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How Much Do DJs Make?



How Much Do DJs Make? 01

How much do DJs make?

Well, like any profession, DJs don’t start out making the big bucks.

First, to become a DJ, you have to learn the basics and hone your craft. Then, you work your way up the ladder, booking higher-paid gigs, better venues, and building a network of reliable contacts.

According to, the median wage for DJs is $23.83 per hour in the United States.

However, this refers to a typical club DJ and doesn’t come close to what superstar DJs like The Chainsmokers earn, which is why we’ve included the world’s highest-paid DJs earnings below.

So, without further ado, let’s find out how much DJs earn.


The Average Earnings of Different Types of DJs

Here’s a list of different types of DJs and how much they earn on average in the United States:


1. Radio DJs

Radio DJs

How Much Do Radio DJs Make?

Radio DJs are the voice of radio stations and have one of the coolest jobs in the world, in our opinion.

Day-to-day, Radio DJs broadcast music and provide appropriate commentary to the public on music, news, and trending topics.

In the United States, suggests that a full-time Radio DJs average annual salary is $38,733, whereas places the average salary a little higher at $38,875.

Average salaries for Radio DJs are higher in larger cities like Los Angeles, California, instead of smaller ones like Seattle, Washington.


2. Club DJs

Club DJs

How Much Do Club DJs Make? 

Club DJs are the life and soul of a nightclub.

The average rate per hour for club DJs varies depending on the venue’s size and where it’s located.

On average, club DJs earn around $48.90 per hour, but bigger cities offer DJs the chance to earn more than the national average.

It has been known for club DJs to work on a commission based on the club’s revenue on the night. However, it’s more common for club DJs to get paid a flat fee for their time.


3. Wedding DJs

Wedding DJ

How Much Do Wedding DJs Make? 

Wedding DJs are mainly responsible for providing music during a wedding reception.

However, they’ve become known for wearing many hats, including emceeing, making announcements, introducing toasts, and pretty much anything in between that involves a microphone.

With that in mind, the average cost for wedding DJs in the United States is $1,000, with most couples spending between $780 and $1,495.

Typically, wedding DJs charge more per hour than club DJs because they have to use their own DJ equipment, like controllers, mixers, CDJs, speakers, and microphones.

However, they tend to have more expenses than club DJs, so things usually balance themselves out in terms of income for club and wedding DJs.


4. Mobile DJs

Mobile DJs

How Much Do Mobile DJs Make? 

A mobile DJ is hired by a client or venue to play music and is typically required to bring their own DJ equipment.

Wedding and prom DJs are prime examples of mobile DJs, except wedding DJs can also become fixed to one venue, losing the “mobile” side of things.

Mobile DJs differ from club DJs in many ways. For example, they tend to play different music, whereas club DJs typically stick to one genre.

The equipment they use is also different, as mobile DJs tend to be biased toward all-in-one DJ controllers due to their portability. In contrast, club DJs usually use a separate mixer and decks.

In a nutshell, a mobile DJ usually takes bookings for evenings and weekends as they typically work a full-time job; however, that’s not true for all mobile DJs, but generally speaking, that’s the norm.

With that in mind, mobile DJs earn an average of $48.90 per hour.


5. House-Party DJs

House Party DJ

How Much Do House-Party DJs Make? 

House party DJs are probably the lowest paid types of DJs all-round.

Location plays a big part in how much money DJs earn at house-parties.

For example, DJing a house party in Los Angeles, California, makes more cash than DJing in small towns in the middle of nowhere.

On average, depending on their skill level and reputation, house-party DJs in big cities earn between $50-$100 per hour, meaning they typically take home $400 for 4 hours of work.

Whereas a DJ playing a house party in a small town makes around $30-$60 per hour, taking home between $120 & $240 for 4 hours of their time.


The World’s Highest-Paid DJs

If you’re curious how much the world’s highest-paid DJs make, then according to Forbes & Statista, it’s this much!:


1. The Chainsmokers – $46 Million

The Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers officially decrowned Calvin Harris in 2019 after his six-year reign to become the world’s highest-paid DJs.

The American electronic DJ and production duo consists of Alex Pall and Andrew “Drew” Taggart.

They began their DJ careers remixing popular songs by indie artists and found success in 2014 with their breakthrough hit, #Selfie.

The song became a top twenty single in numerous countries, and the DJ duo continued releasing a series of hit songs like “Roses,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” and “Closer.”

The Chainsmokers have won two American Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, nine iHeartRadio Music Awards, and a Grammy Award for “Best Dance Recording.”

