Have you ever wondered how much Las Vegas showgirls actually make working on the Strip?
In this article, we’ll explore this question.
Las Vegas Showgirls Pay
The economics of the Las Vegas showgirl gig makes it not that bad of a job overall, which explains its popularity.
However, you will be your own boss and it does require a lot of hustle to become good at it.
Several years ago, there was a Las Vegas who claimed she was doing close to $400k per year as a showgirl on the Strip doing it as a side gig (and claimed she was hitting $700k per year adding in her Instagram/social media business).
But that’s a really difficult bar for a showgirl to clear if you reverse engineer what you need to do to hit that.
Las Vegas Strip showgirls work in 3-hour shifts because of the costume fees, which are $35 per shift.
So if you’re doing double shifts 300 days a year, that’s 1,800 hours per year or $21k in costume fees.
$400k into 1,800 hours is $222/hr.
If $50 a photo or video split with a partner, that’s $25 per photo, or about 9 per hour in order to hit $450/pair per hour or $225/individual.
Some peak hours can definitely be like that, but it’s not easy to do when averaged out.
That would mean doing over 16,000 photos/videos per year while tolerating:
- the weight of the headdress
- the high-heeled boots
- the weather elements
- the seasonality of it
- dealing with people
- staying in great shape
- having the personality to excel at it
- knowing your spots
- knowing your route
- having the right partner, and so on.
That’s hard work.
And it’s also exchanging time for money like a normal employee so there’s also the lack of scalability. Plus there’s just the one main revenue stream (pictures/videos).
What’s a realistic Las Vegas showgirl salary?
If a showgirl on the Las Vegas Strip does double shifts 300 days per year (1,800 hours per year) and gets two pictures per hour, averaged, that’s 3,600 per year.
At $50 each, split with a partner, that’s $25 * 3,600, or $90,000.
Then subtract out costume fees of $21,000, or about $70,000 per year.
That’s not bad, considering you don’t need to spend four years in college or rack up a lot of expenses or debt to get a degree just to make a salary that might be lower than that.
But there is a level of skill and tolerance involved and it’s not easy work.
And it can also be dangerous, as evidenced by an October 2022 mass stabbing.