Model Tips

How Much Money Do Models Get Paid?

how much money do models get paid
I'm Kate!

I'm an Australian-based creative, Model and Branding Coach with big dreams of helping aspiring Models make their way into the industry and thrive. I'm obsessed with: integrity, authenticity, a tidy home, smashed avocado, and being the person I needed when I was younger.

PSA: I don't take myself too seriously, though I do take my work seriously.

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Have you ever dreamed of strutting down the runway, gracing the covers of magazines or being the face of a major brand? If so, you’re in the right place! As a model and model coach, I know that the journey to success in the model industry can be a challenging one. I’m here to share some uplifting and educational insights with you today to make your own journey a little less daunting. So if you’re ready to learn about what models get paid, and have some fun while doing it, let’s dive in!

Model rates can vary greatly depending on the type of job, location and level of experience. Average hourly rates for different types of model jobs, along with a range of rates based on location and experience. A ballpark figure can be between anywhere from $20 to $1500 per hour, but it is highly dependant on the type of project.

How Much Do Models Get Paid In Australia?

Australia has a thriving model industry, with opportunities for models of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. From high fashion to commercial work, there’s a wide range of model jobs available to suit different interests and skill sets. All have different earning capacities, so it’s important to know what you’re in for when you take the plunge on a career path!

How Much Money Do Fashion Models Make?

Fashion modelling is one of the most highly paid types of modelling, depending on the model, representation, how in-demand they are, the location of the job and brand exposure once published. Rates can range from $150 to $1,500 per hour, depending on the location, brand, and level of experience. For example, in New York, an experienced fashion model may earn anywhere from $300 to $1,500 per hour, while a new model may earn between $100 to $200 per hour. 

It’s worth noting that most models during Fashion Week (in any city) will be lucky to have their runway work cover their travel, accommodation and food for the week they’re in location. Understanding your pay, your costs for the duration, reading the fine print of your contract and overall being realistic about what you can afford will go a long way in your model career.

Further Reading: WWD: Coco Rocha Talks Financial Transparency in the Modeling World

How Much Money Do Commercial Models Make?

Commercial modelling includes jobs such as print ads, catalogues, and tv commercials. Rates for commercial models can range from $75 to $500 per hour, depending on the job and the model’s experience. In Los Angeles, for example, a commercial model may earn anywhere from $75 to $250 per hour, while in smaller markets, such as Phoenix, rates may be closer to $50 to $100 per hour. 

In Australia, as an example, a model may make $3k-$10k for a shoot that could take a few hours or a couple of days to complete. Factors to take into consideration are the type of job, client and therefore budget, and exposure of the final product. Ie. if the TV commercial appears on air for more than 3 months, and in more than 1 country, the model will be remunerated at a higher rate.

How Much Money Do Fitness Models Make?

Fitness modelling involves showcasing athletic or fitness apparel or equipment. Rates for fitness modelling can range from $50 to $500 per hour, depending on the job and the model’s experience. In Australia, for example, a fitness model may earn anywhere from $80 to $300 per hour.

How Much Money Do Promotional Models Make?

Promotional modelling involves representing a brand at events or trade shows. Rates for promotional modelling can range from $20 to $100 per hour, depending on the job and the location. In Canada, for example, a promotional model may earn anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour, while in major cities such as Toronto, rates may be closer to $40 to $60 per hour. In Australia, as an example, promotional models that showcase swimwear, lingerie or alcohol brands receive a higher hourly rate.

It’s important to note that these rates are only averages and may vary depending on a number of factors. It’s always a good idea to research rates for your specific location and industry, and to negotiate rates with clients based on your level of experience and the scope of the job.

Further Reading: The 10 Types of Modelling + Requirements


How Much Commission Do Model Agencies Take?

Model agencies typically take a percentage of a model’s earnings as commission for their services. In Australia, commission rates vary between agencies and can range from 10% to 20% of a model’s earnings. The commission charged can impact a model’s earnings, as it reduces the amount of money they receive for their work.

