How Much Does a DJ Cost Per Hour?: The Ultimate Guide to Hiring Your First DJ

how much does a dj cost per hour

How much a DJ cost is a common question! The total cost mostly depends on how long you want the DJ to be available for your event.

While the duration of the event is a big factor in the price of a DJ, it can also depend on the size of the group as well as the services you are looking for. Hence, it can vary from person to person, event to event, and time to time.

We’re here to help you better understand what you should expect when looking to hire a DJ for your next birthday party, wedding, or corporate event.

What is a DJ?

DJ stands for Disc Jockey. A DJ is someone who plays tracks for an audience to enjoy.

DJ culture started only around fifteen years ago. A new type of music called electronic music was created in Europe, involving pounding beats over a shaking bass.

The driving force behind this entire exceptional genre of music was and is the DJ. In the past five years, this culture has become increasingly more well-known. Being a DJ is now a genuine money-making job.


In 1935, an American radio commentator named Walter Winchell defined the term disc jockey. After that, the word appeared in the magazine Variety in 1941.

The start of this age of DJs began in small towns in Europe, where individuals hosted secret gatherings and parties.

At these gatherings, there would be DJs playing early electronic sounds. These parties began to gain traction, and soon they turned into full-scale events.

This culture developed so quickly that over the course of just a few years an ever-increasing number of individuals came to cherish these gatherings for the music and the general environment. Likewise, an ever-increasing number of electronic specialists began to surface.

As famous as these occasions were, the fact of the matter is without DJs none of them would have been conceivable. In the mid-nineties, this developing underground scene began to gradually take hold in the United States and other nations.

Before long, these gatherings assumed the name of “raves.” In Europe, this culture exploded, with raves being held with anywhere between five to 10,000 individuals.

What Does a DJ Actually Do?

A DJ plays recorded music for their audience in clubs, festivals, and gatherings. They play the music that suits the environment and try to engage the audience by interacting with them, often through the use of a microphone, and switching up their music to match the vibe at any given point.

DJs practice a lot before attending any event. They use high-quality headphones to listen to the recorded music, So, they can give their best at the event.

There are five major types of DJs, which include mobile, club, music producer, turntablist, and radio!

Club DJ

Club DJs are often locally or nationally famous. They regularly DJ gatherings at all types of different scenes for individuals who want to dance and party to their music.

Club DJs might have a few clubs where they perform consistently. If they can gain a following on social media, they may be able to book gigs in more urban communities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, and New York. Generally, club DJs play others’ music.

how much does a dj cost per hour

Mobile DJ

Mobile DJs are the unrecognized yet truly important individuals of the music business. They make trips all over and create soundtracks for corporate gatherings, weddings, and other private occasions.

Dissimilar to club DJs, mobile DJs are receptive, take part in discussions with participants, and may even make demands of the audience, such as asking them to perform a certain dance move or chant. This is perhaps the most effective way for DJs to bring in cash, as the gigs are generally more steady.

how much does a dj cost per hour

Music Producer

While other DJs are solely playing music created by other artists, music producers are actually creating the beats that DJs play. These music makers are artists that make music out of various sounds and instruments and configure the sounds together electronically.

They might help another person record a collection or tune, produce for themselves, or remix other craftsmen’s tracks. Because of how accessible current music technology is, you don’t need to have a recording studio to be a music maker, so long as you have a PC and some music gear.

how much does a dj cost per hour

Radio DJ

A radio DJ works at a radio broadcast as a host, blender, or some portion of the programming staff. There are only so many radio broadcasts, so this field gets especially cutthroat. Nowadays, a ton of radio DJs have a digital broadcast or work in satellite radio.

A few radio DJs are commentators who talk in the middle of tunes, while others play live sets for an entire city. There are many different ways to be a DJ.

To be a radio DJ, you must keep your eye out for new music and remain aware each day of the most popular tunes that will satisfy your radio group.

how much does a dj cost per hour


Turntablists are likewise alluded to as scratch DJs or controllers. They perform live remixes utilizing turntables, a blender, and earphones.

Scratching requires years of experience, as it is made up of sensitive hand/wrist movements that take a long time to perfect.

In many cases, turntablists produce videos of their best moves and enter them in competitions like the DMC Championships or Red Bull Thre3style.

They get acknowledgment from the DJ scene for their work. However, the general public is not very well acquainted with this type of DJ.

