HOW MUCH DOES A COSMETOLOGIST MAKE?: What to Expect as a Cosmetologist

How much does a cosmetologist make
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How much you make as a cosmetologist largely depends on you. The number of hours you work per month and year makes up how much you earn as a cosmetologist. Your expertise matters too, as you don’t expect to earn as much as a professional cosmetologist if you’re just starting out. That said, let’s see the breakdown of how much the average cosmetologist makes per hour, as well as annually. 

How Much Does A Cosmetologist Make?

Cosmetologists earn an average yearly pay of $29,590, or $14.23 per hour, not considering tips, which can add an additional 15 to 20% to the base salary. The lowest-paid 10% of stylists earn $17,930 per year, while the highest-paid 10% earn more than $49,050. Jobs at high-end fashion salons with better pay are in high demand.

How Do Cosmetologists Get Paid?

Cosmetologists are paid differently depending on whether they work for a corporation or work for themselves.

If you work for a company, you may be paid based on one of four ways:

  • Hourly
  • Salaried
  • Commission
  • Performance

#1. Hourly Payment

As the salon is responsible for bringing in customers, you will normally be paid regardless of the number of clients you see if you work on an hourly or salaried basis. The benefit of both of them is that your payments should be consistent, and you won’t have to do any self-promotion. On the other hand, because you have no control over your clients, you may find yourself working outside your comfort zone, and because you are paid hourly, your hours can always be curtailed if the employer wishes.

#2. Commission-Based Payment

The commission-based job typically pays less consistently and is solely dependent on your ability to bring in clients and sell things. In this setup, you often pay a portion of your commissions to the salon in order to use their facility. The advantage is that you have a lot of say about when and with whom you work, and you may be able to determine your own fees. The disadvantage is that if you are new to the business, you may not have a customer base established, and no matter where you are in your career, you must consistently update your portfolio and make contacts.

#3. Performance-Based Payment

Performance-based pay is uncommon, but it typically consists of a combination of paid or hourly employment and commission. The more hands-on work you do, the more money you make. The advantage is that you have guaranteed compensation, but the disadvantage is that you must advertise yourself to get the best potential salary.

If you’re self-employed—which includes those paid on commission above, as well as freelance or specialty cosmetologists—you have to think about a lot of things. You need to sell yourself, just like commission and performance-based compensation; if you don’t work for a salon, you don’t have much of a built-in customer base. You have complete control over your hours and charges, taking into account local norms and customer needs. For many, the most difficult difficulties are not having stable work and figuring out how to pay taxes correctly.

When work is slow, you may need to be more innovative in order to make money, such as providing online tutorials or boosting your marketing efforts.

If you’re self-employed and need extra money, explore side hustles in and out of the beauty industry, such as making your own products, blogging, or creating online tutorials.

All compensation systems can usually be supplemented by client tips.

How Much Does A Performing Arts Cosmetologist Make?

It’s worth noting that persons involved in the performing arts—both live and video work—are not referred to as “cosmetologists.” They are usually referred to as hair or makeup artists or stylists.

Performing arts stylists typically require further expertise in areas such as prosthetics and fantasy makeup. It might be worth looking into an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in theatre or film, however, this isn’t necessarily necessary, especially if you have extensive training and a strong portfolio.

This training might be costly, but with a lot of skill and a little luck, it can pay off in the long run: the average annual salary for theatrical and performance makeup artists was $124,380 ($59.80 per hour). The field is anticipated to grow by 37% between 2020 and 2030, based on data from only a few states, and, as you might think, the career is more in demand in some locations than others.

Even if they work in cinema, established performing arts makeup artists and hairstylists are normally represented by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). IATSE works to secure fair pay (including pay for canceled gigs) and work hours, as well as overtime pay when necessary. Because the majority of these workers are independent contractors, IATSE also assists them in establishing a retirement plan and obtaining health insurance.

How Much Does A Cosmetologist Make per Month?

As of July 2022, the average cosmetologist makes $2,940 in a month. 

Cosmetologists can have monthly incomes as high as $4,083 and as low as $1,333. However, the majority of Cosmetology salaries in the United States now vary between $2,458 (25th percentile) to $3,375 (75th percentile). The average pay range for a Cosmetologist varies greatly (by up to $917), implying that there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent job postings, the Cosmetology job market in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding area is very active. A Cosmetology in your area earns an average monthly salary of $2,923, which is $17 (1%) less than the national average monthly salary of $2,940. Georgia ranks 45th out of 50 states in terms of cosmetology salaries.

How Much Does A Cosmetologist Make per Week?

The average weekly income for a Cosmetologist in the United States is $609 per week as of July 18, 2022.

