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Makeup Artist Salary (United States)

Makeup Artists in the United States are largely women. The group as a whole has a nationwide average of $16.01 per hour for pay. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is geography, though tenure and the individual firm have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, the greater part are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by over a third and dental insurance is reported by slightly less than a third. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Makeup Artist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$22,060 - $60,967
(Median)
22K
29K
39K
50K
61K
MEDIAN: $38,884
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Makeup Artist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$9.99 - $49.34
(Median)
10
23
49
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$22,060 - $60,967  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,636  
Commission
$0.00 - $11,635  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,262 - $89,530  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 82
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$9.99 - $49.34  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.34 - $7.27  
Overtime
$11.09 - $74.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,636  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $11,635  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$21,262 - $89,530  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 401
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Job Description for Makeup Artist

Makeup artists use cosmetic products to enhance natural beauty and create attractive looks that meet clients' needs. They work in a number of settings, such as demonstrations at makeup counters and trade shows, high-fashion makeup for runway models, theatrical makeup for film and stage productions, and movie special-effects makeup design. Depending on the makeup artist's niche, they may based in one location (such as a salon or makeup counter) or travel regularly to different locations. Makeup artists may work as freelance professionals or for an employer. Examples of freelance makeup artists' jobs might include a bride's makeup for weddings, actors' makeup for stage production, and models' makeup for fashion photographers print and catalog work. Makeup artists with a single employer might work at a specific salon or makeup counter, among other locations. These professionals may continually expand their clientele and specializations, creating opportunities for career advancement. Makeup artists must be able to adapt to clients' specific needs, such as if they have an allergic reaction to a certain cosmetic or if certain products aren't translating to film or photographing well.
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Makeup Artist Tasks
  • Select makeup shades and products for individuals.
  • Sell makeup and cleansing products, and provide information and advice on cosmetic application.
  • Consult with clients, perform makeup demonstrations, and provide skin care consultations.

Common Career Paths for Makeup Artist

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While somewhat out of the ordinary, it is still possible for Makeup Artists to assume a position such as a Retail Store Manager, which pays $40K per year on average. The most common career progression for Makeup Artists leads to becoming a Performance Makeup Artist, where average pay is $39K annually. However, many Makeup Artists also opt to become Retail Store Assistant Managers. Typically, a Retail Store Assistant Manager brings home $32K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist

M.A.C. Cosmetics does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $39K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $29K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $59K.
Offering a median salary of only $29K, Sephora Usa, Inc pays the least. Not only that, but the earnings range of $21K to $46K is pretty narrow, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $32K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $41K. Makeup Artists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $46K. For some reason, Makeup Artists with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $42K.

Pay Difference By Location

Dallas
up arrow 56%
New York
up arrow 28%
San Francisco
up arrow 27%
Chicago
up arrow 15%
Las Vegas
up arrow 6%
Miami
up arrow 2%
National Average
$36,000
Los Angeles
up arrow 9%
Seattle
up arrow 10%
Houston
up arrow 13%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for Makeup Artists, Dallas offers exceptional salaries, 56 percent above the national average. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+28 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), Chicago (+15 percent), and Las Vegas (+6 percent). Houston ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 13 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Seattle (10 percent lower) and Los Angeles (9 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%
Late-Career
up arrow 17%
Mid-Career
up arrow 15%
National Average
$36,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 79 votes.

Gender

Female
94%
female alumni
 
Male
6%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
31%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 37% dental benefits Dental: 29%
vision benefits Vision: 23% employee benefits None: 61%