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Highest Paying Jobs in Cosmetology

Individuals interested in a high-paying cosmetology career will find there are many options to choose from. This article covers the educational requirements and key job duties for several cosmetology-related positions.

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Highest Paying Career Options in Cosmetology

Cosmetology careers involve assisting clients with their appearance, including hair, nails, and skin. However, cosmetology is a major industry that spans various positions, including several in marketing and training. Individuals looking for high-paying cosmetology jobs may be interested in one of the below options.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist $60,970 (2016)* 19%
Skincare Specialist $30,270 (2016)* 12%
Beauty Copywriter $49,122 (copywriters, 2017)** 2% (all writers and authors)
Corporate Trainer $54,894 (2017)** 7% (training and development specialists)
Public Relations Specialist $58,020 (2016)* 6%

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aesthetician and Skin Care
  • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
  • Beauty Salon Management
  • Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
  • Electrolysis
  • Facial Treatment Specialist
  • Hair Design
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing

Career Information for Highest-Paying Cosmetology Jobs

Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist

Theatrical and performance makeup artists specialize in working with performers, such as actors or singers, to enhance performers' roles and performances using cosmetology techniques. Job responsibilities include studying production information to determine makeup needs, applying makeup to performers, and collaborating with hairstylists on the recommended styles for performers. Makeup artists can alter performers' appearance through the application of prosthetics or makeup to create aging or scars. They may work for performing arts companies or motion picture/television companies. This career requires a high school diploma, with many in the field pursuing training at a vocational school. The median salary is among the top in the cosmetology field, and those in the top 10th percentile of salaries can expect to earn $124,960 or more per year.

Skincare Specialist

Individuals desiring a high-paying cosmetology job may enjoy working as a skincare specialist. Skincare specialists specialize in improving a client's physical appearance through various skin treatments. They often work in salons, spas, or medical offices where they examine clients, choose appropriate treatments, perform hair removal by waxing or utilizing laser technology, and teach clients on proper skincare. They often perform facials and offer treatments like masks or scrubs to remove dead skin. Skincare specialists need to complete an esthetician or cosmetology program and pass a state licensing exam (with the exception of those working in Connecticut). Skincare specialists are among the top paid hands-on cosmetologists working with public clients; those in the top 10% of the field earn $59,780 or more per year.

Beauty Copywriter

A career as a beauty copywriter is a relatively high-paying position that may interest those with strong writing skills and a background in or passion for cosmetology. Copywriters create the written content used by a company to market and brand itself and its products. Beauty copywriters specialize in beauty products, trends, and techniques. These professionals may work directly for beauty product companies or beauty-based marketing agencies. Job responsibilities include crafting engaging content, utilizing print and online mediums for advertising, and ensuring content appeals to the intended audience. Copywriters usually need relevant work experience and a bachelor's degree in communication, English, or journalism; beauty copywriters may need some prior training or experience in cosmetology.

Corporate Trainer

Corporate trainers work directly for companies to train employees. A cosmetology corporate trainer may travel to different salons to conduct training on the latest products or standard practices from their company. Other job responsibilities include utilizing surveys and employee feedback to determine training needs, creating instructional materials like online learning programs, and tracking training costs. Industry experience and an active cosmetology license (or instructor's license) are usually requisite for cosmetology trainers. Corporate trainers in general can expect a salary in the 50k range, with some salaries reaching 80k or more.

Public Relations Specialist

Public relations specialists typically require a bachelor's degree in area like public relations, marketing, or journalism; for cosmetology companies, work experience in the beauty industry is also generally required. These professionals help create and maintain an organization's brand. They may work directly for a beauty products company or agency. Job responsibilities involve creating and distributing press releases, assisting clients with public statements, and utilizing social media to analyze the public's perception of an organization. The median salary for these professionals in general is high, with the top 10% earning more than $110,560 per year.

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