Model salaries

Model salaries DEFAULT

How much does a Fashion Model make in the United States? The average Fashion Model salary in the United States is $52,008 as of September 27, 2021, but the salary range typically falls between $42,857 and $63,499. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession. With more online, real-time compensation data than any other website, helps you determine your exact pay target. 

SalarySalary + BonusBenefits

Based on HR-reported data: a national average with a geographic differential

Fashion Model Salaries by Percentile

Percentile Salary LocationLast Updated
10th Percentile Fashion Model Salary$34,527USSeptember 27, 2021
25th Percentile Fashion Model Salary$42,857USSeptember 27, 2021
50th Percentile Fashion Model Salary$52,008USSeptember 27, 2021
75th Percentile Fashion Model Salary$63,499USSeptember 27, 2021
90th Percentile Fashion Model Salary$73,961USSeptember 27, 2021

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End of Year Job Placement Opportunities About Bloomingdale's makes fashion personal and fun ... Observe, coach and role model customer-centric selling behaviors at all times to drive the ...

Macy's - 21 days ago

Customers come to us for fashion, value and celebration. Macy's is also known for giving back to ... As an advocate for the customer, you will role model and provide fast feedback on how to make every ...

Macy's - 40 days ago

Our mission is to provide inspiration and confidence through fashion to help people get to what ... Provide a Great Customer Experience Deliver on all aspects of the customer experience model

JobGet - 18 days ago

... Retail, CPG (Grocery, Fashion, Consumer Goods, Homeware) Verticals Candidates must have ... business models and market opportunities. By ideating and delivering dynamic platforms and ...

LinkedIn - 69 days ago

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Understand the total compensation opportunity for a Fashion Model, base salary plus other pay elements

Average Base Salary

Core compensation




Average Total Cash Compensation

Includes base and annual incentives




These charts show the average base salary (core compensation), as well as the average total cash compensation for the job of Fashion Model in the United States. The base salary for Fashion Model ranges from $42,857 to $63,499 with the average base salary of $52,008. The total cash compensation, which includes base, and annual incentives, can vary anywhere from $42,857 to $65,369 with the average total cash compensation of $52,626.


What is the Average Model Salary in 2021?

Those who are interested in getting work as a model often wonder what kind of fame and fortune awaits them. It’s easy to picture a glamorous life, full of designer clothes but the reality can be a little different, as there is a wide spectrum of work in the modeling industry – from the supermodels earning millions to those who are barely earning at all.

Job Description

Modeling is not a straightforward profession to describe. There are a lot of different facets of the industry, depending on which direction you want to go in. If we were to simplify it as much as possible, we might say that a model’s job is to look as good as possible to promote clothing and lifestyle items. However, this really is too simplistic and ignores a lot of the more complex aspects of the job.

Before we can even get on to discussing model salary, we should start by defining the two main ways that people get work in the industry. The first is through a modeling agency, which you may well be familiar with as a concept. Here is a checklist of the top 60 Modeling Agencies in America.

The model has an agent who is assigned to find them work. They are often on the books with a number of other models who may have similar or different looks to theirs. A client will get in touch with the agent and request a specific look; it is then the agent’s task to offer models who they think will suit the brief. If the client likes you, and you are available, then you may get the job. You will, however, have to pay some of your fees over to your agent in return for their work.

The other type of modeling work is freelance. If you are a freelancer, you are solely in control of finding your own work. This means that you may have to work harder to find jobs, as clients are not likely to come directly to you. You will have to seek out opportunities and castings and put yourself forward for them, which may mean attending a lot of auditions without getting in. The benefit, of course, is that you get to keep the full fee that you are paid. We had put together a few tips for aspiring models, that will help you get started.

It is debatable whether a model can earn more as a freelancer or with an agency. It may well be down to either personal preference, or whether you can even manage to get signed with an agency at all. Competition for these spots is fierce and you may be dropped from your agency if you do not perform well.

Generally speaking, the highest-paid models in the world are signed with agencies. After you reach a certain level, you may be working so much that you do not have time to look for opportunities. This is when it will be useful for you to have an agent doing it for you!

