How Much do Recruiters Make

There are numerous myths about how much recruiters make in the US. Some people believe that recruiters are only paid a base salary with a bonus thrown in every now and then. However, recruiters have greater earning potential than most people realize. The compensation for a recruiter is unlimited, depending on the choices they make in their career path. A skilled, eager, and hardworking recruiter can carve out an incredibly successful career. In this article, we will look at how much recruiters make as contractors in California and NYC per hire, placement, and commission.

The national average salary for internal recruiters is $45,360, according to Glassdoor. We’re not discussing internal recruiters here. We’re referring to external recruiters who work for a third-party agency recruiting firm. Also, these companies do not work for a single client. They have several clients. That brings us to our first point, which is how much recruiters make as contractors in California and NYC per hire, placement, and commission.

How Much do Recruiters Make?

Recruiters are essential in almost every industry. But they have a bigger effect in industries where competition is high and having the best employees is key to a company’s success. Companies cannot simply post a job listing and hope for high-quality candidates to apply. They must be proactive in their search for the best candidates.

In the United States, the average recruiter can make between $35,000 and $200,000. That’s a wide range of annual earnings, and you’ll probably see different figures from different sources.

There are two main kinds of recruiters: external and internal.

Internal recruiter pay

Internal recruiters, like all other employees, are employed by a company. They are typically members of the human resources team and are on the company’s payroll. Internal recruiters are more likely to be found in larger companies and those that hire all year.

In these situations, it’s helpful to have a recruiter on staff to keep a good pool of applicants. As an internal recruiter, you benefit from stability and a more traditional work environment. Most of the time, these recruiters work in an office with a team of helpers close by. They also have access to a wide range of hiring resources.

Internal recruiters are typically paid on an hourly or salary basis. Internal recruiters make between $35,000 and $75,000 per year, depending on where they work and their level of experience. It is possible to earn more money working internally, but you must become a technical recruiter first (more on that later).

External recruiter pay

Those seeking to maximize their earnings as a recruiter frequently turn down internal salaried positions in favor of working with a recruitment agency.

An external recruiter is not affiliated with any particular company. Some people call these recruiters “headhunters,” which is an excellent way to describe how they work. A recruiter in this field spends their time searching for the best possible candidates for a variety of companies.

An external recruiter is typically employed by staffing agencies. There are some positions with base salaries, but most people work on contracts and get paid based on how much they sell. Other organizations pay you as an external recruiter to find qualified candidates for them.

External is the way to go if getting paid well as a recruiter is a priority. External recruiters can earn up to $200,000 per year, with some earning even more. It all depends on the industry, the number of placements you receive, and the number of clients you have.

How Much do Recruiters Make Per Placement?

If you are a direct hire recruiter, you will only be paid when you make a direct hire per placement. You’ll get nothing, so enjoy it until then. With this in mind, nearly every recruiter wishes to make at least one placement per month.

So, let’s go back to our previous example’s numbers. Assume each month, recruiters make one placement, and your average placement fee is $14,000. Then everything becomes clear. You make $14,000 a month!

That is not the case for agency recruiters, who only make direct hires per placement. This is because they do not make any placements during certain months. They may make two placements next month.

How Much do Recruiters Make in California?

California recruiters make $91,942, which is 2% less than the national average of $93,882. The California recruiters salary is 11% higher than the combined average salary of Austin, Dallas, and Denver. In California, the average bonus for recruiters is $8,002, or 9% of their salary, with 50% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year.

How Much do Recruiters Make in NYC?

Recruiters in NYC make an average of $87,790 per year. Recruiters in NYC earn an average of $14,264 in additional cash compensation. Also, recruiters in NYC earn an average total compensation of $102,054. The salaries of recruiters are based on responses from anonymous a recruiter in NYC.

How Much do Recruiters Make in Commission?

A recruiter makes an average of $52,258 per year, according to Payscale. The commission is a significant component of that compensation. Each year, high-performing recruiters can make up to $24,000 in commission. Also, how the commission is calculated depends on several different factors.

How Much Do Recruiters Make on Contractors?

