Makeup Artist Salary

Makeup Artists in the United States are largely female. The average salary of the entire group is approximately $16.26 per hour. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and experience level are driving factors as well. Most Makeup Artists report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and the greater part lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by close to two-fifths and dental coverage is claimed by just under one in three. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale 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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Although some Makeup Artists become Retail Store Manager, this progression is not the norm. However, the latter position does pay a little more at $40K. A Performance Makeup Artist role is the most common promotion for Makeup Artists moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $40K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Makeup Artists is an Esthetician position, where earnings are usually $31K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Sephora Usa, Inc, M.A.C., M.A.C. Cosmetics, Sephora Inc., and Macy's, Inc. are all popular places to work. Self-Employed offers the largest salaries in town — $55K on average. Estee Lauder Companies Inc, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Mac Cosmetics Inc are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Makeup Artists earning around $42K, $38K, or $37K at each firm, 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.


Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $32K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $41K. On average, Makeup Artists make $44K following one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $42K by contrast.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $35,953

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

With a pay rate for Makeup Artists that is 29 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. 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). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Makeup Artist's salary, with Philadelphia Makeup Artists earning salaries that are 29 percent less than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Seattle and Houston (14 percent lower and 7 percent lower, respectively).

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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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