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Makeup Artist Salary

The larger portion of Makeup Artists in the United States are women. Median pay in this female-dominated area goes for around $16.07 per hour. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by residence, followed by experience level and the individual firm. Work is enjoyable for Makeup Artists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — more than half — do not have any health coverage, nearly two in five do receive medical benefits and just under a third have dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$24,128 - $60,967
(Median)
$24K
$40K
$61K
MEDIAN: $39,999
10%
50%
90%

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$10.00 - $40.81
(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
$24,128 - $60,967  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,007  
Commission
$0.00 - $11,836  
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).
)
$21,397 - $82,906  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | 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
$10.00 - $40.81  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.33 - $7.60  
Overtime
$10.87 - $72.27  
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 - $3,007  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $11,836  
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).
)
$21,397 - $82,906  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 389

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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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It is somewhat unusual to come across Makeup Artists who move on to become Retail Store Managers, but it does happen from time to time, and the median salary for that position sits slightly higher 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


The biggest paychecks can be found at M.A.C. Cosmetics — the median salary there is $40K; however, employees are subject to a wide range in pay, with the lowest salaries sitting near $31K and highest ones in the neighborhood of $60K.

Sephora Usa, Inc reports the lowest median salary in the area (it's only $29K) but some workers make up to $42K, indicating a rather large gap in employee earnings.


Pay by Experience Level for Makeup Artist

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


The average beginner in this position makes around $32K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $41K. Makeup Artists see a median salary of $46K after reaching 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 28%

Late-Career
up arrow 17%

Mid-Career
up arrow 14%

National Average
$36,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 77 votes.

Gender

Female
93 %
Male
7 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

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