Case Study | 11.30.2016

Webcam Model Earnings Vs Salaried Jobs in the United States

Share this Story


The following research study looks into the earnings of webcam models across the industry in comparison to both average and top salaried jobs in the United States. The purpose of this study is to highlight the income potential as a webcam model in an unstable economy where both qualified and non-qualified people struggle to find job opportunities which afford them a comfortable lifestyle. To become a webcam model, there is no experience or training required with the only necessities being a computer, a good internet connection, and a webcam. Other factors such as a person’s looks, personality, and the effort one puts in to being a webcam model in regards to hours worked and building a presence as a cam model online can affect income potential, however, these are not requirements for the job.

It is important to note that a range of criteria, many of which are unmeasurable, contribute to how much a webcam model may earn. In this study we will attempt to provide an average webcam model salary for comparison with average salaried jobs in the United States such as an office worker or receptionist, and also look at the salary of top webcam models for comparison with high paid salaried jobs in the United States such as doctors and lawyers. All data, statistics, and figures used throughout this study are referenced at the foot in the “Works Cited” section.

“ There are two main branches of cam websites which dominate the industry – private cam sites and tip-based cam sites.

Webcam Model Earnings

As mentioned in the introduction, earning potential for a webcam model can vary on a range of criteria, some of which is simply unmeasurable. One of the most important criteria for earning potential in the cam model industry is the type of modelling and the employer one works for. There are two main branches of cam websites which dominate the industry – private cam sites and tip-based cam sites.

Tips vs Hourly

Private cam sites employ models exclusively for their business and charge clients to use their services. These business models are known for their pay-per-minute business model, where clients enter the website, create an account and username, and browse the list of models online, choosing one for a private chat. The private chat is charged by the minute with sites charging anywhere between $1.99 per minute to $6.99 per minute and beyond. These prices are generally set by the agency running the website depending on factors such as demand for a particular model, how good looking a model is, and other factors. However, some websites allow models to set their own prices per minute, taking a percentage cut from the earnings.

“ The majority of webcam models work for tip-based cam sites. ”

Tip-based sites run on a different model which attracts more users. These business models work on models receiving tips from clients to perform certain acts in a public chat. Unlike private cam sites, tip-based sites are generally accessible to all for free and without the need to create an account. The business model thrives on a small percentage of users who purchase tokens and spend them in the public chat area to help model reach a certain “tip goal” and reward viewers with a performance. The majority of webcam models work for tip-based sites.
Other criteria to consider for earning potential of a cam model is how much time they spend working on cam, how attractive the model is, whether they are fulfilling a popular fetish or niche, if they are talkative or have a great personality to attract and entice clients into their room or into private sessions, if they spend time building up a profile and presence away from the cam site they are working on such as a social media following or a blog, and how many regular clients they have coming back to them on a daily or weekly basis.

When taking into account all these factors, it is clear that the salary of a webcam model can vary quite dramatically. However, even with all these variables it is possible to show a tentative average income for webcam models, as displayed in the table below:

Average Monthly













0-10 $800 - $2100 $1000 - $2600 $600 - $2000 $300 - $2300 $100 - $500
11-20 $2000 - $6700 $3000 - $8000 $1500 - $7500 $500 - $5000 $200 - $2000
21-30 $3000 - $8700 $4600 - $11,500 $2000 - $10,000 $700 - $5900 $250 - $2300
31-40 $3400 - $11,000 $4800 - $18,000 $2500 - $13,000 $800 - $6500 $300 - $2600
40+ $5000 - $15,000 $5200 - $22,000 $3000 - $30,000 $1000 - $7000 $350 - $2900

As you can see the income potential for webcam models can vary dramatically and there are some webcam models who fall outside of these brackets. These so-called “elite” webcam models can earn a salary far exceeding the average income shown above, with the highest earners taking home in excess of $1 million per year. We will look at these figures in more detail when comparing webcam model income to salaried jobs in the United States later in this study.

Cam Model Industry Stats

Attempting to estimate the true size of the live webcam industry is almost impossible due to new services appearing online every day, rebranding of old services, and the industry consisting of mainly privately held companies who have no beneficial reasons for sharing their data with the world. However, it is known that the adult industry as a whole is a multi-billion dollar industry, with live adult webcams taking a large slice of that income and growing all the time. As of 2016, the adult industry boasts some incredible statistics including:

$9226.92 was spent on pornography in the time it took you to read this sentence.

On average, 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography at any given second.

An adult related search term is being typed into a search engine every second.

An estimated 12% of all websites online are pornographic.

68 million pornographic requests are submitted to search engines every day, 25% of all search engine requests.

42.7% of internet users have viewed pornographic materials more than once.

Currently it is estimated that the live adult webcam industry accounts for at least a third of all online adult revenues today. This means billions of dollars are earned by webcam models every year. The earning potential for all webcam models is certainly there and you can see the huge interest in this industry by simply navigating to any live webcam site and entering the chat room of a random model where you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of users watching the live webcam. Consider that this is only one model on one of thousands of websites and you will understand the massive potential in the industry.