The incredible thing about the music business is that there are so many ways to work with music. You could be a club DJ, craftsman, or turntablist — all careers that are very different and yet fulfilling. Many DJs additionally have elective interests like photography, wellness, or exercise.

Individuals become DJs for various reasons. If you like to party, put yourself out there through music, engage with audience members, or simply feel the energy of a crowd, DJing might be the path for you.

how much does a dj cost per hour

How Does a DJ Work?

A lot of people are under the impression that all it takes to be a DJ is pressing a single button. In actuality, being a DJ is a skill that takes a lot of hard work to master.

After the venue and audience are decided, a DJ must carefully compile a list of songs that are perfectly catered towards the type of audience and environment in which they are playing. They also can’t slack off on the job, as they have to actively interact with the crowd and keep them engaged.

How Much Does It Cost Per Hour To Hire A DJ?

Generally, hiring a DJ will cost you around $50 to $200 per hour. This number can quickly rise if you are looking to hire a famous and frequently sought-after DJ.

If you’re charging simply per occasion, your cost will probably range from two or three hundred bucks to a couple thousand dollars. Some DJs will offer bundle deals for various occasions, so be sure to look out for those.

DJ Cost for an Event

The hourly rate that a DJ charges can vary heavily depending on the kind of occasion you are hosting. For instance, a DJ might charge $75 each hour for corporate gatherings and $100 each hour for weddings. Different DJs might have hourly rates that decline the more you book them for.

How to Find a DJ for an Event

Below are step-by-step instructions for hiring a DJ for your next event.

  • Recruit a Professional.

  • Match the DJ to the Event. Many DJs have expertise at certain kinds of gatherings and therefore are best suited for that specific type of event.

  • Look at Your DJ’s Website.

  • Get Recommendations and Referrals.

How Much Does a DJ Make?

A small club generally offers $50-100/hour or $400 every night if you play a four-hour set. This means that most DJs make a significant amount of money per night.

That may seem like a great deal, but if you’re only playing once or twice per week, you’re not going to have the option to completely forget your everyday employment.

Does Experience Matter When Hiring a DJ?

When evaluating someone for a job, experience is normally at the top of any list of qualifications.

Many DJs have been in the industry for a long time, but if you don’t like their reviews or personality, their expertise won’t mean much.

When it comes to weddings though, it is usually recommended that the couple pick a DJ with at least two to three years of expertise. The wedding day of a couple is frequently the most important day of their lives, so it is necessary that the DJ they choose can perform excellently.

On that point, it’s critical that a wedding DJ understands how to deal with the added strain that comes with DJing a wedding, as their client’s expectation for their wedding day will be that everything is flawless.

Another advantage of hiring a wedding DJ is that they can gauge the vibe of the audience and play the right music at the right moment to keep the dance floor full. They also collect requests on the spot in order to keep the dancers moving.

Hiring a professional DJ is your best bet to ensure that everyone dances the night away.

The normal total expense of a DJ is between $700-$1200. A wedding DJ falls within there, at roughly around $1,000.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a DJ?

It is absolutely necessary that you have an inclination for music. Having some professional music training is often useful, as it ensures that you have a good ear for quality tracks.

Understanding music is vital for blending songs too, and you need to make the judgment on what songs transition best between each other.

If you want to be a DJ, you need to know how to read the environment of a room. Your job isn’t only to select the music beforehand, which is done by tailoring your tracks to the type of crowd you’ll be playing for, but to actively shift the music you play and the way you interact with the crowd as the night goes on.

You may get requests from the audience. You should always make sure to play every audience request, as well as take careful note of the types of songs people are requesting so that you can shift your music to be more accommodating of the audience’s taste.


If you want someone to plan, engage, and entertain your audience during a party, your wedding, or any other event, you should absolutely hire a professional DJ!

An experienced DJ can gauge the vibe of the audience and play the right music at the right moments to keep the dance floor full.

They also collect requests on the spot in order to keep the dancers moving, as well as actively interact with the audience.

So, how much does a DJ cost per hour? The answer to this question varies considerably depending on the occasion. A club DJ will charge differently than a DJ for a sweet sixteen.

The price also definitely depends on how well-known a DJ is. As with most things, the more talented the DJ, the more they will cost. If you want your party to be lively and enjoyable for your audience, it is best to shell out the extra money for a DJ who is experienced and knows how to handle a crowd.

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