If you’re considering a career in the DJ booth, it may be worth getting to know your potential earning power. It’s a tough slog for most, but for a lucky few there’s ample cash at stake. We’ve benchmarked salaries across a spectrum of professional standards from regional function DJ work to stadium tours.
1. Local Circuit DJs
When booking gigs, be prepared to take the rough with the smooth.
You’re a semi-pro, with emphasis on the semi. You’re no longer playing sets exclusively to your parents – you may even have a regular slot at a local club night – but your SoundCloud isn’t getting much attention… Your gig work is comprised of unpaid/part-paid support slots and (fingers crossed) a local residency. Don’t lose that day job just yet.
- Average gig fee: £100
- Annual take home: £5000 approx.
2. Buzzy New Industry Name
Making a name for yourself.
Looks like your mixtape found its way into the right hands, because the press have started to take note of your material and it’s no longer just your friends listening to you online. You’re picking up gigs in your own right and building a steady fan base. Gig fees are unpredictable but consistent work will allow you to live on what you love doing. You’re all but a household name (at least in your niche) but you’re by no means secured a stable touring career just yet.
- Average gig fee: £250-2500
- Annual Take Home: £30-85,000
3. International Touring DJ
Getting used to life in a tour van.
You’re working a pretty rigorous touring schedule by now, and rarely spending a Friday or Saturday night with your friends. You’ve become accustomed to life in the back of a splitter van with your loyal entourage. Your live agent and manager are by now taking fair wedge of your pay, but there’s plenty left to go around – hostels are a thing of the past
- Average gig fee: £2,000-5,000
- Annual take home: £427,000–£1.2 million
4. Arena-Filling Superstar
Home and dry. Soak up that applause.
Between sponsorship deals for designer clothes lines and festival headline slots (£20k+), you’re fully home and dry and able to pick and choose when and when not to play shows. You’re rubbing shoulders with Calvin Harris (£42m/year) and David Guetta (£20m/year) and you may
- Sponsorships: £500,000
- Record Sales: £100,000
- Minimum gig fee: £15,000
Annual take home: £1.9m–£50m
DJs: Average Earnings (UK)
NB: Payscale have benchmarked DJ salaries in the United Kingdom at between £7-51 hourly, and £13,389-£102,324 annually. Take this into account before quitting your day job in search of the big bucks.
For a comprehensive run down of how musicians earn in the age of streaming, click here. If you fancy your chances behind desks, DJ equipment hire is the perfect starting point.