How Much Money Do Makeup Artists Make?

Makeup artistry

How much money do makeup artists make? It's a good question, and one that doesn't have a clear cut answer because salaries for professional makeup artists vary in the same way that many other service-oriented professions do.

Makeup Artists and Money

How much do these makeup brush-wielding pros makes? The short answer to this question is simply to say that depends. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages for professional makeup artists was around $45,000 in 2009 with just under 2000 individuals in the industry in United States.

The largest concentration of makeup artists is in California, specifically Los Angeles County, where these professionals not coincidentally make the most money on average. New York and Nevada are also two other higher paying cities for this profession and include a higher percentage of makeup artists than other states. The industry is expected to grow both in wage and number of positions in the coming years.

Salary Factors

There are a variety of factors affecting the salaries of makeup artists. The following points are some of the things that can affect how much or how little a makeup artist makes.

Type of Makeup Artist

Makeup artists perform several functions, from doing professional theatrical and film makeup to creating beautiful looks for weddings and other special occasions.

Breadth of Service

Professional makeup artists may offer other services, which can affect their value at the salon for which they work. A makeup professional that can also cut your hair or give you a fabulous manicure may be able to charge more just for the convenience of having one person to do all those services at once.

Geographic Location

As with almost any profession, the geographic location in which a makeup artist works can also influence how much he or she makes. A makeup artist in Hollywood, California who works for the stars is likely to make far more than a makeup artist living in a small Midwestern town. This has to do with a variety of factors related to cost of living and perceived value, things hard to measure when coming up with a general figure for makeup artist salaries.

Work Environment

Makeup artists work as freelancers and in salons. Where a makeup professional works can significantly affect how much he or she makes per client. For example, a salon will generally require either a cut of earnings or rent. These costs must be subtracted from any money earned. A freelance makeup professional has the benefit of determining his or her own hours, but does not benefit from the regular clientele of a thriving salon.

Advice on Becoming a Makeup Artist

Becoming a makeup professional can be tremendously rewarding. It is a profession that dabbles in both the serve and fashion industries and can flex your creativity muscle. Depending on the in-industry sector in which you choose to work, you can make a very good living, as well. Here are a few tips if you are thinking about joining this thriving industry.

  • Consider going to cosmetology school or getting your license. Many salons will require this, and the skills you learn from professionals already in the industry will be invaluable to you in your real-life work situations.
  • Try combining this skill with others. In a tough economy, employers like to see individuals with more than one useful skill set. Learn how to cut or color hair or give pedicures and you may become more alluring to potential employers.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Professionals improve by practicing their art. It may be necessary to give away free services just to get some practice. Don't be shy about hard work.

Makeup Artists

Makeup artists can make a very good living if they work hard and use their skills to get ahead in this exciting industry. Hard work, determination, and positivity will all  help you go far and can influence how much money you make in whatever area of the industry you choose.

How Much Money Do Makeup Artists Make?