While cosmetologists can get weekly pay as high as $1,115 and as low as $269, the majority of Cosmetologist incomes in the United States now range from $423 to $654. The average salary range for a Cosmetologist varies substantially (by up to $231), implying that there may be several prospects for growth and greater pay dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

According to recent job posts, the Cosmetologist employment market in Atlanta, GA, and the surrounding area is quite active. A Cosmetologist in your area earns an average weekly pay of $604, which is $5 (1%) less than the national average weekly salary of $609.

What Much Does A Cosmetologist Make Per Hour?

The average hourly wage for a Cosmetologist in the United States is $15.23 per hour as of July 18, 2022.

Cosmetologists can get hourly wages as high as $27.88 and as low as $6.73. However, the majority of Cosmetologist wages in the United States currently range from $10.58 to $16.35. The typical pay range for a Cosmetologist ranges substantially (by up to $5.77), implying that there may be numerous prospects for growth and increased income dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

Job Description Of A Cosmetologist

A cosmetologist’s responsibilities include learning a wide range of hairstyles, from a buzz cut to an exquisite wedding updo. Scissors, razors, hair blowers, straighteners, crimpers, curlers, and hot hair rollers are among the tools of the profession. Cornrows, weaves, braids, and eyelash extensions require dexterity and coordination. Manicures and pedicures, as well as esthetician services such as makeup application, facials, and hair removal, are also provided by some cosmetologists. Cleaning and sanitizing workstations and equipment are also responsibilities.

Education Requirements for a Cosmetologist

Licensing requirements vary by state, but aspiring cosmetologists need the following: a high school diploma or GED, a cosmetology training certificate or associate degree in cosmetology, and supervised hands-on experience to be eligible to take their state’s cosmetology licensing exam. You can find a list of approved cosmetology training programs on the website of your state’s Cosmetology Licensing Board. Completion of an associate degree in applied science from a technical college involves two years of study; certificate programs are shorter. Along with learning about hair, skin, and nail care, cosmetology students take classes related to customer service, bookkeeping, marketing, state regulations governing cosmetology and sanitation, and proper handling of chemical products. States such as California offer approved cosmetology apprenticeship training programs that pay students minimum wages while they work on the job under the supervision of a licensed cosmetology trainer.

Years of Experience

Some cosmetology schools accept students as young as 16 years old. Ability, motivation, work ethic, and a willingness to work long hours are all required for success in the field. Experienced cosmetologists can meet challenging style requirements from customers and earn greater gratuities for exceptional service. Successful cosmetologists cultivate a loyal clientele by honoring their clients’ individual preferences. Experienced cosmetologists with a good reputation frequently manage or own a salon, which provides larger income potential.

Over time, you will build regular customers who will rely on you to make them look amazing. Word-of-mouth will assist you in attracting new clients. You can become a master stylist and charge more for trendy, expensive cuts and colors with expertise and advanced training. Many cosmetologists work for themselves and enjoy the flexibility and independence that comes with being their own employer. Cosmetologists frequently wait until they have a devoted clientele before going solo. Experienced stylists have an advantage when it comes to getting a competitive position at a high-end establishment.

Industry and Working Environment

Cosmetologists work in a variety of situations. You may work at a local salon or find work styling hair in a resort, on a movie set, or backstage at a professional theater. Cosmetologists also work in mortuaries, doing the deceased’s nails, cosmetics, and hair before a funeral. You must be able to stand for extended periods of time. Cosmetologists work long hours, with weekends and evenings off.

Prospects for Job Growth

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 2016, job prospects for cosmetologists look promising. Between 2016 and 2026, the demand for this occupation will increase by 13%. Demand will be driven by a growing population and increased client interest in specific hair methods. Cosmetologists made an average income of $29,500, or $14.23 per hour, before tips and commission, in May 2016. There are few jobs available at higher-paying, private salons, and competition is strong.

In Conclusion,

It is largely up to you how much money you can make as a cosmetologist. It is determined by the number of hours worked during the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cosmetologist earns $14.23 per hour. But you’re probably thinking that you’re not going to be a mediocre cosmetologist. Talented stylists have a loyal clientele and earn good tips, which can add an extra 20% to your base wage. A job in a luxury salon favored by Hollywood celebs could possibly blow your yearly income out of the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do most cosmetologists make?

As of 2021, cosmetologists earned an average yearly pay of $35,990 ($17.30 per hour). Lower-paid cosmetologists got an annual salary of $20,860, while higher-paid cosmetologists earned an annual salary of $59,070.

What does cosmetologist mean?

A cosmetologist is a person who is authorized to give hair, skin, and nail cosmetic treatments.

Does cosmetology require math?

Cosmetology programs require math abilities. Algebra and geometry classes in high school will assist the student to succeed in this program. Math concepts such as ratios, percentages, angles, and so on are used by cosmetologists in all of the services they provide.

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