Reality

Digging in: How much the stars of Gold Rush: White Water make in a season

The Gold Rush: White Water crew may not always be successful in their mining efforts, but they also earn money through the show.

Dustin Hurt, and his Gold Rush: White Water crew have spent the better part of the last decade trying to strike it big in the frozen waters in Alaska’s far-off wilderness. And the team has not always been successful in its gold mining endeavors.

How much do the stars of Gold Rush: White Water get paid?

In the most recent seventh season, Dustin and his crew managed to pull a few sizable gold nuggets out of Nugget Creek. But the show’s previous season ended on a real low note, with the crew not even bringing in enough gold to cover their expenses.

But while it can be sad and frustrating to watch as this crew gets sidetracked by everything from personal issues to equipment failures – their financial situation may not be as dire as the show makes it out to be.

In fact, if the rumors are true about how much the Gold Rush: White Water crew members earn from filming new episodes for the show– the gold may actually only be a secondary income in most seasons.

And the Gold Rush: White Water crew may actually be walking away with more than $300,000 in their bank accounts at the end of each season.

Gold Rush: White Water in a nutshell

The Gold Rush: White Water operation has not always been a successful endeavor, but Dustin and his crew have returned to this remote area season after season.

Gold Rush: White Water as the show stands now, can be outlined as follows:

Detail Description
Series premiere “Between Craziness & Insanity”, which first aired on January 19, 2018
Most recent episode “Dancing With Death”, which first aired on May 17, 2024
Total seasons 7
Total episodes 102 (including specials)

Why working on a goldmine is not your average job

Before we get into the complicated discussions about salaries and compensation on shows like Gold Rush: White Water, it is noteworthy that working on a goldmine (both on and off camera), comes with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

For a start, miners often do not have to pay for board during the season – and for the stars of the Gold Rush franchise, the benefits often extend to free housing, food, drinks and fuel and vehicles.

However, the drawbacks are that this type of work requires long hours, lots of physical labor – and the seasons can be highly unpredictable.

How much do Dustin and the crew get paid to do the show?

The stars of shows like Gold Rush: White Water often sign non-disclosure agreements when they sign on to join the shows’ casts. This prohibit them from sharing the finer details about their agreements with Discovery.

However, sources have speculated that Dustin and his Gold Rush: White Water crew may make as much as $10,000 to $25,000 per episode of the show just from their filming contracts.

This does not include the crew’s actual salaries, bonuses or the gold collected during the season.

How much do the Gold Rush: White Water crew members make each season?

Before Dustin and Fred got their very successful Gold Rush spin-off, the so-called ‘Dakota Boys’ started out the same way as any of the other stars of the franchise – running their own claim on the original Gold Rush show.

And while we do not have a lot of concrete information about how much Dustin and his crew make on Gold Rush: White Water currently, Parker Schnabel did take to Reddit about three years ago to explain how his Gold Rush crews get paid.

According to Schnabel’s 2021 AMA, his crew members start out earning about $28 per hour (Canadian) and they work about 75 hours a week. With overtime accounted for, this works out to be about $2590 per week for 50 weeks.

After deductions and with the added bonuses, his crew should walk away with more than $40,000 (about $30,000 USD) per season.

Though, of course, this will likely vary drastically from one crew member to the next and from one season to the next.

Taking into consideration that Dustin’s most recent Nugget Creek operation is much smaller than Schnabel’s multi-million dollar Yukon operation, it is likely that the Gold Rush: White Water crew stands to make a little bit less salary-wise each season.

Even so, if the rumors about the Gold Rush: White Water crew earning between $10,000 and $25,000 per episode are true – season seven’s work could have earned the show’s stars a not-too-shabby pay-day of between $120,000 to $330,000 (or more).

Does Gold Rush: White Water ever find gold?