Thousands Of Viewers

Average Cam Model Earnings vs Average Salaried Jobs in the United States

In this section we will look at a broad average webcam model in comparison to two average salaried jobs in the United States, namely an office clerk and a receptionist. The figures used are based on each person working an average 40 hour week in their respective jobs.

Starting with the webcam model, according to the averages used above in section 2, we can see that depending on age, a webcam model who works 40 hours a week can earn anything from $500 per week to $51,000 per month. This is obviously a huge range to work with so we will consider someone between the age of 23 and 29 for the purposes of this example. A female in this age bracket working 40 hours per week can expect to earn between $5,200 and $22,000 per month depending on factors such as looks, personality, profile building and online presence, and countless other variables.

If we take the average earnings as $13,600 per month we come up with a yearly salary of $163,200. However, in an attempt to make the data as realistic as possible, we will use the lowest average monthly income for women between 23 and 29 working 40 hours per week as a cam model for this section. This would mean the webcam model earns $5,200 per month or $62,400 per year.

Average Income

An office clerk in the United States, determined as someone who typically works in an office doing a little of everything, earns an average yearly salary of $29,000. Generally skills such as communication skills, customer service skills, and attention to detail are priority for gaining employment as an office clerk, as well as some form of computer literacy.

A receptionist in the United States earns a varied wage depending on whether they are starting receptionists or top end receptionists, however the average yearly earnings equate to $27,000 per year. Generally, at least a high school education is required to become a receptionist and job descriptions can vary wildly from one receptionist position to another.

As you can see, even when taking into account the lowest average earnings for a webcam model who works 40+ hours per week, the average salary still far exceeds the average salaries for average jobs in the United States. In fact, working as a webcam model could potentially lead to an income more than twice of that of an office clerk or a receptionist.

“ model earnings far exceed the salaries for average jobs in the United States.”

Top Cam Model Earnings vs Top Salaried Jobs in the United States

It is also worth looking at the earnings of top webcam models in comparison to top salaried jobs in the United States. For the purposes of this example we will compare an example of a high earning cam model to the average earnings of doctors and lawyers, both of which are highly qualified and highly salaried jobs.

When considering top end earners in the live adult webcam industry, there are some models who can make in excess of $1 million per year. These are the models who have built up a strong reputation and following, not only on their live webcam website, but also on social media and other platforms. Some performers on adult webcam sites can participate in private shows which last up to 19 hours. When considering a client is charged an average of $4.99 per minute for these private shows, it is easy to see how the money can add up very quickly. The top performers combine private shows with tip-based shows in free chat rooms and some also sell pictures and videos to further boost their income. It is widely reported that up to 5% of webcam models make in excess of $1 million per year using these tactics and more.

Top Income

A lawyer in the United States, who holds a doctorate at least in their field, earns an average salary of $115,000 per year. Obviously many years of study and qualifications are required to become a lawyer in the United States. It is also worth noting that many firms provide generous bonuses on top of the basic salary, with some even matching a full year’s salary as a bonus. So, for the purpose of this example, we will double the average salary to $230,000 per year including bonuses and benefits.

A doctor in the United States, who holds a doctorate at least in their field, earns an average salary of $186,000 per year. There are numerous fields into which a doctor can practice medicine, all of which have varied average salaries. The field with the highest average yearly salary is neurosurgery, where the average annual salary is $609,639.

For lawyers we have used the average salary multiplied by two to include bonuses and benefits, and for the doctors we have used the top end position in neurosurgery as the average salary. However, even when considering these top end positions within top paid salaried jobs in the United States, neither are as profitable as the top end pay as a webcam model.

“...the top 5% of webcam models earn in excess of 1 million dollars per year...”


The purpose of this study is to highlight the potential income as a webcam model in comparison to various salaried jobs across the United States. As shown above, there is huge potential to earn a significant income as a webcam model, whatever your looks, dedication, age, or experience. The average webcam model can take home more in a year than an average job such as an office clerk or a receptionist, while the top end cam models who create a career in the business can make more in a year than a lawyer or doctor. With the industry continuing to grow at an extraordinary pace, it is very likely that the live adult webcam industry will create many more millionaires in the years to come.

Share this Story
Works Cited “Webcam Girl Salary”. “Inside the Rapidly Growing Cam Industry That’s changing the Porn Industry as we know it”. “How Much Money Camming Models Make”. “How Much Money Chaturbate Models Can Make”. “The Live Adult Webcam Sector Is Thriving”. “Pornography/Adult Entertainment”, “Webcam Girls earn HOW MUCH? Meet internet Stars Raking in up to $1 Million a Year by Performing Erotic Online Shows”, “Quit Your Day Job: Top Cam Girls Are Earning Around $1 million Per Year”, “Average Receptionist Salary” “Average Office Clerk Salary”, “Average Doctor Salary”, “Average Lawyer Salary