As an example, if a model earns $1,000 for a job and their agency charges a commission rate of 20%, they will receive $800 and the agency will keep $200. Similarly, if a model earns $5,000 for a job and their agency charges a commission rate of 15%, the model will receive $4,250 and the agency will keep $750.

Here are some examples of commission rates charged by modelling agencies in Australia:

How Much Commission Does Chic Management Take?

Chic Management is one of the most well-known model agencies in Australia, representing some of the top models in the country. The agency charges a commission rate of 20% for fashion and editorial work and 15% for commercial and promotional work.

How Much Commission Does Viven’s Model Management Take?

Viviens Model Management is another leading model agency in Australia, representing models across a range of categories. The agency charges a commission rate of 20% for fashion and editorial work and 15% for commercial and promotional work.

How Much Commission Does The MGMT Take?

The MGMT is a boutique modelling agency based in Sydney, representing models in fashion, commercial, and lifestyle categories. The agency charges a commission rate of 15% for all types of work.

How Much Commission Does Wink Models Take?

Wink Models: Wink Models is a popular model agency with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. The agency represents models in fashion, commercial, and promotional categories and charges a commission rate of 20% for all types of work.

Further Reading: How to Tell if a Model Agency or Opportunity is Legit

How Else Can Models Make Money?

In addition to model jobs, there are several other income opportunities that models can explore to supplement their earnings. These include:

1. Brand Partnerships

Models can partner with brands to promote their products or services. This can include appearing in advertisements or social media campaigns, attending events and activations, and collaborating on product development. Brand partnerships can be highly lucrative and can provide models with a steady source of income.

2. Social Media Sponsorships

With the rise of social media, models can leverage their online following to earn money through sponsorships. This can include promoting products on Instagram or YouTube, partnering with brands for sponsored posts, and collaborating with other influencers on social media campaigns.

3. Influencer Marketing

Models can also explore opportunities in influencer marketing, which involves partnering with brands to promote their products or services to their followers. This can include sponsored content, product reviews, and influencer-led events. Influencer marketing can be a highly effective way for models to earn additional income and build their personal brand.

4. Acting

Many models also pursue acting opportunities, either on television, in films, or in commercials. While acting can be a highly competitive field, models with acting skills can often find additional income opportunities in the entertainment industry.

5. Freelance Modelling

In addition to working with model agencies, models can also pursue freelance modelling opportunities. This can include working with local designers or photographers, or booking jobs directly with clients. Freelance modelling can be a great way for models to build their portfolio and earn additional income.

By exploring these additional income opportunities, models can supplement their model income and build a diversified career in the fashion and entertainment industries. I always recommend my model students to approach these opportunities strategically, and to prioritise partnerships and projects that align with their personal brand and values, and ALWAYS have more than 1 income stream.

Male Model v Female Model Pay

Do Female Models Earn More Than Male Models?

In the model industry, female and male models often earn different rates for the same type of work. Female models typically earn more than male models, particularly in the fashion and commercial modelling sectors. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including industry norms, the demand for female models, and the types of jobs available.

Why Do Female Models Earn More Than Male Models?

In both the commercial and fashion modelling industry, female models typically earn more than male models due to the higher demand for female models. Female models are often used for a wider range of products and campaigns, including cosmetics, fashion, and accessories, which can contribute to their higher earnings. Additionally, there is a greater emphasis on appearance and body type in the fashion industry, and female models are often expected to conform to strict beauty standards.

This ‘supply and demand’ makes them more valuable to clients. Additionally, there is a greater emphasis on emotional connection in commercial advertising, and female models are often seen as more relatable and able to connect with consumers on a deeper level.

While female models generally earn more than male models in the fashion and commercial modelling sectors, it’s important to note that earnings can vary significantly based on a range of factors, including experience, location, and the type of model job. Male models with significant experience, a strong portfolio and significant social media following can command higher rates, particularly for high-profile campaigns or events. Similarly, female models with a unique look or a strong social media following can often negotiate higher rates for their work.

