Male Model Salary: How Much Money Do Male Models Make

Average Male Model Salary in 2023. Oh my, its been a decade since we wrote the post below and we think it is high time for an update. Did you know that, if you are in the good ole U.S. of A, you’d be making an average annual salary as a male model to the tune of $49,308? This is according to which may or may not know what it is talking about.

average male model salary in 2023

According to the site, the salary of US-based models range from $10,094 to $254,999 with a median average amounting to $45,701. We suppose the $49k mentioned above is the mean average. Which part of the U.S. can a male model make the most money? Apparently, the answer is San Francisco where the average salary for a male model is $73,771.

Male Model Salary (31 August 2014). How much money do male models make? Well, in 2013 the highest paid male model banked an estimated grand total of $1.5 million. It may be a small fraction compared to the earnings of top female supermodels but its nothing to sneeze at either. One point five million dollars is one point five million dollars, baby.


In case you are wondering, said male model who made the most money in 2013 is the gorgeous, hunky, shaggable, fabulous, and awesome American model that is Sean O’Pry. Not far behind in the earnings scale is our imaginary British boyfriend David Gandy (see David Gandy Underwear Modeling Photos).

Here’s the Top Ten Earning Male Models in 2013 according to a list compiled by Forbes Magazine:

1. Sean O’Pry, $1.5 million
2. David Gandy, $1.4 million
3. Simon Nessman, $1.1M
4. Arthur Kulkov, $905K (that’s him in our photo above)
5. Noah Mills, $740K
6. Ryan Burns – $610,000
7. Tyson Ballou, $425K
8. Ollie Edwards, $410K
9. Jon Kortajarena, $290K
10. Tobias Sorensen, $265K

What’s cool about the list is that a majority of the top ten male models (Gandy, Kulkov, Mills, Burns, Ballou, and Edwards) are north of thirty. Does this mean that male models are not as disposable as their female counterparts who are usually disposed off in their mid-twenties. Shocker but that’s the beauty business for you.

Anyhoo, at the low end of the scale, some male models will work for free to build their portfolio as well as to gain exposure.

There is no set salary when it comes to modeling. Your income varies depending on the type of modeling gig. Commercial modeling pays the big bucks while runways don’t pay much. In 2009, the Los Angeles Times did a feature of Matvey Lykov, then ranked inside the Top 25 Male Models, and came up with this conclusion on how much he makes doing runway shows in the fashion capitals of the world:

He can’t exactly say how much he makes a year — “I haven’t been doing it for a whole year yet,” he points out. “I was also studying.” But using the figure of $1,000 per show, he grossed somewhere close to $18,400 in the most recent round of shows (that’s subtracting the 20% agency fee). Deduct another two grand for airfare, hotel, food and transportation costs and the season would net him roughly $16,400. Double that for a second season, throw in a couple of one-off shows and an exclusive gig and it turns out that being No. 24 on the list of top-ranked male models means making somewhere in the ballpark of $40,000 a year on the runways before taxes. It’s not chicken feed, but in an industry where the favored faces can change with the season, it hardly screams “hired car and driver,” either.

That total does not include the 11 New York shows he worked this season — because most of them end up paying the models not in cash but in clothing. “Most of the men’s designers paid in trade this season,” he said (something that’s not allowed in Europe).

What about editorial modeling? Forget about any payment when you do magazine editorials, a model we know dubbed it “volunteer work”. The tradeoff, of course, is the media exposure which, if you ask us, makes it a win-win for both the model and the publication.

A forum poster at tells us more about why models are not paid for doing editorial work even for top publications such as Vogue:

For those who don’t know, as a general rule, major fashion magazines like the various editions of Vogue do not pay models for their appearance in their magazines or they are paid very little, like the $150-250 payment noted in post #1 plus expenses.** The logic / justification for this way of doing business is among other things:

  • working for a major magazines and being shot by a top photographer is prestigious and highly coveted and that in and of itself is a form of compensation;
  • the model is getting valuable experience and exposure;
  • appearing in the magazine should (hopefully) yield well-paying downstream work for the model.

In other words, not getting paid (getting paid very little) is seen as an investment by the model and her/his agent in terms of experience, exposure and relationships and the monetary benefit comes from the paying work that the model is expected (hopes) to get as a result of the bragging rights that come from appearing in a major magazine and being photographed by a top photographer and also (presumably) the skill set that s/he is building from doing this type of work.

So here’s the bottomline for aspiring male models: the lucrative commercial modeling is cornered by the top guys, runway modeling is kinda break-even, and editorial modeling does not pay sh*t.

Male Model Salary: How Much Money Do Male Models Make. First posted 31 August 2014. Last updated: September 5, 2023 at 1:36 am.