Being a wedding DJ can be hugely rewarding, not just from a fun and social perspective, but also from a financial one. The DJ Den is fast-becoming one of the leading blogs online for wedding DJ hints and tips, and one thing I have been asked on a couple of occasions now is how much can wedding DJs earn in a year.
I’ve already written some extensive information on how to set-up a wedding DJ business, which I recommend you read if you are still in the investigative stage on deciding whether or not to take the plunge with a business like this.
But if you just want some quick overview information on how much do wedding DJs make a year, then please read on for some example earning projections that could apply to you if you decide to become a wedding DJ.
Please bear in mind, that these prices are all in United States dollars. If you live in the UK, I would recommend that you go to a currency converter such as Xe.com where you can paste in the fees and earnings I describe below to see how that converts into £ GBP.
How Much Do Wedding DJs Earn in a Year?
OK so let’s be clear.
There are so many factors at play with wedding DJ prices, that the below are just examples. It could fluctuate wildly, and a lot of the time will depend on the type of wedding you are playing at, what you’ve been asked to do, your experience, as well as negotiation skills*.
Let’s say that the average wedding DJ set will last 5 hours. I’ve not been to many wedding where it’s more than this, unless of course it’s an Indian wedding, which can literally last for days!
Annual Earnings & Salary Estimates
- Part-time DJ, little experience – $200 to $300
- Part-time DJ, experienced – $400 to $600
- Full-time, professional wedding DJ – $1,000 to $2,500
These numbers are for a one-off gig.
If were to extrapolate those fees over the space of 12 months then it can make for interesting reading.
I’ve put all of my calculations into a table below.
Calculated Annual Earnings Based on Frequency and Experience
|Part-time with little experience
|Part-time with lots of experience
|Full-time, professional DJ
|Average Wedding Fee
|Annual Wage for 1 Wedding a Month
|Annual Wage for 2 Weddings a Month
|Annual Wage for 4 Weddings a Month
This data all stacks up very well when compared to data and statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics who stated that in 2016, disc jockeys on average earned $30,830 a year.
But it’s worth bearing in mind, that the top end 10% of disc jockeys in this data survey (which could include regular wedding DJs) actually earned more than $70,000.
Additional Pricing Tactics to Consider
Now how much you get paid, will very depend on you, the wedding DJ.
This includes considerations such as what you will be bringing to the wedding, plus aspects such as your equipment, and your role on the big day – as it could also involve being a master or ceremonies (MC) or an announcer.
Aspects to consider when pitching how much you will be charging will include questions such as:
- How much preparation will you need to do?
- How long will you be playing for?
- Will you be performing supplementary services other than playing music?
- Whereabouts is the venue, and how far will you have to travel?
- How much sound equipment will you need, if supplying it yourself?
- Will you also be supplying lighting and décor?
- Is the venue easy to access?
- What type of music will be played, and are there any special requests?
- Will you be acting as a toast-master or MC?
Wedding DJs will never be out of work, it’s a fact!
How much you earn each year will depend on your experience, negotiating skills, the wedding type, and the frequency at which you can work.
Bear in mind, that most weddings occur on a weekend, so if you are going to do this full-time it’s going to obliterate your weekends completely.
But if you do decide to take this seriously then there’s no reason why you cannot earn an annual salary of up to $80,000 dollars a year.
You might think to yourself that’s pretty good money for simply working weekends… but the best wedding DJs spend Monday to Friday preparing for the gig, marketing themselves, meeting with the bride and groom and so much more.
If you are wedding DJ charging high fees, and also have a weekday job, the hats off to you.
It’s a tough ride which requires stamina and professionalism – plus making sure the gig goes off without a hitch.
However, as I said at the beginning, it can be very rewarding, and the money is good too.
* This video I put on YouTube talks about the negotiation process when talking about money with a client who wants you to DJ for them. The main focus in the video is on how you can negotiate higher prices for club events, but translates well to wedding DJs also.