Modeling Niches

There are a huge number of modeling niches to choose from. We will do our best to cover as many as possible here, though be aware that there may even be more if you want to find a very specific niche.

Modeling Niches
  • Runway models
    These models walk the catwalk in designer clothes during events. You must be able to change very quickly backstage (and not be embarrassed about others watching you change), and prepared to wear outlandish, revealing, or unflattering clothes. You are a vehicle for demonstrating the fashion, and it is not about you. You must have a strong walk, you must be tall and slim, and you must fit the sample size clothes that the designer creates. Your job will likely take several hours, from hair and makeup through to rehearsals and then the show itself, which can be over in a matter of thirty minutes or less. Some models are paid as much as $20,000 per show, while others might not be paid at all, depending on the designer.

  • Editorial models
    When you open the pages of a fashion magazine, you will see editorial spreads that are used to tell a story about clothing or showcase new trends. Editorial models fall under different requirements for catwalk models and will be paid differently. You can expect around $100 per hour if you are doing well. Starting model salary may be much lower, even $20 per hour, and you may have to work for free at first to get your portfolio.

  • Commercial or advertising models
    This type of modeling can be very well-paid, with an average of $200 per hour. Again, you may earn less for smaller brands, or more for nationwide campaigns. You will need to learn about the different types of payments offered on advertising shoots, which can cover different regions, different media, lengths of time, and so on. A clever agent or model negotiating for themselves can make a successful advertising campaign continue to pay the longer it is shown.

  • Catalog models
    When you shop online or through a catalog, you will see models wearing the clothes to demonstrate how they look. This can be very steady work as you will be called back in for new product releases and can shoot hundreds of looks a week. You must conform to standard sizes, and usually, a more generic look is preferred – so if you have a striking or outlandish face, you may be better off working editorially.

  • Fit models
    Fit models are used to determine the fit of clothes and make sure that they look correct. You may be able to double up this work with catalog work. For a fit model, your face is not at all important, only the precise sizing of your body.

  • Parts models
    Hands, feet, arms and legs, lips, eyes, hair, even parts of the torso – parts models work with just a small portion of their body rather than the whole thing. They may cover more than one part, or focus on just the part of their body which is most attractive. A hand model salary could be very different from a foot model or an eye model, so it is difficult to put a figure on this. It is very niche work and requires hard work, physical discomfort, and determination to succeed – as well as being extremely protective of the part that you model.

  • Live event models
    Live events such as car shows, exhibitions, and trade fairs often need models to attract attention. Sometimes known as grid girls (at car events), promo girls, promo models, or so on, they will work long days and are not always paid well. You will be expected to pose for pictures with members of the public and keep a smile at all times.

  • TV models
    It’s not as common as it used to be, but gameshows will sometimes still send out an attractive woman to show off the prizes. While we don’t know the difference between the Price Is Right models salary or the Deal or No Deal models Salary, they are likely to be paid well – though not nearly as well as a TV show host. The job may only last for a short amount of time, which also means that the overall salary may not be as high as expected, but it does guarantee more exposure.

  • Lingerie models
    It’s worth noting lingerie models as a separate category because they can often earn as much as double as their fully-clothed counterparts while undertaking the same kind of work (such as runway, editorial, commercial, etc). Victoria’s Secret model salary is one of the highest in the industry. 

Working Environment

The working environment can differ greatly from day to day, as well as from job to job. This is because the work is different every week! You might be shooting a swimsuit look in the Bahamas and having a great time, or shivering in Canadian snow without a coat to get the shot.

One thing is for certain, and that is that models have to look after themselves. You will sometimes be given refreshments and looked after by a runner or assistant, but not always. You may have to supply your own food and drink, keep yourself warm and dry, or simply endure physical discomfort until the work is done.

If you are not cut out for this kind of environment, you may not succeed. Walking away from a set because you’re too cold or tired may affect your reputation, which is everything in the fashion industry. 

