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Makeup Artist Salary

Women make up the vast majority of Makeup Artists in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $16.07 per hour. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level and the specific company. For the most part, Makeup Artists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — the larger part lack any form of coverage — but around two in five have medical insurance, and just under one in three have dental, too. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$24,034 - $71,517
(Median)
$24K
$40K
$72K
MEDIAN: $40,326
10%
50%
90%

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$10.01 - $39.59
(Median)
$10
$16
$40
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$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$24,034 - $71,517  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,973  
Commission
$0.00 - $12,000  
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).
)
$21,411 - $80,349  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 80
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
$10.01 - $39.59  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.32 - $7.73  
Overtime
$11.09 - $73.08  
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 - $2,973  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $12,000  
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).
)
$21,411 - $80,349  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 383

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United States (change)


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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. 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 a Retail Store Assistant Manager position, where earnings are usually $32K.

Makeup Artist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Makeup Artist


Although M.A.C. Cosmetics heads up the field in terms of compensation, offering the highest median salary at $40K, pay at this particular employer still varies considerably, running the full spectrum from $31K to $60K.


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. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $46K in this role. Respondents who boast more than 20 years of experience can't seem to boast paychecks reflecting that extensive experience, though; veteran Makeup Artists report making only $41K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Makeup Artists, Dallas offers exceptional salaries, 47 percent above the national average. Makeup Artists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+27 percent), San Francisco (+27 percent), Chicago (+16 percent), and Miami (+14 percent). Trailing the national average by 10 percent, Seattle is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers also pay below the national average in Houston (9 percent lower) and Los Angeles (6 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Makeup Artist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 29%

Mid-Career
up arrow 15%

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

National Average
$36,000


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 74 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
20%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 40% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 58%
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