It’s important for models to stay informed about industry rates and to negotiate their fees based on their experience, skillset, and the specific requirements of each job.

Further Reading: How To Become a Male Model Model Adonis Bosso by Photographer Justin Wu

Opinion: Why Is There Is A Gender Pay Gap In The Model Industry?

From my career in both business and modelling, and now working as a Model Coach, I believe the reasons behind the pay gap between female and male models are complex and multifaceted. On one level I attribute this to the historical emphasis on female beauty and the objectification of women in advertising and media. And on another level, I would point to the fact that female models are often expected to conform to very specific beauty standards and they can be used in a wider variety of campaigns, which can make them more valuable to clients.

The gender pay gap is not unique to the model industry, and is a complex issue that has its roots in broader societal and cultural norms. However, the model industry has been criticised for perpetuating gender-based pay disparities, and there have been calls for greater transparency and fairness in the industry. It’s no secret that while female models have a higher earning capacity at face value, male models have a MUCH LONGER lifespan in their model careers.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement towards diversity and inclusivity in the model industry, with many brands and agencies embracing a more inclusive approach to casting and advertising. This has included a greater focus on body positivity, racial diversity, and gender inclusivity, which has helped to challenge some of the longstanding norms and biases in the industry.

How To Maximise Earning Potential As A Model

I always give candid and straightforward advice to my model students with no sugar coating or bandide fixes. You will always hear me chanting – if you want to work as a Model, use your money to learn the business of modelling (aka business skills and emotional intelligence skills)…don’t focus so much on refining your physical appearance or social media likes (that will only get you so far).  

1. Build A Strong Portfolio

Your portfolio is your calling card in the model industry. It should showcase your best work and highlight your versatility as a model. 

2. Network With Industry Professionals

Attend industry events, fashion shows, and model castings to meet other professionals in the industry. Building relationships can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.

3. Develop A Personal Brand

A personal brand is what sets you apart from other models. Consider what type of model category you excel at and how you want to be perceived by potential clients. 

4. Keep Up With Industry Trends

This will help you stay relevant and competitive in the industry.

5. Be Professional

Your reputation as a model is crucial to your success. Always be on time for photo shoots and other events, communicate clearly with clients, and maintain a positive attitude. 

6. Consider Working With Agencies

Model agencies can help you secure more work, negotiate higher rates and work with clients that you don’t have access to without your own business or networking connections.

7. Keep Honing Your Skills

Working as a model requires physical and mental agility, so it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep honing your skills. Consider taking classes in dance, acting, or fitness to broaden your skills and become a more versatile model.

Further Reading: 4 Headshot Tips for Beginner Models

Do you want to fast track your model career? Check out The Model Masterclass: A world first in online education for models. I design and develop educational tools for aspiring models to build a career they love!

That’s a wrap!

What did you think?

Working as a model can be a lucrative career for those who are dedicated, hardworking, and have the right connections. While there is no set salary for models, those who excel in the industry can earn six-figure incomes and enjoy a glamorous lifestyle. However, it’s important to remember that success in the model world requires more than just good looks. Building a strong portfolio, networking with industry professionals, developing a personal brand, staying up-to-date with industry trends, and being professional and reliable are all essential for success. 

With the right guidance and support, anyone can achieve their dreams of becoming a successful model. So, if you’re serious about making it in the industry, consider learning from an experienced coach or booking a coaching session to increase your chances of success. Remember, with hard work, determination, and a positive attitude, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

I wish you the success you work for and deserve!

Ps: This is a quality guide and I don’t mind you sharing it. I’d appreciate it if you follow standard professional etiquette and please quote + credit my content appropriately when you do:

Kate Heussler | Instagram: @kateheussler Thank you!

Enrol in The Model Masterclass or Book a Coaching Appointment.  

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The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.

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