Working Environment

Factors Affecting Model Salaries

There are a great number of factors which might affect your salary. They include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • Gender – Male models tend to earn less, as a rule.
  • Time spent working – You may not even be working one day a week, or you could be working seven days a week, depending on how good you or your agent is at getting bookings.
  • Industry-level – Indie and small brands are sure to pay less than the bigger fashion houses which are already well-established with a good budget, meaning you can’t earn as much at the start of your career.
  • Location – Working in one of the fashion capitals of the world (London, New York, Paris, Milan, etc) will likely get you a higher model salary than somewhere where modeling is not as well-established.
  • Your appearance – You may be judged to be worth more or less depending on how well you fit the required look and size.
  • Negotiation ability – If you negotiate a good contract, you can potentially earn a lot more. If you don’t negotiate at all, you could end up being low-paid compared to your potential.
  • Agency – If you are a freelancer or if you have an agent that takes a low cut, or if your agent takes a high cut, then you could be paid more or less.
  • Cost of work – Models often have expenses taken out of their salaries. These can include things like flights, taxis and cars, food, accommodation, and so on, especially when travel to another city is required.

As an aspiring model, you need an amazing modeling portfolio to kickstart your career. It’s your chance to make a great first impression on agencies and clients. You can easily create and manage a stunning modeling portfolio website with Pixpa.

Print portfolios are great for face to face meetings, but you cannot be present everywhere. Chances are that most agencies and clients will end up seeing your portfolio online. This is where your online portfolio website comes in. Make sure that you choose the right platform for your portfolio website that lets you achieve the unique style that best represents your personality. Your modeling portfolio website needs to be not just stunning but functional as well.

Pixpa offers the flexibility, features, and ease-of-use you need to put together a professional portfolio website without requiring any coding knowledge. As an aspiring model, you can easily create and manage a stunning modeling portfolio website. 

Create your professional portfolio website easily on Pixpa in minutes without
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Average Model Salaries

Ziprecruiter’s figures range from as high as $401,500 to as low as $11,000 , with an average model salary of $125,457 annually in the US. Indeed states that the average hourly model salary is $23.43, although their figures do include adult modeling jobs which may skew the number towards a higher value. Top-level models can easily command several hundred dollars per hour, if not more, depending on the job and their status. Someone like Kate Moss, for example, has entered a level of fame where her face is instantly recognizable – and for this reason, she will be paid not just as a model but also as a celebrity. Her salary has been reported in the millions on an annual basis, though of course, she is far above the average.

Throughout the US, there are certain areas where you will see higher hourly rates or more jobs available. New York and Los Angeles tend to have the most work, with an average model salary of $25 an hour reported in California. 

We can approach the model salary per year figures with a little bit of caution, as they are usually calculated on the idea of a 40-hour workweek at the hourly rate reported. It’s actually rare for models to work this much! That means that the real average model salary per year is likely a lot lower than it appears.


It is possible to make a lot of money as a model – even to become a millionaire. The reality for many models is a lot lower. However, if you are determined to work hard, keep in shape, and push your career to the limit, you could easily earn as much or more than you would in an office job. This is a great motivating factor for many models. 

Make sure to have a back-up plan in mind, as modeling often has an expiration date for most models. When you are judged to be too old, your salary will plunge or could dwindle away altogether. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do models get paid?
Model salaries can vary quite a bit depending on experience, industry, length of the project, location, agency and a myriad other factors. Individual model incomes can fluctuate from project to project and season to season.

How much does a model earn in a year?
Models can earn anywhere from as high as $401,500 to as low as $11,000 a year according to Ziprecruiter. Model salaries are highly variable based on industry and depending on experience, appearance, celebrity factor etc.

What is the highest paid model job?
Editorial and runway fashion models who can attain supermodel status are the highest paid models. Supermodel status comes with a certain degree of celebrity factor that can play a big role in raising a model’s fees.


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Those beautiful faces and perfect bodies you see in magazines, in commercials and on billboards are models. A model is an attractive man or woman paid to promote and advertise products. Models can promote anything from clothing to food to cosmetics and more. Becoming a model can be difficult, and in order to succeed you must be comfortable in many different situations and around many different people each day. You'll be photographed, videotaped and more. Models are not required to attend modeling school, though it is very beneficial in learning the lifestyle. Professional models earn salaries that are commensurate with their experience and versatility.

