How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Beautician: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $28,770
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 9.8%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

While they commonly work as hairdressers, beauticians are full-service beauty professionals who are capable of performing a variety of cosmetic procedures. They may cut, color, and style hair; apply makeup and help you choose colors that enhance your qualities; or perform manicures and pedicures.

Recommended Schools

What is a Beautician?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in beautician roles:

  • Cut, color, highlight, perm, and style hair
  • Perform manicures and pedicures, and apply fake nails
  • Apply makeup and help clients choose colors that enhance their natural beauty
  • Style hair and apply makeup for weddings and other special events
  • Sell haircare, makeup, and skincare products

A Day in the Life

Beauticians are cosmetology generalists who are capable of performing a variety of services to help clients look their best. Often, beauticians work as hairdressers and make the bulk of their incomes cutting, coloring, highlighting, perming, and/or styling hair. They work with clients to understand clients’ desires and preferences, and help clients choose hair styles that work for their facial structures, as well as colors that highlight their natural features. Then, they transform appearances by applying new styles.

However, hairdressing is just one of the many services that beauticians are qualified to perform. They are also makeup artists who can help you figure out what makeup colors are right for you, teach you how to apply makeup on your own, and apply makeup for you for special events like weddings. They may also be able to perform facials and blackhead extractions. Many sell products in their salons as well, suggesting makeup products, skincare products, and haircare products that meet client needs.

Beyond hair and makeup, beauticians are also qualified as nail technicians. They can help you clean, cut, and shape your own fingernails and toenails, pushing back overgrown cuticles and removing any loose fingernail shards. They can also apply acrylic nails when desired and can paint both natural and artificial nails using a single color, or multiple colors for French manicures. They help clients choose the right nail colors to match their personalities and moods, or for a special event.

Typical Work Schedule

Most beauticians work full-time schedules, though part-time work is commonly available as well. Beauticians may work during the day during the workweek, but they’re more often needed to work second shift and weekends to better cater to client schedules.

Projected Job Growth

Personal beauty care has been steadily rising in popularity in recent years, so demand for beauticians is expected to grow throughout the coming decade.

Typical Employers

Many beauticians are self-employed and offer services from their own homes or in salons they own and operate. Others are hired to work for hair salons, nail salons, department store makeup counters, or spas.

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How To Become a Beautician

All states require beauticians to be licensed to work in their field. To become a licensed beautician, you must attend cosmetology school after graduating from high school. Cosmetology schools are vocational institutions that teach students the techniques and best practices of hair styling, manicures and pedicures, makeup application, and skin care. After graduating from cosmetology school, you’ll be able to become licensed and begin working as a beautician in your state of residence.

In cosmetology school, aspiring hair stylists, nail technicians, and makeup artists typically focus on their core subject area, taking more classes in those areas than others. Beauticians, on the other hand, focus on all subject areas equally in order to be best qualified to work as beauty generalists, offering as many services as they’re able to. You’ll want to make sure you take enough courses to qualify to work in each of the specializations: as a hair stylist, nail technician, makeup artist, and skincare professional.

After graduating, most beauticians start off working as an employee for a salon or spa. After gaining professional experience and building your client base, you may be able to move into self-employment, renting a booth at a hair or nail salon. Eventually, you may have enough clients to start your own business. Some beauticians open their own salons or spas, some offer their services out of their own homes, and some offer mobile cosmetology services, traveling to client’s houses for appointments.

Beautician Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Beautician salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Beautician's can make an average annual salary of $28,770, or $14 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $19,150 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #720 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Beauticians

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 0.6%   Masters
  • 5.2%   Bachelors
  • 10.1%   Associates
  • 31.5%   College
  • 45.5%   High School
  • 6.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Beautician job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 58,400 jobs for a total of 655,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 9.8% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #207 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Beauticians

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Personal care services 314,700 33,500 34%
Self-employed workers 253,600 25,600 26%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 1,100 100 0%

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