Beauty Jobs that Pay Well

Jan 16, 2020

There are many different jobs in the beauty industry, from hairstyling to writing for beauty magazines, and several jobs have good earnings potential. Find out about some of these jobs, their median salaries and their education requirements.

Beauty Career Options that Pay Well

The beauty industry offers a wide range of careers and contains a number of jobs with an annual median salary greater than $30,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these jobs provide the potential for greater income working with the rich and famous or for well-known brands and beauty organizations. Learn about some of the beauty careers that pay well below.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Skincare Specialists $31,290 11%
Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists $24,730 8%
Editors $59,480 -3%
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance $64,250 7%
Writers and Authors $62,170 Little to no change

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information for Beauty Jobs that Pay Well

Skincare Specialists

Skincare specialists help their clients feel beautiful with various skin treatments, and although they only made a median salary of $31,290 in 2018, according to the BLS, the top-paid 10% of these professionals made $50,110 or more in the same year. These specialists clean their clients' skin and may apply and/or recommend a variety of skin products, including lotions and different makeup products. They must maintain a sanitary work environment as they apply treatments, such as waxing, and also examine skin for any signs of skin cancer or other skin-related issues. The majority of skincare specialists need a state license and must successfully pass an esthetician or cosmetology program that is approved by their state.

Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists

Despite having the lowest median salary in this group of careers at $24,730 in 2018, per the BLS, the top-paid 10% of hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists made $49,050 annually. Hairdressers and hairstylists specialize in cutting, treating, coloring and styling all types of hair for men and women. Cosmetologists advise clients concerning makeup choices and application techniques and also perform various facial treatments, similar to skincare specialists. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists have to complete a cosmetology program and hold a state license.


While not traditionally thought of as a beauty career, some editors may work for beauty magazines, blogs or other media and were reported as making a median salary of $59,480 in 2018, according to the BLS. Editors are responsible for determining what stories should be included in their publications and then proofreading story drafts from writers for any mistakes and performing a fact-check. They may also help decide what pictures or graphics should accompany a story and then sign off on the final drafts that then go to print. Editors typically are required to have prior proofreading and/or writing experience, as well as at least a bachelor's degree in English or a related field.

Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance

Some makeup artists beautify actors, dancers and other performers for various productions, and these artists made a median salary of $64,250 in 2018, per the BLS. Makeup artists for plays, movies and other performances typically need to apply heavy makeup to performers so they can be seen by the audience, and they use different makeup to help distinguish particular characters. They must be able to repeat their work for multiple performances and make any necessary adjustments throughout productions, such as for lighting or scenery changes. Usually, these makeup artists need a postsecondary nondegree award and perfect their skills through practice.

Writers and Authors

The BLS reported that writers and authors made a median salary of $62,170 in 2018, and, similar to editors, some of these professionals may specialize in writing content for the beauty industry. They may write articles for beauty magazines, content for beauty blogs or advertisements for beauty products and then submit their work to an editor prior to publication. To write their articles, they may need to conduct some research about various beauty products or services to provide information and opinions to their readers. Most writers and authors hold at least a bachelor's degree in English, communications or a related field, and the more experience they have writing, the better their job prospects.

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