Makeup Artist Salary

Makeup Artists in the United States are largely women. The group as a whole has a nationwide average of $16.26 per hour for pay. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and years of experience are driving factors as well. Some workers in this field — the larger part — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by about two in five and dental plans are enjoyed by just under one in three. The majority of Makeup Artists claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$19,780 - $71,517
(Median)
$20K
$39K
$72K
MEDIAN: $39,011
10%
50%
90%

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$10.08 - $40.24
(Median)
$10
$16
$40
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$19,780 - $71,517  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,349  
Commission
$0.00 - $10,137  
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).
)
$21,078 - $83,216  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 100
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$10.08 - $40.24  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $9.97  
Overtime
$10.85 - $66.66  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,349  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $10,137  
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).
)
$21,078 - $83,216  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 455
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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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For Makeup Artists, advancing into a Retail Store Manager role, for which the median salary is $40K, is not common but it does happen. Becoming a Performance Makeup Artist is, more often than not, the most common role that Makeup Artists move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $40K. Another frequent advance is for Makeup Artists to assume an Esthetician role; in this role, workers often earn $31K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Makeup Artists flock to Sephora Usa, Inc, M.A.C., M.A.C. Cosmetics, Sephora Inc., and Macy's, Inc., highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. The biggest paychecks can be found at Self-Employed — the median salary there is $55K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Estee Lauder Companies Inc, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Mac Cosmetics Inc, top-paying firms where Makeup Artists rake in a $42K, $38K, or $37K, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Sephora Inc. at $26K, and Sephora Usa, Inc where $29K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Makeup Artists there earn up to $42K.


Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $32K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $41K. Makeup Artists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $44K. Survey respondents who have worked for more than 20 years actually report somewhat lower incomes of $42K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $35,953

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Makeup Artists, New York offers exceptional salaries, 29 percent above the national average. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Dallas (+28 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), Los Angeles (+19 percent), and Chicago (+14 percent). Makeup Artists in Philadelphia earn salaries far below the national average by 29 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Seattle (14 percent lower) and Houston (7 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 22%

Late-Career
up arrow 17%

Mid-Career
up arrow 13%

National Average
$36,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 70 votes.

Gender

Female
92 %
Male
8 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 41%
dental benefits
Dental: 31%
medical benefits
Vision: 27%
dental benefits
None: 57%
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