Makeup Artist Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Makeup Artists in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $16.18 per hour. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by career duration and the particular employer. A majority of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, roughly two-fifths report medical coverage and just under a third claim dental coverage as well. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$23,270 - $61,825
(Median)
$23K
$39K
$62K
MEDIAN: $39,499
10%
50%
90%

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$10.13 - $41.02
(Median)
$10
$16
$41
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
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$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$23,270 - $61,825  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,416  
Commission
$0.00 - $14,899  
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).
)
$21,627 - $83,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 77
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
$10.13 - $41.02  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $9.79  
Overtime
$10.94 - $73.70  
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 - $2,416  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $14,899  
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).
)
$21,627 - $83,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 386
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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. 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 a Retail Store Assistant Manager role; in this role, workers often earn $32K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Although M.A.C. Cosmetics boasts the highest average salary in town at $40K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $30K or as much as $84K.


Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

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


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $32K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $41K. For Makeup Artists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $46K. Respondents who boast more than two decades on the job don't boast commensurate pay, unfortunately; these veterans see average earnings of only $41K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Makeup Artists, Dallas provides a pay rate that is 49 percent greater than the national average. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+27 percent), San Francisco (+26 percent), Chicago (+14 percent), and Miami (+14 percent). The lowest-paying market is Seattle, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Houston (10 percent less) and Las Vegas (5 percent less).

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Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 27%

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

Mid-Career
up arrow 12%

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
40%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 40% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 57%
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