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How Much to Pay for Modeling

by E.M. Rawes, studioD

Young, old, female, male, thin and plus-sized models come from all walks of life. The prime age for entry into the modeling industry is between 16 and 18, Newmodels.com reports. However, with so many products and services out there, there is a demand for all types. When seeking to hire one of these photogenic fashion professionals, you not only have to find the right one for your business, you also have to decide on an appropriate payment arrangement.

A Model's Average Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of 2012, a model's median annual salary was $26,110. This equates to $12.55 hourly and $502 weekly. Models in the 90th percentile earned $20.91 per hour and those in the 10th percentile earned significantly lower at $7.81 per hour.

Location Variances

Wisconsin is the highest-paying state for a model, where hourly wages averaged $39.08. New York, Ohio, Arizona and Oregon are also higher-paying states for models, where average wages ranged from around $15.00 to $21.00 per hour. If you are hiring a model in one of those states, you may have to pay him a bit higher than if you hired him in Missouri, for instance. Modeling pay may vary across smaller localities, such as cities as well. A model's average hourly wage is close to $1.50 higher in the Albany, NY area than in the Wayne, NY area, according to the BLS.

Other Factors to Consider

You should also consider your industry when deciding how much to pay a model for her services. For instance, models for clothing stores earned $8.83 per hour on average in 2012. Clothing store models averaged about half the pay of those who modeled for junior colleges, colleges, universities and professional schools, reports the BLS. Aside from industry and location, you should also take into account the model's level of experience and her level of popularity or fame. Well-known, experienced models may expect a significantly higher pay rate than amateur models.

A Little Industry Insight

In an article published in XO Jane entitled "Real Talk: How Much Models Actually Get Paid," model Ashley Stetts provides some inside information on modeling wages. For her work on the cover of an established magazine, Ashley earned $250. She reports that models typically earn between $100 and $400 for a whole day of magazine work. She asserts that fit models, models who work for a clothing line, earn much higher wages. Fit models can earn over $250 per hour.

Finding the Right Rate

Because a model's pay may vary so significantly, you should take any and all measureable factors into account when deciding on a pay rate. Asking candidates about their past wages and wage expectations will also help you to decide on an appropriate wage amount. Take into account expenses, such as clothing, photographers and set props, when you are planning to hire a model.

About the Author

E.M. Rawes is a professional writer specializing in business, finance, mathematical and social sciences topics. She completed her studies at the University of Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Science. During her time working in workforce management and as a financial analyst, she reinforced her business and financial know-how.

Photo Credits

  • Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images