Nearly 400,000 Put in 40-Hour Weeks Making YouTube Videos — Will It Pay Off?

Kiev, Ukraine - June 5, 2014: Brand new Apple iPhone 5S with YouTube application service on the screen lying on a desk with headphones.
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People are getting more creative when it comes to how they make a living. A recent YouTube report shows that there are about 394,000 people in the U.S. working at least 40 hours per week as YouTube creators. There are more YouTubers today than there are psychologists, librarians or dentists in the U.S,  according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and as reported by

See: How Much Do YouTubers Make?
Learn: 51 of the Biggest Money Influencers on TikTok and YouTube

While it’s unclear how many of those hours are actually paid, the study did reveal that creators believe they can make a living from the online video platform. About two-thirds of those surveyed who had more than 50,000 subscribers believed they could have a “self-sustainable business” by posting videos on YouTube. added that another 60% of creators surveyed said that they feel like they have opportunities that “traditional media” doesn’t supply.

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While some creators have found great success through the platform, such as MrBeast who Forbes estimated took home $24 million last year, truly “making it” isn’t as common as one may think, according to Only 3% of YouTube channels get 90% of the site’s traffic, according to recent research from Offenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, reports.

However, this hasn’t stopped millions from trying. YouTube creators can earn money in various ways, such as through Google-placed ads, affiliate marketing, sponsorships and even selling merchandise.

Find: How To Make Money on YouTube: 6 Effective Ways
Explore: How To Make Money on TikTok: 7 Effective Ways

To earn money directly from YouTube, Business Insider reported that creators must have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year. Once they reach that threshold, they can apply for YouTube’s Partner Program, allowing creators to monetize their channels through ads, subscriptions and channel memberships.

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Last updated: October 13, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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