Public Speaker Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Public speakers make around $63,153 to $124,800 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a public speaker’s average salary in the US ranges between $63,153 and $124,800. As of March 2022, the average base salaries for public speakers are as follows:


Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Public Speaker? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

The salary of a public speaker can vary depending on many factors, such as the speaker’s experience, the topic of the speech, the length of the speech, the location of the event, and the size of the audience.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a public speaker, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your public speaker salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$42,946
Early career (1 to 4 years)$54,176
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$70,616
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$90,792
Late career (20+ years)$125,703

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a public speaker. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average public speaker salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
Washington DC, DC$110,986
San Francisco, CA$94,248
Seattle, WA$91,600
New York City, NY$87,740
Boston, MA$82,774
Oklahoma City, OK$61,676
Birmingham, AL$61,442
Miami, FL$61,432
Tampa Bay, FL$60,305
Pittsburgh, PA$59,932

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a public speaker’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Motivational Speaker$67,293
Keynote Speaker$63,455
Workshop Leader$56,882
Rhetorical Critic$51,826

How to increase your public speaker salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a public speaker, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Research: Understand how to research topics to be covered in a speech
  • Writing: Write speeches that are clear, concise, and persuasive
  • Editing: Edit speeches to remove any superfluous or confusing language
  • Delivery: Deliver speeches in a clear, engaging, and passionate way
  • Audience Engagement: Know how to keep an audience engaged throughout a speech
2. Take more responsibilities

If you’re a public speaker who is also responsible for booking your own engagements, start charging more for your services. If you’re not in charge of your own bookings, start asking to be. The more responsibility you have, the more you can charge.

3. Negotiate your job offer

When you’re offered a public speaking gig, make sure to negotiate your fee. Public speaking can be a very lucrative career, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you’re worth. If you’re not sure what to charge, look at what other public speakers in your field are making, and start from there.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Public Speaker Hourly Pay,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Public Speaker Annual Salary,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

6. “Public Speaker Salary,” Accessed March 23, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Public Speaker Salaries,,14.htm.” Accessed March 23, 2022.


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