How Much Money Do Models Make?

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The most successful models (also known as supermodels) can make $10,000 a day. But what about entry-level models, or those who aren’t able to reach such dizzying heights of fame?

Read on to answer the commonly-asked question, ‘how much money do models make?’

How Do Models Get Paid?

Before we look at how much a model gets paid, we must first understand how a model gets paid. 

Modelling is not a salaried job; they do not get paid a certain amount each year for their work. They are more like a freelancer. The more work they get, the more money they make, and this can differ not only each year, but each month and week. 

That can make modelling a nerve-wracking industry to be in, particularly for newbies who are not able to guarantee themselves consistent work. That’s why many aspiring models have other jobs to ensure they can pay their bills each month; they only become models full time when they know they will make enough each month to at least get by. 

A model who is signed to an agency will have more work opportunities passed her way, but she is still responsible for attending casting calls (also known as auditions) in order to secure work. Each of these jobs may pay differently and have a different amount of hours. Each job a model gets will have a contract that needs to be read through and signed before work commences. 

The model’s modelling agency will then take a cut of any money the model makes. 

Models without agencies will have to find work themselves, which can be very difficult and time-consuming. However, 100% of the money made can be kept by the model. 

How much do models make?


Models must also take expenses into consideration. 

Some models may have to pay out their own pocket for travel to and from jobs, for hotels and for other work-related expenses. Well-known models will often have this paid for them by the brand they are working for. 

It’s important you read the contract so you know what you are and are not expected to pay for. An enticing-looking paycheque may be significantly less if you forget to take expenses into account.

Types of Modelling

A model will make more money depending on the category of modelling they work in. For example, top models are usually known as high fashion or runway/catwalk models. Generally, these models make the most money. But entry-level high fashion models can find themselves walking the runway for very little cash – some have even stated they weren’t paid money at all, they were paid in free clothes. This can be worth doing for exposure and experience, but ultimately you want to find yourself paid work. 

Once a model has made a name for themself, they can start requesting higher pay regardless of the niche of modelling they are in. High fashion typically pays the most because you are dealing with much larger premium brands with a more exclusive clientele. Of course, this means it is far more competitive and difficult to get into.

Generally, the more in demand a model is, the more they will be paid.

How Does a Model Make a Name for Themself?

A model can make a name for themselves in several ways:

Working for Well-Known Brands

The more brands you work for, the more recognisable you will be. Ideally, you want to be the face of the campaign. This way, it will be impossible to not recognise you. The more recognisable you are, the more people will know you; the more popular you are, the more in-demand you become, and the more money you can earn and request. 

Having a Large Social Media Presence

Having a large social media following is a great way to get your face in front of the masses and make you more recognisable to the public. Instagram is a great platform to share your photos and build a following. It’s free to make a profile, but it can be time-consuming to build a decent following. Having an Instagram account is a good idea for aspiring models as it can really boost your exposure. 

Being in the Media

Many models find themselves papped and featured in magazines and newspapers. This can be both a good and a bad thing. Publicity is good because it gets you in front of the public and helps you be remembered.

If you attend events, award shows and other notable places, you may find yourself being talked about – and that can only help your career in modelling. 

Having an Impressive Portfolio

Your portfolio is the single most important tool you have as a model. Make sure it is packed full of amazing photos that show off your style and range. You should have up to 20 photos that are high-quality and impressive enough to make your portfolio a page-turner. 

How Much Does a Model Earn?

So now let’s look at how much you can expect to earn as a model. 

A model’s rates could be hourly, daily, per campaign, per photo shoot or per contract. As we’ve seen above, that means your pay can range massively. 

On average, hourly rates tend to begin at around £40. Day rates can vary from between £100 up to £1,000; supermodels and those at the top of their game can make thousands (Linda Evangelista claimed to not wake up for less than $10,000 a day).

The average model’s salary can be between £25,000 and £50,000 a year. Your wages will vary depending on the niche of modelling, the demand for work, your experience and popularity, and the competition. 

Young models, for example child and teens, will generally earn less than adult models due to legal restrictions and working hours. However, young models with famous relatives (especially parents) can earn a significant amount. They will also find it very easy to find work. As an example, Gigi Hadid and her sister Bella are both renowned supermodels who didn’t struggle to find fame because both their parents had already paved the way for them. Another example is Brooklyn Beckham. His famous family means he has not had to struggle to find work in either modelling or photography. 

Earning Potential

Your earning potential relies on a few factors:

Your Location

Models who are located in more convenient places (e.g. London in the UK, Paris in France) will find it easier to attend interviews and casting calls. They will also spend a bit less time travelling. Pay rates may also differ depending on the country and area you are in. 

Work Ethic

You need to work really hard and be willing to make the time and effort to impress people in the industry. If you make a good impression, you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons, and this will definitely help you find work and, ultimately, increase your earnings. 

Unique Look

If your look happens to match the trend of the moment, you’ll find yourself with plenty of work. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true – if your look does not happen to match the fashion of the moment, you may struggle. 

Business Savvy

You’ll do better the more you know about business and how the industry works. The advertising and marketing industries go hand in hand with modelling, so do some reading and know what makes a brand tick to really give yourself a leg up over the competition.


The fashion industry is one of the few industries in the world where a female model make more money than male models. So you’ll naturally make more money if you are a women. 


Modelling relies on a touch of luck. Being in the right place at the right time and having the right “look” for the moment are both important for making it big.

Are you interested in becoming a model, but not sure where to begin? Register with us today and we’ll help get you started!

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