How Much Do Pornstars Make

How Much Do Pornstars Make in 2024? (Salary Statistics)

Published on: March 3, 2024
Last Updated: March 3, 2024

How Much Do Pornstars Make in 2024? (Salary Statistics)

Published on: March 3, 2024
Last Updated: March 3, 2024

Quick Answer 🔍

How much do pornstars make in 2024?

Porn actors and actresses make an average of $44,102 annually worldwide. The average earnings for a pornstar in the United States is $51,099 per year.

While the adult entertainment industry is under much scrutiny, it generates billions of dollars every year, especially in the pornography segment.

This industry has several pornstars, but what do they do and how much do pornstars make?

Just like any job people do, acting among pornstars is a paying job.

The world of pornstars is surrounded by controversy even though it’s obviously a popular industry.

We will discuss what pornstars do and how much they make by doing it.

We’ll also find out how much they make and what it takes to work in this adult entertainment sector.

Let’s discuss the salaries of pornstars today.

Key Statistics 

  • Porn actors and actresses make from $35,000 to $250,000 each year.
  • $44,102 is the average annual salary for a pornstar.
  • Pornstars are often paid as little as $10,070 per year.
  • The average earnings for a pornstar in the United States is $51,099 per year.
  • In 2018, pornstars’ tax rate was 22% in the United States.
  • In the United States, porn actors took home just under $44,000 per year after paying taxes.

How Much Do Pornstarts Make?

Porn on laptop 1240

According to pornstar statistics, these performers make an average between $35,000 and $250,000 per year. 

Most people think that pornstars make a lot of money, which is true in some instances, but it’s rare.

Most porn actors make an average of $44,102 annually, which is barely above America’s idea of the nation’s poverty level. 

If one can fathom making $44,102 per year as a pornstar, that’s equal to $3,675 each month, $848 each week, $169.62 every day, and $21.20 each hour.

In the United States the average earnings for a pornstar is $51,099 per year.

Most pornstars are paid on a per job basis, but they can be offered extra compensation for performing in certain scenes.

In fact, the reality of pornstars salaries is that they can start at only $10,070 per year but range up to over $270,000 per year. 

Pornstars pay an average of 22% in federal taxes, according to 2018 data.

If they make the median salary of $47,368 and the tax rate is 22%, they take home almost $44,000 per year (after taxes).

Many porn actors pay their own taxes as a contractor or freelancer unless they have employment with a specific pornographic studio that pays their taxes.

How Much Can a Porn Video Director Make?

On average, porn directors make just over $97,000 per year in the United States with a salary range potential of between $56,361 and $177,829.

The average base pay as of June 2023 accounts for $214,875 per year for Senior porn directors.

Therefore, we can surmise that the level of the director matters and varies in pay.

What Do Pornstars Do?

We’ll answer this by using a standard definition of pornstar.

Pornstars are categorized as adult entertainers who perform exclusively in pornographic movies, films, or videos created for sexual incitement and the erotic pleasure of those who view this content. 

What are the Legal Requirements to Work as a Pornstar?

In the United States, potential pornography actors must be at least 18 years old, which is the legal age of adulthood in America.

Also, 18 is the age in most other countries, but not all. 

Moreover, you must have an active and valid idenfication (driver’s license or other picture I.D.) and you must submit to regular and mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs). 

How Does One Become a Pornstar?

For one thing, you don’t need to have a college degree to be a pornstar.

Also, you don’t have to be perfectly physically fit or skinny to work in this industry.

There are enough body fetishes that dominate in the porn industry to accomodate. 

You are required to be physically able to perform sexually for movies and videos.

This goes beyond just showing up and playing around with your costars.

This kind of job is real work that requires good stamina.

Producers expect you to deliver a strong performance which often means you will be reshooting scenes not done to the director’s instructions.

You should also be able to easily adapt and effectively express a wide range of emotions for the viewers’ pleasure and entertainment. 

If you think this is an easy job, you might want to rethink that misconception.

Are There Pornstars that Make Millions?

Pornstars 326

While they are few and far between, there are pornstars that make millions of dollars for their work.

Here are a few of these stars.

  • Tera Patrick has a net worth of $10 million.
  • Maria Takagi is worth $6 million.
  • Lexington Steele has a net worth of $4 million.
  • Danny Mountain is worth #1.5 million.

Most adult porn actors make their money solely from the porn industry, but others have a more diverse portfolio and have acted in mainstream movies and television like Melyssa Ford and Jenna Jameson. 

These two pornstars show that you can cross over and even transition into the mainstream entertainment industry from the porn industry.

Though it’s challenging because of the stigma behind pornography, it can be done. 

Mainly their public speaking, writing, advocacy, and entrepreneurship skills are transferable to other industries. 


Overall, pornstars work hard for the money they make whether its $10,070 per year or over $200,000 per year.

They are individuals with a lot of stamina for the work. 

If you’re considering a career in the porn industry, you need to know that it’s hard work and that you do need a lot of stamina to act in it.

However, you don’t need a degree, nor do you need to have society’s idea of the perfect frame. 

Pornstars receive awards just like they do in mainstream movies and television.

For instance, they have adult film awards like AVN, XBIZ, and XRCO. So, it’s as much about recognition as it is about money for them, maybe more so.


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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.