The Highest Paying Jobs in the Beauty Industry

With many diverse career paths and potential work environments, the beauty industry is a great career destination that offers a strong jobs outlook and a wide range of high-paying roles.



Whether you're interested in makeup, hair, cosmetology or a number of other health and beauty specialties, it's worth your time to explore the kinds of jobs you can get within these fields, as well as the potential salaries each career path may offer. You might even be surprised at which careers can offer a path to lucrative wages if you target specific roles and niches within those fields.


Read on to learn more about the many high-paying beauty careers you might consider as you plan your professional future, along with tips to turn your dreams into reality.


Makeup Artist Salary


Makeup artists specialize in providing professional makeup services to a wide range of clients. Many makeup artists specialize in certain types of makeup. Some, for example, provide makeup services for brides and weddings, while others work in the performing arts or in the modeling industry.


How much do makeup artists make, exactly? It depends on the setting where you're working as an artist, as well as your level of experience and your specializations. High-end makeup artists can earn annual salaries that approach $100,000 or higher.


Esthetician Average Salary


Estheticians provide a number of different services to beautify the skin. These licensed professionals may work in a beauty salon, spa, or even a medical office providing cosmetic medical services to clients.


While the national average for an esthetician salary is around $40,000, annual earnings could climb much higher—around $70,000 per year—depending on your location, experience, and the setting where you work. In addition, the outlook for esthetician jobs

demand is strong, with double-digit growth that far outpaces most other professions.


Hair Stylist Salary


While the annual salaries for hair stylists can vary significantly depending on your specialties and where you work, this licensed career path can become a lucrative profession as you work your way up into high-end salons. Additionally, specialties in styling methods or working with curly hair, for example, can help you increase your rate as you cater to a niche clientele.


While hair stylists earn a high national average salary of nearly $63,000 per year, high-end stylists can earn salaries that approach $100,000 or more.


Cosmetologist Salary


Cosmetology is a broad field of study that focuses on the application of various beauty treatments. These can include treatments and services related to hairstyling, nails, hair removal, cosmetics, and general skin care needs.


As a result, cosmetology incomes are largely dependent on the specialties and settings where you choose to work. While the average hourly wage for all cosmetologists is around $22 per hour, some cosmetologists earn as much as $80 per hour, which can equal a six-figure salary for cosmetology careers even when working less than full-time.


Tips on Finding Beauty Industry Jobs


When seeking out skin care careers or other careers in the health and beauty industry, it's important to understand both what you need to qualify for a job, and also what you can do to strengthen your background and skill-sets to achieve your highest aspirations in that field. Here are some tips to help you identify a profession and make a career out of it:


  • Find out each job's education and licensing requirements. Many health and beauty jobs, such as hair stylists and estheticians, require professional training and licensing to be eligible for these fields. Even in professions where education is not required, formal training can accelerate your professional growth and lead to higher-paying jobs. Research each potential field to make sure you understand the education and training requirements that come with each role.

  • Seek out mentors and career development roles to expand your skill-set. Professional development can be an important aspect of building a high-paying career. Whether you gain mentorship through personal relationships or formal business relationships, seek out work opportunities that offer experience and development relevant to your career aspirations—especially early in your career.

  • Develop specialties to build a unique skill-set. Even within your chosen field, specialties can help you stand out for your most coveted professional roles, and even lead to higher earnings. Makeup artists, for example, can specialize in theater or performing arts, while hair stylists can work in a wide range of settings specific to niche specialties and clientele. Once you've identified your desired specialties, seek out opportunities where you can hone the relevant skills.

  • Don't rule yourself out as an entrepreneur. Even if your main goal isn't to become a health and beauty business owner, this career path may offer a lot of benefits as you build up your experience and professional reputation. Leaving someone else's hair salon to open your own, for example, can dramatically expand your earning opportunities while offering new forms of fulfillment as a local business owner and employer. Many high-paying health and beauty careers are the result of individuals who see an opportunity and bet on themselves.


If you're ready to take the leap into an exciting new career field, find a local beauty school that offers training in your desired profession, and take those first steps toward a high-paying career in an industry you're passionate about.