What Are the Typical Wages of a Cosmetologist?
A cosmetologist's wage depends on his or her specialty, which can include shampooing, makeup, pedicures, manicures and hair styling. Read on to learn about the typical wages based on different factors. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
How a Cosmetologist Is Paid
Just over half of all cosmetologists in the United States are paid an hourly wage or regular salary by the salon, resort, spa or other site where they work. However, tips and commissions on services and cosmetic products may account for additional earnings. As a cosmetologist, your wage will be figured by totaling all you earn in services, product sales and tips, then subtracting the costs of your salon or rented booth, supplies, product stock, license fees and continuing education classes. Salary can be determined by a number of factors, such as area of specialty, experience and the extra income garnered by tips and commissions.
Important Facts about Careers as a Barber, Hairdresser, or Cosmetologist
|Entry-Level Education||Individuals in this field need a minimum of a high school diploma. Additionally, they must complete training in a state-licensed school or postsecondary vocational school.|
|Key Skills||Individuals in this field must be creative, and must stay knowledgeable of the latest trends. They should also be able to stand for long periods of time, keep their work station clean and organized, manage their time well, and be able to listen to and comply with their customers' wishes.|
|Licensing/Certification||All hairdressers, cosmetologists, and barbers are required by state law to hold a license. To obtain a license, applicants must have first completed a state-accredited training program or school, and then take a written exam. The exam may sometimes have a practical or oral component.|
|Work Environment||Almost half of all barbers, cosmetologists, and hairdressers in 2012 were self-employed. The remaining 50% were typically employed by salons, resorts, spas, or hotels. People in this field are required to stand on their feet for long periods of time, and may be exposed to harsh chemicals.|
Hourly Wage by Specialty
The field of cosmetology covers a wide variety of personal care occupations, from manicurists to make-up artists. The figures below, released in September 2015 by PayScale.com, show median hourly wages for a few of the occupations in the cosmetology field:
- Pedicurist or Manicurist: $12.00
- Hair stylist: $8.00
- Barber: $11.00
Tips, Commissions and Overtime
A large part of your salary will be based on tips, commissions and overtime. According to an September 2015 report by Payscale.com, tips added $0.62 - $6.20 to hourly wages for cosmetologists, while hourly overtime was $0.41 - $54.15. In addition, workers earned up to an additional $28,455 in annual commission.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a 13% growth in employment for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). This is average growth when compared to all occupations. Competition for jobs will be strongest for positions in high-paying salons. Most employment openings will come from professionals leaving the field.
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