A Model can receive an average pay level of between $24,970 - $124,730 depending on tenure and industry expertise. will normally get an average salary of fifty-four thousand and fifty dollars yearly.

can get the highest pay in Maryland, where they can earn average pay scales of approximately $42,460. People with this job title are paid at the highest average level in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, where they can earn job pay of $116,120.

Are you an aspiring model? Want a new opportunity where you can earn a higher salary? Join our model talent pool today, and get scouted!

The national wage distribution is shown below. To overlay local salaries for a Model, please select your state.

Models tend to make the most in the following industries:

In general, they earn less within the industries below:

Top 10 Highest Paid Models In The World 2020

Model salary

The average wage for a model in the United States is around

Avg Wage

Models earn an average hourly wage of $11.67.
Salaries typically start from $9.03 per hour and go up to $15.09 per hour.

63% below national average ● Updated in 2019

Model earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Model salary by state

State NameAverage Salary
New Jersey$52,540
New York$34,720

How do model salaries compare to similar careers?

Models earn 16% less than similar careers in the United States. On average, they make less than tailors.

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)


Salaries model

Average Model Hourly Pay

Avg. Base Hourly Rate (USD)

The average hourly pay for a Model is $20.08

Is Average Model Hourly Pay your job title? Find out what you should be paid
Use our tool to get a personalized report on your market worth.What's this?

What is the Pay by Experience Level for Models?

An entry-level Model with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $15.08 based on 13 salaries. An early career Model with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $20.97 based on 45 salaries. A mid-career Model with 5-9 years …Read more

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Job Satisfaction for Model

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Gender Breakdown

Common Health Benefits

How Much Money Models REALLY Make! - James Kweisi

What Kind of Salary Does a Model Earn?

While some so-called supermodels are earning millions of dollars each year, most models are barely making a living wage. To earn their salaries, models must tolerate unpredictable work schedules and be ready in an instant to pose for photographers or strut fashionable clothing on a catwalk. They suffer through periods of unemployment, must attend unpaid auditions and casting sessions, and must travel extensively to different locations for work.

Print Model Salary: the Basics

Models earned average wages of $13.63 per hour, or $28,350 per year, as of May 2019, states the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These rates cover print model jobs and catwalk models. Average salaries rose beyond $26.75 per hour,for the top 10 percent or fell to less than $10.54 per hour for the bottom 10 percent.

Qualifications for this pay are minimal, with height, weight, clothing size and physical appearance being the primary factors. No formal education is required and most models learn their skills on the job. Some training is available at modeling schools where students can learn how to pose, walk and apply makeup. Models require an up-to-date portfolio of high-quality photographs.

Top Model Employers

In 2018, the biggest employers of models were clothing stores, which offered an average $10.99 per hour, or $22,860 per year. Colleges, universities and schools showed the next highest number of jobs. They also paid higher wages at an average $17.69 per hour, or $36,800 per year. The highest salaries were in the category of independent artists, writers and performers at an average $61.79 per hour or $128,510 per year. This category will include freelance catwalk supermodels and those attached to print modeling agencies that book a lot of high-profile advertising campaigns.

Salaries by Location

New York State boasted the highest number of jobs for the profession in 2018, with mean wages of $16.69 per hour, or $34,720 per year. California was next and showed higher average salaries of $21.06 per hour, or $43,810 per year. Neither state topped the list for best pay, however. That honor went to New Jersey, with average salaries of $26.50 per hour or $55,110 per year, followed by Florida at $24.70 per hour or $51,370 annually, the BLS reports.

Job Prospects

Models will see their jobs increase by 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the BLS, which is the much slower than the rate predicted for employment in all industries. Due to the low numbers of models, this growth translates to only a handful of new jobs across the decade – so few, that the BLS does not record the actual number. Most of the opportunities will be in print and digital media advertising. Many are drawn to the profession’s perceived glamor, fame, travel opportunities and potential for high income. Thus, competition is fierce, with far more models competing for few job openings. Careers tend to be short because employers are always looking for newer, younger models.


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