The Virtual Pay Gap Report

New data reveals you could be earning more money doing your job virtually

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Did you know there are farmers on YouTube who earn more money online than they do selling their crops? That’s right - you could be earning MORE money doing your job virtually.

We live in a digital world that is constantly evolving, paving new ways in everything from communication to careers. So, why do a ‘normal job’ when you can be earning up to $17.6m by doing it digitally and working from home?

Here at, we wanted to find out how much you could be making in a digital world. We analyzed job listings on Adzuna to find the average salary of some of the most popular job titles. We then analyzed the Instagram accounts of some of the world’s biggest influencers to create The Virtual Pay Gap Report.

Screens of various influencers instagram accounts

Earning Potential Online Vs. Offline

Rank Job Title Annual Salary From Adzuna Influencer Followers Instagram Handle Pay Per Post Annual Earnings Based on one post a week Virtual Pay Gap Salary vs. earnings

Makeup artists could earn up to $17m more online than in reality

Our data revealed that of all the job titles we analyzed, makeup artists had the biggest pay gap between the average annual salary advertised and their earning potential on Instagram. According to Adzuna, makeup artists, on average, can earn up to $34,571 a year depending on their level of experience.

However when we scoured Instagram for some of the biggest influencers who were also make up artists, Huda Beauty came up top. Thanks to some 47.5m followers, the makeup artist turned makeup line can command up to $340,656 per Instagram post, with the potential to earn up to $17,711,190 per year. That’s a whopping difference of $17,671,766.

Following closely behind with a massive pay gap of $14,337,624 are those within the porn industry. With an estimated salary of $138,491 (based on shooting 100 scenes per year), porn stars can command up to $281,254 per instagram post. That’s a staggering $14,622,762 per year!



  1. #1


    usually $141,948

    Sandra Lee @drpimplepopper

  2. #2

    Yoga Instructor

    usually $130,033

    Rachel Brathen @yoga_girl

  3. #3


    usually $97,569

    Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen


  1. #1

    Make Up Artist

    usually $34,571

    Huda Beauty @hudabeauty

  2. #2

    Porn Star

    usually $138,491

    Sandra Lee @sunnyleone

  3. #3


    usually $30,670

    Zach King @zachking

Our data reveals that online gamer PewDiePie is the highest paid influencer

Aside from those with the biggest virtual pay gap, which influencers are making the most online and dominating their industry?

Online gamer and YouTuber, Felix Kjellberg (better known as PewDiePie) is the highest paid influencer according to our data. With a massive 20.9 million followers, the Swedish star can earn up to $155,867 for a single post on Instagram, raking in $8,103,747 in one year!

Gym instructor and fitness influencer, Michelle Lewin, comes in second place. Thanks to her 13.6 million followers, Michelle could be earning up to $101,833 per post.

Following closely behind is interior designer Joanna Gaines, who could be earning up to $4,889,261 a year just from posting on Instagram. With 12.6 million followers, Joanna can command up to $94,040 for a single post.

Felix Kjellberg AKA PewDiePie

Highest paid jobs vs their Instagram earning potential

So, what about those who are already in a high-paying job?

According to our data, the highest paying job listing on Adzuna was for a dermatologist. This high profile job has a high profile salary to match, with those qualified raking in $141,948 a year!

But what if dermatologists took to Instagram? American dermatologist and YouTuber, Sandra Lee (better known as Dr Pimple Popper), could earn up to $1,530,707 a year by posting just once a week on the social network.

Following closely behind with an average salary of $130,033 are yoga instructors. But how much can yoga instructors earn through Instagram? With just over 2 million followers, Rachel Brathen (aka yoga_girl) has the potential to earn $828,383 a year.

For a platform that is designed for creating, posting and sharing photos, it’s no surprise that many photographers share their work on the platform too! Earning an average salary of $97,569, photographer Paul Nicklen has the potential to earn $49,358 per post. That’s just over $2.6 million a year.

The most insta-worthy industries

By combining the potential earning total of each industry, we were able to find out that the industry you really want to get into in order to earn the most is the creative industry!

With job titles such as artist, author, fashion designer, interior designer, photographer and makeup artist all being categorised as creative jobs, this industry has the potential to make a staggering $30,551,164 a year, simply by posting one picture per week.

As a whole, the creative industry harbours more interest than any other industry according to our research. However, the amount of money you could earn is largely dependent on the number of followers, meaning that almost any job within any industry has the potential to earn online - from cleaners and doctors to plumbers and chefs.

But it’s not just Instagram - OnlyFans offers creators an unlimited earning potential

Given that the more followers you have the more money you can earn on Instagram, it’s no surprise that some of the platform’s highest earners are those who work within the porn industry. Thanks to their millions of followers, Angela White, Mia Malkova and Alexis Texas all make the top 10 list of porn stars who earn the most on Instagram.

But it’s not just Instagram that is helping it’s users rake in extra cash by working from home. A recent addition to this opportunity for online earning is the content subscription service,

Rank Name Followers Instagram Handle Pay Per Post Yearly Earnings Based on one post a week

Content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their content - “fans” - receiving funds on a monthly basis. Creators also have the opportunity to earn even more with the website’s pay-per-view feature and by receiving tips from their audience. is giving creators the opportunity to earn even more by showing off even less (if they want to, any type of content can be created and you choose your audience and set the asking price per photo or per month). The highest earning amount at the time of our research was $156k a year but the earning potential is technically uncapped, as you can earn more money by taking requests for something a bit more niche or a hell of a lot kinkier!