Typical Makeup Artist Annual Salary

The salary varies widely based on specific jobs, location, education, and skill level. While an average professional makeup artist earns roughly $20,000 to $60,000, high profile jobs can earn as much as $150,000 annually. To make this sort of money, they would have to work with high profile clients and have built a reputation as a highly skilled professional. However, even without celebrity status, a professional one can earn a decent salary with the right education, dedication, and skill.

Professional Makeup Artist Jobs:

Professional makeup artists usually start out working at makeup counters, salons, and spas. With a decent portfolio, a makeup artist can get a job working with a professional photographer, talent agency, or theater company. Salon and spa jobs are also great for makeup artists. They allow the artist to build a portfolio as well as a dedicated client base. Depending on the location and client base of such an establishment, a professional makeup artist can easily establish a very profitable career. A high end salon or spa might charge as much as a hundred dollars per client. With a loyal client base, a makeup artist can earn an admirable salary. Despite the benefits of working with an establishment, many choose to work freelance, selecting their own clients. Some do this to avoid being forced into a particular makeup niche. Others choose freelance because it allows them to develop their own profile with a style that is uniquely their own. Most who want to establish a reputation start with a typical job such as working at a makeup counter or salon, and build their portfolio in their spare time. With persistence, skill, and a little luck, many of these are able to gain a high profile job.

High profile makeup artists typically work in movies and film, television, and popular magazines. Some celebrities even work with professional makeup artists individually for events such as award ceremonies, movie premiers, and other red carpet appearances. Gaining the attention and favor can increase the status of a professional makeup artist seemingly overnight, expanding their client base and allowing them to be more selective of the clients they choose and the rates they are paid. However, most professional makeup artist have to spend years working behind the scenes before they gain any real recognition. I know I am always anxious to learn more on how to become a makeup artist.

Educational Requirements:

If you’re interested in becoming a professional makeup artist, you need to know that there are certain educational requirements toward obtaining a job in the cosmetology field. Depending on the job you want, you may be required to complete a cosmetology course or beauty school in order to obtain an esthetician or cosmetology license. However, many are self-taught and can become very well known. Nothing should prevent you from practicing your skills. In fact, it’s a good idea to get in as much practice as possible. Consider volunteering to do the makeup for a professional photographer’s shoots or talk to a local theater about helping with the stage makeup. You may learn as much from these experiences as you will learn in the actual professional courses. If you are looking at schools, there are some great cosmetology schools in Chicago if you live near that area or are thinking of relocating. Here at Makeup Artist Guide we will provide information on both schools and many How To videos.

In conclusion, there is a lot to learn when preparing for this profession. There are also a number of exciting directions a makeup artist’s career can take just as there is a wide variety of uses for makeup itself. You can use it to hide flaws, enhance beauty, set a mood, or create dramatic effects. Whatever path you choose, a career as a professional makeup artist can be both personally and financially rewarding.

Wayne Goss talks about his career and making money from makeup as a professional makeup artist in the video above.