With all those accolades and hit singles under their belt, it’s no surprise that they’re the world’s highest-paid DJs.


2. Marshmello – $40 Million

DJ Marshmello Performing Live

Christopher Comstock, A.K.A, Marshmello is an American electronic music producer and DJ.

He first gained popularity with his remixes of songs by Jack Ü and DJ Zedd.

He then went on to release his own smash hits including, “Silence,” “Wolves,” “Friends,” “Happier,” and “Alone,” all of which went multi-platinum in several countries and appeared in the Top 30 of Billboards Top 100. 

According to Forbes, in 2017, he made $21 million, which means that he almost doubled his income in just twelve months, becoming the second-highest-paid DJ in the world.


3. Calvin Harris – $38.5 Million

Calvin Harris Live Performance

As he’s known professionally, Adam Richard Wiles or Calvin Harris is a Scottish DJ, singer-songwriter, and record producer.

Some of his most iconic singles include “We Found Love,” “Summer,” “This Is What You Came For,” “Feel So Close,” and “Feels.”

He became an international success after “We Found Love” became his first number-one single on the US Billboard 100. 

Since then, he’s released five studio albums, started his record label, “Fly Eye Records,” and held the highest-paid DJ title for six consecutive years from 2013-2018.


4. Steve Aoki – $30 Million

Steve Aoki Talking

Steve Aoki is an American DJ, record producer, entertainer, and musician.

His work includes collaborations with Afrojack,, LMFAO, Linkin Park, Fall Out Boy, Lil-John, and many more.

He’s also well known for his Kid Cudi remixes and one of the hardest working DJs in the music industry.

Throughout his career so far, Steve Aoki has released several Billboard Charting studio albums, with Wonderland being one of his most successful, picking up a Grammy Award Nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album.

It’s also worth mentioning that in 2012 he was the highest-grossing dance artist in North America from tours, according to Pollstar, and has since had endorsement deals with Samsung and Diesel, been involved in multiple business ventures, and gotten to the point where he can charge six-figures per night to DJ.


5. Diplo – $25 Million

Diplo Live Performance

Thomas Wesley Pentz, or Diplo as he’s more commonly known, is an American DJ, record producer, and songwriter.

He’s also part of several other successful groups such as Major Lazer, LSD, Jack Ü, and Silk City.

In 2013, his EP, Revolution, debuted at 68 on the US Billboard 200.

Since then, Diplo has worked on mixtapes and production projects with artists like Gwen Stefani, Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, and many more.

So, collaborations with some of the most prominent artists in the world, along with being part of some of the world’s biggest electronic dance groups, it’s no surprise that Diplo has managed to ammas an impressive $25 million in 2019 from his multiple streams of income.


6. Tiësto – $24 Million

Tiësto Live Performance

Tiësto, or Tijs Michiel Verwest, is a Dutch DJ and record producer who is often regarded as one of the greatest DJs of all time.

Mix Magazine named him “the greatest DJ of all time” as voted for by their readers, DJ Mags readers voted him as “the best DJ of the past 20 years,” and he’s often regarded as the “Godfather of EDM” by several credible sources within the music industry.

Tiësto has been DJing since 1994, releasing his first solo album, In My Memory in 2001, which catapulted him into stardom and onto becoming the DJ we all know and love today.

The Grammy Award-winning producer was voted World No.1 DJ by DJ Magazine in their annual Top 100 DJs readership poll from 2002-2004, which has more than likely contributed to his earning power and how much he can charge per show.


7. Martin Garrix – $19 Million

Martin Garrix Live Performance

Dutch DJ and producer Martijn Gerrard Garritsen, A.K.A Martin Garrix is most known for his hit songs, “Animals,” “Scared to Be Lonely,” and “In The Name Of Love.”

Since 2012, he signed with Spinnin’ records in the same year and released his debut single “Animals” the year after, which became one of the biggest songs of 2013 and made him the youngest person to reach number one Beatport.

Since then, Garrix has been ranked number one on DJ Mags Top 100 DJs list for three consecutive years (2016, 2017, and 2018), performed at some of the biggest music festivals in the world such as Coachella, Electric Daisy Carnival, Tomorrowland, and Creamfields, and, became the youngest DJ ever to headline Ultra Music Festival at the age of 17.

After all of that, it’s easy to see how he managed to pull in an impressive $19 million in 2019 at just 23 years old.


8. David Guetta – $18 Million

David Guetta Live Performance

David Guetta is a French DJ, producer, and songwriter who’s sold a whopping nine million albums and 30 million singles worldwide.

