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How Josh Gates Achieved a Net Worth of $3 Million

Josh Gates

Josh Gates is a Discovery Channel legend who has traveled the world and gained fame and fortune by exploring some of the most unusual destinations on the planet. In a way, he's like a modern-day discoverer, someone who takes people to parts of the world that they'd never see otherwise.

In his day job, he investigates places that are mysterious to get to the bottom of the secrets they hold and televises his adventures for all to see. Over the years, he's traveled to over 100 cities, and with patience and persistence, Josh Gates's net worth has continued to grow and become more impressive.

Interestingly, Gates did this by amassing a cult following of fans with similar adventurous spirits and has earned an estimated $2-4 million along the way. That's the kind of money most of us wish we had. But did he become a multi-millionaire through his reality television series, or did he earn his money some other way? It's worth understanding because it highlights important showbiz knowledge.

Well, we did the tough research into his career history to learn more about how Josh has become so successful. We found a lot of interesting information, including answering the question, "How much is Josh Gates worth?" If you're a fan or simply curious about this media sensation, read on to learn more.

Early Life and Career

Before we examine Josh Gates's net worth, let’s discuss his early life and career to get more information about where he started his life. Gates was born in Manchester-by-the-Sea in 1977, a Massachusetts city. He was raised by a deep-sea diver father and a homemaker mother. 

His passion for travel likely started early because his family followed his father, who often spent lots of time in other parts of the world. By the time he graduated high school, Gates had already seen a lot of the world and had become dedicated to a life of constant exploration and excitement. 

After Josh graduated from high school, he enrolled in two study programs that best suited his passions in life. He co-majored in archeology and drama at Tufts University in his home state of Massachusetts. Once he completed his work, he put all of the knowledge he gained in college to practical use. He did what most of us only wish we could do and combined his favorite things into one career aspiration.

Beginning His Career 

Gates started his career as an explorer by climbing both Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Aconcagua, two very difficult mountains to complete. Gates also earned a certification in SCUBA diving, like his father, and worked with the University of Maryland on multiple underwater archaeological excavations. 

A big part of Josh Gates’ net worth is his natural curiosity for unraveling mysteries that have challenged others for decades and sometimes centuries. Gates goes where other people haven’t or can’t and discovers fascinating facts and knowledge that make his show so interesting. 

While he primarily explores the earth's mysteries by exploring some of the most misunderstood and mysterious places on the face of the earth, he also tries other ventures. On the business side of things, Josh is a multi-faceted professional with many different career approaches that bring him money. 

Expanding His Career

Over the years, Gates has authored books and served as a television producer and a television presenter. He is also a reality television celebrity personality who is well-known in paranormal circles. His first big media exposure highlighted his interest in the unknown and showcasing it to curious audiences. 

Between 2007-2012, Gates was the co-executive producer and the host of the television series "Destination Truth.” In this show, he would examine supernatural claims, particularly cryptozoology. It ran for about five seasons and was a pretty popular SyFy network show. 

In 2013, Gates also co-executive produced and hosted the series "Stranded.” In this series, various paranormal experts would spend days together in allegedly haunted areas and highlight their experiences. It wasn’t a huge success and ran for just six seasons. 

Gates currently hosts the popular television series "Expedition Unknown." This series started on the Travel Channel and also appears on The Discovery Channel. Like his other shows, it focuses on mysteries and legends. Gates also hosts and produces "Legendary Locations."

On this show, Gates explores various destinations that include both interesting natural and supernatural elements. As of 2023, it runs concurrently with “Expedition Unknown.” Both series keep him pretty busy, though he has time for many other unique career investments.

Other Highlights of His Career

Gates has guested on a broad range of live television specials. He appeared on the television series "Ghost Hunters" as a guest investigator. He also made guest appearances in the spin-off titled "Ghost Hunters International." Josh is no stranger to the paranormal genre.

He also serves as the producer for the reality paranormal series "Ghost Nation," along with several other shows in this genre. As a professional television producer, he operates through his company, Ping Pong Productions, which also makes him a bit of an entrepreneur.

This production team creates multiple other shows, including “Josh Gates Tonight,” “Finding Bigfoot,” and even “Dr. Pimple Popper.” Gates clearly understands the importance of branding and keeps his shows focused on fascinating and unique topics that keep his fans engaged. 

How Did Josh Gates Make His Money?

So, how exactly did Josh Gates’ net worth grow so steadily? Well, his success on multiple television shows helped him spiral his investments into a production company, book production, and other investments. Most believe he earns at least $100,000 per year or more, depending on many factors.

Television Shows 

As the host and executive producer of many shows, Gates has steadily built a strong career profile. For example, one source claims that he made $50,000 per episode for the 171 episodes of “Expedition Unknown.” That’s good for a total earnings of about $8.5 million all by itself. 

