10 Beauty Jobs that Pay You Over USD50k per Year

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When you’re just starting out on the colorful road to beauty, there are many directions that you can go. Once you’ve passed the milestone of getting your license or have finished an apprenticeship, the world can be your oyster. In the beginning many beauty jobs can start at entry-level pay. Where you live, how high your cost of living is and how experienced you are can have a major impact on how high your pay can go. For those who want to get in on the ground floor of jobs that can earn you over 50k a year, here are 10 areas of focus.

Getting your cosmetology license can be the key to opening many doors throughout the beauty industry. One cosmetology license can lead you into hair, esthetics and makeup or nails. The possibilities are endless. At first you may start as an apprentice before going on straight commission. Once you have a full-blown clientele, renting your own chair could be the most lucrative choice. Building your clientele in a luxury beauty salon in a metropolitan city could bring about the money and connections that could take you well above 50k a year.


Esthetics services and products can mean big business for its workers. Estheticians working in high-end spas, on location or out of their own homes, can expand their business by adding services. Waxing, microdermabrasion and hair removal are just a few treatments a service menu can provide to increase an annual salary. Carrying and selling high-end products can also drive a thriving salary to over 50k a year. As with most careers, the more education you have, the more money you can make. Getting certified in lash extensions or laser hair removal for example can increase your pay and your demand.

Spa or Salon Owner

If your dream is to own your own spa or salon, know that a six-figure income could come with it. Whether you want to buy into a franchise business, take over an existing business or start from scratch; owning your own business can be a challenging and rewarding venture. Some personal care owners rent out their styling chairs, facial rooms or nail tech tables to professionals. Other business owners might choose to pay a commission to its practitioners for services or products sold. For many business owners, this can be a passion project that results in a lifetime commitment that is truly lucrative.
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Product Developer

Some people who work in product development aren’t solely responsible for creating complicated formulas. Product development roles can have you come up with new concepts or ideas for products. You might be responsible for how a product should look, feel or smell. Careers in these fields can have you working with cosmetics one minute or selecting developing new fragrances the next. Product development salaries can rise upward of 80k annually.

Corporate Trainer

As a corporate trainer you can work for beauty brands to mentor and train employees within an organization. This can have you traveling to a certain amount of locations to hold trainings on your brands newest products or beauty techniques. Corporate training requires excellent public speaking and communication skills. Depending on the field in which you’re headed, government licenses may be required. For example, if you are training hair colorists for a color brand, you may need to have a cosmetology license. These careers can earn you above 60k a year.

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Beauty Editor or Copywriter

If you ever wonder who comes up with the cheeky little names of some of your favorite cosmetics, it might be a copywriter. Beauty copywriters are responsible for writing all of the words (copy) attached to a brand and its products. A beauty editor is someone who writes articles surrounding products, techniques and procedures happening in the beauty world. Both of these careers can be for the promotion of a company and what it sells. These careers can have a limitless cap on how high a salary goes. Some roles can pay over 100k to the top percent.

PR Agents

Even agents on the lower end of the business can make over 50k a year. This is another beauty career where the sky is the limit. People who work in public relations can be responsible for writing and distributing press releases and pitching to journalists. They can expand a company’s contacts through networking and promoting a brand through events. Another way of looking at a PR role is that it’s the voice that helps to communicate a brand to its audience.


Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist

Being a theatrical makeup artist can earn the most experienced practitioners over 60k annually. Theatrical makeup can go way beyond your average eyeshadow application. Theater makeup can be very different than your everyday makeup looks. Knowledge of face painting, prosthetics and wig and facial hair application are necessary for this field. The variety and creativity that accompany this job will never let you be bored.

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Special Effects Makeup Artist

An SFX makeup artist is sometimes similar to a theatrical make-up artist, times ten. Their role might be on a grander scale as they are usually found on film sets. An SFX artist works with others to ensure the creation of a character. They work with a script to best formulate the look of a role. Whether it’s an alien or a zombie, an SFX artist can create other worldly creatures for a project. Given the time and skill required to create these looks, it’s no surprise that an SFX artist can make up to 50k a year.

Celebrity Beauty Artist

Imagine being a top professional working with a celebrity clientele. Roles in these fields can take you over 100k a year. Many artists sometimes can create their own level of fame by being a part of the glam squads of the rich and famous. Working your way up to these heights can lead to product endorsement deals, developing products of your own or writing books. Before getting there however, many artists apprentice other celebrity professionals or work their way up to be represented by high-profile agencies. This is a competitive facet of the beauty industry as it is the goal of many beauticians.


Based in Los Angeles, Megan has been a licensed esthetician, make-up, eyebrow artist and hair stylist for over 11 years. Her career as a make-up artist has led her to being the Key Make-up Artist for productions in Los Angeles and Europe. Outside of doing make-up, Miss Vigil has held roles in product development, as the Head Copywriter for a boutique beauty marketing agency and as a Beauty and Fashion editor for E! Entertainment. She has been responsible for either writing, producing or presenting beauty content for companies like COVERGIL, Pantene, Olay, Crest and NuMe Professional Styling Products. Her goal is to advise and empower new makeup artists in the beauty field.


  1. Kanta

    April 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    M self kanta, i am beautcian, hair dresser n Bridal make up artist,i have been in this fiel more then 23 years experience,2oyears in India n 3 years experience in New zealand, i wanted to become now special effect make up artist or celebrity Make up artist or otherwise colud you please guide me or advise me which kind of course i have to do that, at present i am in Nz.
    If you can give me your precious time then i am so greatful to you,feel free email me.

    Thank you,



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