His success came in 2009 when he released his album One Love, with three of the singles on the album going on to reach number one in the United Kingdom.

Guetta is most known for songs like “When Love Takes Over,” “Memories,” “Getting’ Over You,” and “Sexy Bitch.”

In 2011, his follow-up album Nothing but the Beat became a huge success, and he was voted as the number one DJ in DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll.

Guetta shows us all that age is just a number, as the 53-year-old, often referred to as the “Grandfather of EDM,” made $18 million in 2019, which is a darn sight more than a lot of younger DJs, that’s for sure.


9. Zedd – $17 Million

Zedd Live Performance

Anton Zaslavski, A.K.A Zedd is a Russian-German DJ, record producer, and songwriter.

He’s most known for producing electro-house music but does step outside his comfort zone into progressive house, dubstep, and classical music.

Zedd became known to the world in 2012 when he released his single “Clarity,” which reached 8th position on the Billboard Hot 100 and catapulted him to the top of the EDM scene.

Since then, he’s picked up a Grammy Award for “Best Dance Recording,” released two studio albums, of which many singles turned into significant hits, and performed several high-profile music festivals like Coachella.


10. Armin Van Buuren – $15 Million

Arman Van Buuren Live Performance

Dutch DJ and record producer Armin Van Buuren is one of the world’s most popular and highly respected DJs.

Since launching A State Of Trance (ASOT) in 2001, which is his weekly radio show that’s broadcast to over 40 million listeners around the world, Van Buuren has won countless accolades, been ranked the number one DJ by DJ Mag a record-breaking five times, and became the fourth trance artist ever to receive a Grammy Award nomination.

Aside from headlining the main stage at electronic dance festivals like Tomorrowland, he also owns Armada Music, a dutch-independent record label specializing in electronic dance music.

So, with 24 years of experience under his belt, and despite being one of the oldest DJs in the game, he’s still managing to rake in cash, earning a cool $15 million in 2019.


How Much DJs Make Per Hour By State

The average wage per hour of a DJ in the United States is $23.83.

But, DJs hourly wage and salaries vary a lot across different states.

Larger cities tend to pay more than smaller towns, and hourly rates fluctuate based on experience and reputation.

So, here’s how much money the average DJ makes per hour in different states across the United States, according to Indeed:


1. How Much Do DJs Make In California?

The average wage per hour for DJs in California is $28.04, 14% above the national average.

2. How Much Do DJs Make In New Jersey?

The average wage per hour for DJs in New Jersey is $28.52, 16% above the national average.

3. How Much Do DJs Make In Ohio?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Ohio is $25.89, meeting the national average.

4. How Much Do DJs Make In Tennessee?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Tennessee is $20.06, 16% below the national average.

5. How Much Do DJs Make In Florida?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Florida is $28.21, 15% above the national average.

6. How Much Do DJs Make In Texas?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Texas is $22.66, 8% below the national average.

7. How Much Do DJs Make In Idaho?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Idaho is $31.23, 27% above the national average.

8. How Much Do DJs Make In Georgia?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Georgia is $28.57, 16% above the national average.

9. How Much Do DJs Make In Colorado?

The average wage per hour for DJs in Colorado is $22.21, 10% below the national average.

10. How Much Do DJs Make In North Carolina?

The average wage per hour for DJs in North Carolina is $39.52, 61% above the national average.



It’s clear that the average wage per hour for DJs varies from state to state across the United States and is largely dependent on experience and reputation.

It’s also clear that if you’re good enough, the Sky’s the limit in the DJing world, with literally tens of millions of dollars up for grabs if you can produce a hit record.

So, if you want to become a DJ, then, generally speaking, DJs who do it for a living make more than hobbyists, and once you reach the big time, the money you can make gets pretty exciting!

Here’s a quick recap of how much the world’s top 10 highest-paid DJs make:

  1. The Chainsmokers – $46 Million
  2. Marshmello -$40 Million
  3. Calvin Harris – $38.5 Million
  4. Steve Aoki – $30 Million
  5. Diplo – $25 Million
  6. Tiësto – $24 Million
  7. Martin Garrix – $19 Million
  8. David Guetta – $18 Million
  9. Zedd – $17 Million
  10. Armin Van Buuren – $15 Million

How much do you make as a DJ? Leave a comment below.

Mike's the guy behind Audio Captain. He's a qualified sound engineer and self-confessed music nut who's passionate about electronic dance music. When he's not writing about music, you'll find him in the gym or working on his next EDM track in Logic Pro.