. You can sell your skills, i.e., by tutoring how to DJ. Think of how many people want to learn but need help getting the right start. You can be proficient. You can teach that as long as you know how to perform a set.

If you own any DJ gear, consider renting it out on your days off. This is a super easy way to make more money without really doing anything. The DJ can collect and return the gear. It would help if you got the ball rolling. It’s better than just letting your DJ gear sit there.

You can also look into performing/teaching while streaming or in YouTube videos. It takes a bit longer to see more money, but it also helps build your fanbase. 

On top of that, you can use these platforms to start getting sponsors when your audience is large enough. This could mean free DJ gear and being paid well. You could then even rent out this DJ gear.

Related Questions

How Much Do DJs Make Per Event?

The average club DJ makes $100-$200 per night. As their following increases and their level of experience, so does their pay.

How Do DJs Get Noticed?

The number one way a DJ gets noticed is through releasing their music. A hit song, or even a relatively popular one in that genre, will do wonders for building a fanbase.

How Much Do DJs Make Playing In Ibiza?

Typically this can be between $20 per hour to $1000 per hour. The more prominent names will get a lot more. Some even get as much as $160,000 per set.

How Do DJs Get Famous?

A DJ will usually get famous based on a few number-one hit songs. On top of that, if they tour and perform often, that adds to their fame.

Why Do DJs Charge So Much?

It’s all to do with their pull and level of experience. Their attraction is how many people want to see them. That’s how the venues and organizers of the shows make money through ticket sales. Hence, if the DJ brings an unimaginable number of people, they can get the big bucks.

In terms of skill level, you get what you pay for. A DJ performance is an experience. If you want the best experience, say for your wedding, it will cost more.


If you’re interested in how much money DJs make, you’d like a different and more detailed look into how they do this. In that case, you should check out our article on how DJs make money.

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