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Makeup Artist FAQs | Training, Career Options, & Salary

Updated: Mar 11



Choosing to become a makeup artist means embarking on an exciting adventure. You get to learn about the latest beauty trends and interact with clients from all walks of life. Your job is to help clients feel and look their best for a variety of occasions. Before you start makeup artist training, though, it's important to learn as much as you can.


When considering a new career as a makeup artist, take some time to learn about make up artist salary, makeup artist training as well as opportunities for advancement. While working as a makeup artist is a creative career, it doesn't come without formal training requirements and the need to "work your way up." However, if becoming a makeup artist is something you truly want to do, Cortiva Institute is here to provide a few pointers so that you can sharpen your skills and develop a dynamic career.


What Does Makeup Artist Training Involve and How Much Do Makeup Artists Make?


When someone begins a new career as a makeup artist, they typically undergo a training course that varies in length but covers the basics. While you might think that your natural skills are enough to break into the makeup field on your own, some states require makeup artists to obtain their license. Plus, doing so will help you book a space in a reputable salon where you can offer your services.


Importantly, the type of makeup artist you become often determines whether or not you need a license after makeup artist training. For example, you typically do not need to earn a license if you are working as a freelance makeup artist for film or TV. Also, if you plan to sell cosmetics at a makeup counter and demo products, you likely do not need a license. If you plan to work with a salon, however, you may need a makeup artist license. If you're applying makeup with additional treatments, this is especially true.


It's also important to know the typical makeup artist salary, per hour. Just as license requirements vary by state, so do makeup artist earnings. In the United States, the national average salary for a makeup artist is just over $31 per hour, with a salary range between $7.25 and $94.45 per hour. Artists may also receive overtime pay, bonuses, tips and benefits packages. All of this is important to consider when deciding to move forward with makeup artist training.


How to Find a Certified Makeup Artist Program — and the Best Makeup Artist Training — Near Me


If you're ready to jump into makeup artist training, there are several factors to consider when choosing a certified makeup artist program. Here are a few elements to consider:


1. Prerequisite Requirements


Depending on the program, some makeup artist training programs require a high school diploma, and some programs require post-secondary beauty care training. Earning a cosmetology certificate includes taking courses in cosmetology theory, skin and beauty care, personal and community health, esthetics and beauty care business practices. If you're currently in-between school and makeup artist training, consider working as a receptionist or as an assistant at a salon to learn more about the type of work you want to do.


2. Esthetician Training


Many programs offer esthetician training. Estheticians are licensed skincare specialists who primarily cleanse and beautify the face to improve a client's overall appearance. They typically offer skincare advice as well as apply makeup, perform waxing and prep skin prior to makeup application. As an esthetician, you would be able to apply makeup and develop treatment plans for your clients.


3. Programs for Creative Careers


Makeup artists aren't limited to helping clients feel beautiful for special occasions only. They can (and should) be quite versatile. In fact, a lot of artists who can make a bride feel beautiful on their wedding day can also make an actor look like a zombie for a horror film. If a program offers a variety of courses, it could give you a unique advantage in a competitive job market in the future.


If you're interested in joining a certified makeup artist program, there's a lot to consider. Your choice of program truly depends on your career goals. For more information about makeup artist programs and opportunities, visit Cortiva's website to learn more.


Cortiva Institute cannot guarantee employment or salary. Cortiva Institute does offer career placement assistance that will continue after your education for as long as you need it!