The average mobile DJ salary in 2011, according to Simply Hired, was $39,000. In larger markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Atlanta, much more money can be earned; incomes may be lower in smaller towns. One-person operations outnumber corporate mobile DJ services that are able to command higher earnings for talent. In big cities with frequent work, a DJ can earn a six-figure income.
Mobile DJs often only work part-time as weddings, which usually happen on the weekends, make up the core of the work schedule. Weekend DJs who don't actively promote themselves can expect to make up to $2,500 per year. To make a living at mobile sound, the DJ must either do extensive marketing or work for a number of different independent companies as an independent contractor. A realistic income for a consistently booked independent DJ who works off of the overflow business of other companies is about $20,000.
Entertainment companies often promote a wide range of entertainers, from clowns to musicians to mobile DJs. Well-funded companies usually pay their talent better salaries than what the average one-person operation can earn. Mobile DJs charge from $400 to $900 for a wedding, which usually happens on the weekends. A company usually takes a sizable booking fee, whereas sole proprietors can make a higher profit margin per gig but often aren't able to get as much steady work unless they invest in marketing.
Repeat Business Model
The highest-paid DJs consistently deliver high-quality sound, music and entertainment with visible crowd response. Handing out business cards at a successful event helps the DJ get more business. Approaching schools, churches and organizations and securing long-term contracts is a solid way to increase income further. DJs who actively market themselves and produce entertaining events can make between $85,000 and $125,000 annually.
DJs who play for corporate events can get paid between $500 to $1,500 per event, depending on the magnitude and crowd size. The same range can be earned for events such as raves or special parties that require beat-mixing, in which the DJ is expected to be an expert. Historically, December has been a premium month for high-paid DJs, who can secure contracts for corporate Christmas parties and New Year's Eve. DJs who pursue as much December work as possible can earn more than $8,000 in one month.