makeup artist salary

Young Makeup Artist at work 2
Young Makeup Artist at work 2

makeup artist salary

makeup artist salary

Makeup artists are simply the personal appearance experts who have special skills in applying wigs, makeup, appliances, and prosthetics to enhance their client’s appearance.

They can work in a salon, studio or entertainment environment like the theater or for film, television and video productions. In addition, makeup artists can work in a cosmetic department to sell makeup products or demonstrate how to effectively apply makeup.

Before deciding to become a makeup artist, chances are that you’ll want to know how much you can make. Well, everybody would want to have a reputable salary and here is everything you need to know about makeup artist salary.

Average annual salary

Average annual salary

If you’re aspiring to become a makeup artist, don’t look back because the salary in this profession is quite attractive.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), makeup artists working in the U.S earned a median annual salary of $60,970 as of 2017.

The top 10% of makeup artists earned as much as $124,960 while the bottom 10% made as low as $22,630 annually.

The middle 50% made an annual wage that ranged from $25,740 and $86,550.

Today, the demand for makeup artists is on the rise and the figures are likely to have gone up.



Salary by industry

A makeup artist working in a salon setting cannot pocket the same salary with a makeup artist working in the entertainment industry.

For instance, makeup artists working in the theater industry (performing arts) earn a mean salary of $57,570.

Those working in motion pictures and video industries are top earners with an annual salary of $88,010 and it’s no surprise that video and film industries are the biggest employers of makeup artists.

Tax preparation, accounting, and bookkeeping industries also employ makeup artists who make an average of $63,650.

BLS has not yet released the salary makeup artists from radio, network television or cable.

Those working in salon settings can make more or less depending on their services and how they treat their customers.

Geographical pay variations

It goes without saying that makeup artist salary varies by geographical location and according to BLS, the states with the highest makeup artists employment as of 2017 are;

  • New York – $79,450
  • Georgia – $79,040
  • California – $78,140
  • Florida – $46,100
  • Texas – $43,740

With this information therefore, if makeup artistry is in your blood, it’s recommendable to understand that the significant disparity between states is a true reflection of the living standard in the area.

For instance, working in New York as a makeup artist would give you a solid income. But what about the living standard?

How much is rent and consumer products price? If you take that into consideration, you’ll be in a better position to make a good decision.

Job outlook

Without a shadow of a doubt, makeup artistry is experiencing transformation with the demand for makeup artists on the rise.

The BLS estimated that between 2016 and 2026, the employment of makeup artists will experience a growth of 10-14% on the basis of a small pool of workers.

Makeup artistry is more of experience than education, meaning that for you to become the makeup artist you’ve always wanted, a formal educational requirement is not mandatory as you can master enhancing your client’s appearance through on-the-job training.

However, it’s important to understand that there are more job applicants than jobs and only the best applicants are selected.

Therefore, if you want to be on the lucky side, formal education will be good for you as you’ll be trained on makeup application, special effect makeup, and corrective makeup. If you’d want to specialize in working in theoretical or performance industries, a license is not required.

Bottom line

Everyone has a passion for what they want to become in the future and each profession is dependent on the expected salary.

There are many professions with solid income and becoming a makeup artist is among them.

If you like transforming people’s appearance, this is the best profession for you and if you’ve been asking yourself about the makeup artist salary, this article will get you started.

Given that makeup artists are flexible, you can go from one place to another to apply makeup on various occasions such as weddings and parties and you could find yourself earning even more.

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