Information about earnings from his other appearances isn’t publicly available. His earlier series probably earned him far less money because Gates was a newer host at the time. That said, it’s clear that his television work has earned him a great living that he’s supplemented in other ways. 

Josh Gates Live!

Between filming his many series, Josh Gates also hosts live events, shows, and tours. Typically, he appears in Portland, Rogers, Oakland, Austin, Hartford, and Columbia. Gates uses his unique charisma to tell fascinating stories and highlight his adventurous life. 

According to his site, there are multiple types of tickets available for his events, including basic attendance and even VIP packages and backstage passes. These cost between $45 to $2,414. Clearly, this is a good earning experience for Gates and one he’s likely to keep going. 

Meet and Greets 

Gates also hosts more personalized and limited meet and greet events, which typically cost between $1,000 to $5,000. These high prices don’t deter many people from meeting with Gates and talking about his career. Backstage passes are typically much higher at these events. 

They’re much different than his larger and more action-packed public appearances. Instead, Gates is more personable and interacts with each guest as a person. That helps keep each experience unique and has given him a reputation as being an approachable and decent person to his fans. 


Gates also published a memoir entitled “Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter” that highlighted his career in the industry. The publication and sales information about this book are not available online, but it’s an easy book to find in various online bookstores

In the book, he shares his experiences and adventures, highlighting how he started out as a “green” explorer and became more skilled through the years. Gates also shares information about various international folklore. It’s a solid book and a decent read if you’re a big Gates fan.

Josh Gates' Net Worth 

Though various sources offer differing opinions, Gates' net worth is likely about $4 million. Sources saying he’s worth $2 to $3 million are usually a little outdated. As an active producer and television personality, he’s likely worth far more than just a few million dollars. 

But earlier, we said he’d earned $8.5 million. Why is his net worth so much lower? Well, because he’s likely spent much of that money. After all, he owns a $2.7 million home with four bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. He also owns multiple luxury vehicles that cost significant amounts of money.

Does that mean Gates is spending his money unwisely? No. He’s just like anybody else and has bills to pay every month. Just think about your net worth versus Josh Gates' net worth. You probably made much more than you have in your bank account right now. The same is true of Gates.

That fact is important to remember when examining net worth among various celebrities. Gates is a millionaire but by no means one of the richest people in Hollywood. Like those celebrities, he has a lifestyle to keep up and spends good money to ensure his kids are happy. 

Is it likely that he'll be worth more money with time? Most likely. Gates has built a reliable niche audience and continually creates content that meets their tastes. He's also led a mostly clean and scandal-free life beyond his divorce and the rumors of affairs between Gates and co-host Erin Ryder

Both have debunked those rumors in recent years, and Gates' ex-wife has never accused him of cheating on her. This rumor mostly gained traction because Gates and Ryder had such strong chemistry as people that it was hard for fans to believe they weren't having an affair. While it's still possible, there's no proof that it ever occurred.

Other Facts About Josh Gates 

Now that we’ve answered the question “How much is Josh Gates worth?” it’s worth looking into a few other facts about the star. We’ve already highlighted much of his early career and life. Now, let’s go beyond Josh Gates’ net worth and examine some other fascinating information about him.

Personal Life

Josh co-starred with Hallie Gnatovich on "Destination Truth." The two worked together in 2014. Since that time, they have married and are now raising two children together in Los Angeles, California. Although Josh is a family man, he still maintains a busy schedule pursuing his passions. 

His wife knew exactly what she was getting into because the two met on one of his shows. However, the two divorced on July 12, 2021, and were separated for about a year and a half before their divorce. Hallie did not mention why the two got divorced, and no information about it has come to light. 

Other Interesting Information

Throughout the years, Josh has also appeared in multiple live events in shows for the "Ghost Hunters" franchise. He hosted a Live Halloween special in 2008. He's done quite a bit of work with Dave Tango, Steve Gonsalves, and Jason Hawes. According to the Travel Channel,

He's an emotional guy with sentiments that run deep when it comes to family. He was out in the middle of nowhere filing a special when his now ex-wife called to say that he was going to be a father. This special moment was captured on film, and the world got to be a part of it. 

Trivia About Josh Gates

Josh has traveled to over 100 countries throughout the world. He shared that his favorite place to be these days is in LA. It helps him stay close to his ex-wife and children and makes co-parenting easier. Currently, Gates’ dating history is uncertain, though he has said he’d be open to dating again.

A few more trivia points about Josh include the fact that he is allergic to English ivy. This hasn’t seemed to affect his exploration career, though he has had to be careful when exploring areas where this ivy may appear on trees, mountainside areas, and even the ground. 

Final Thoughts

It's not difficult to understand how Josh has made his millions. As a popular television star and producer, there’s no doubt that Josh earns a decent income. By expanding his scope beyond a single genre, he shows he’s willing to investigate practically any kind of mystery.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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