The average hourly rate for recruiters of contractors in the United States is $29.09 per hour as of October 11, 2022. While ZipRecruiter reports hourly wages as high as $61.06 and as low as $8.17, the majority of recruiters on contractors in the United States make between $19.71 (25th percentile) and $32.93 (75th percentile). The average pay range for recruiters for contractors is wide (up to $13.22), which suggests that there may be many ways to move up and make more money based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent ZipRecruiter job postings, the Independent Contractor Recruiter job market in New York, NY, and the surrounding area is very active. A contractor recruiter in your area makes an average of $32 per hour or $2.50 (9%) more than the national average hourly wage of $29.09. In terms of contractor salaries, New York ranks second among the 50 states.

Do recruiters make good money?

Yes, recruiters are well compensated.

In the United States, the average salary for a corporate recruiter is $52,000. An executive recruiter makes the most money, with a starting salary of $93,045. The range of salaries for a recruiter depends on the industry, the organization, the amount of work experience, and the pay model.

How do most recruiters get paid?

The majority of external recruiters are paid on a commission basis. The commission is usually a percentage of the total fees taken out of a candidate’s first-year base salary, but it can also be a flat fee set by the client, which is the company where the candidate is placed. In most cases, the client establishes this structure.

What does a recruiter do for a salary?

A recruiter is a professional who works to match qualified people with specific open positions within a company. A recruiter’s job is to review a candidate’s job experience, negotiate salaries, and work with hiring managers to find a good fit for both parties.

Do recruiters get paid for every recruit?

Recruiters are not paid for interviews; they are only paid if an employer hires a candidate who was interviewed through the recruiter’s agency.

Do recruiters get paid if I quit?

Recruiters do not take a salary cut. If the employer and the staffing agency have a contingency agreement, the company where you are placed pays the recruiter a percentage of your first year’s salary.

Is recruiting a good career path?

Recruitment is a lucrative career path. The most significant advantage is that you can make a lot of money in a short period of time. Target earnings are common in recruitment jobs, which means you can earn money by hiring. Your incentives will increase as you hire more people.

What do recruiters do all day?

A recruiter does more than just find candidates for jobs. They also assist people in preparing for interviews, writing resumes and cover letters, managing salary negotiations, advising clients on employment issues, staying up to date on labor laws, and sharing market and industry knowledge.

Is recruitment a stressful job?

Because the recruitment market is very candidate-driven and the job market is constantly evolving, those in charge of recruitment in your company must work in a fast-paced and competitive environment. This can quickly make a job stressful and a person stressed.

Is recruiting harder than sales?

Recruiting is a type of sales, possibly the most difficult type. However, there are numerous distinctions between recruitment and straight sales. Someone who has spent their entire career selling cars cannot suddenly find success as a recruiter.

Other Factors Influencing How Much Recruiters Make

There is a lot of earning potential as a recruiter (especially if you’re external), but several factors will influence how much recruiters make as contractors in California and NYC per hire, placement, and commission. In addition to the differences between internal, external, and technical recruitment, you should also think about location and the type of job.

It all comes down to the cost of living and the overall job market when it comes to location. In larger cities, recruiters are more likely to succeed. Why? because the cost of living is higher and the applicant pool is much larger.

There are more companies to work for as external recruiters, as well as a large pool of people looking for work. When combined with the higher overall salaries due to the cost of living, this recruiter can make significantly more than they would in a more rural setting.

It is also important to consider the industry for which you are recruiting. Working in industries with high-paying jobs allows a recruiter to make more. For example, high-paying jobs are more common in technology firms. The same is true for medical, legal, and engineering firms.

Higher-paying salaries are accompanied by a larger contingency fee and commissions per placement. If you become a technical recruiter in these fields, you can make even more!


How much money recruiters make as contractors per hire, placement, and commission in California and NYC is heavily influenced by the position and industry in which they work. Also, if you want to be a recruiter and prefer a more consistent and stable work environment, internal is probably the way to go.

However, if you want to make the most money, you should consider becoming an external recruiter (ideally a technical one). The sky is the limit there!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of recruiters make the most money?

Executive recruiters make the most money in the United States.

Most internal recruiters work in HR, and they only hire people for the company where they work. External recruiters, or contractors, are the ones who make six figures.

Can I make 6 figures as a recruiter?

Placement of two to three candidates at a time can earn up to $24,000 per month for experienced recruiters. Multiply that by the number of months in a year, and it’s easy to see how external recruiters can make six-figure salaries.

How many calls should a recruiter make a day?

Hiring managers prefer to receive 20–25 calls per day, with five of those calls devoted to marketing presentations and the rest to recruiting presentations. From those 15-20 recruiting calls, the goal is to find 1-2 qualified candidates per day.


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