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How Much Do Makeup Artists Make a Year?

When scouring for statistics about how much makeup artists make a year, you will get a whole range of answers. That's because being a makeup artist can take your career in a variety of directions and that can mean huge disparities in salary and compensation. You can work for cosmetics companies, high end salons, do theatrical or TV/movie set makeup, open your own business doing wedding makeup where you can make hundreds of dollars in just a few hours -- the list goes on and on.

To give a sense of just how much of a range there is when it comes to how much makeup artists make a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top earners in the specialty of theatrical and performance makeup earned $94,500 in 2009. Whereas PayScale.com estimates that hourly earnings for makeup artists spans from $11.37 to $25.56 as of 2010.

To complicate matters even further, salaries for makeup artists usually vary greatly based on geographic location. Those who work in big cities like Los Angeles or New York City have greater income potential than those who work in rural or less populated areas. And as in most fields, with more experience and expertise comes greater income potential.

That being said, it's only natural to wonder how much makeup artists make a year if you're considering going to beauty school. After all, you want to be sure that you will be entering a field in which you can support yourself financially, not to mention that you'll have to lay out some money to pay for your makeup application courses. Because of the nature of the work, many makeup artists use the craft as a source of additional income on top of their "day jobs." Other makeup artists also offer other services in the beauty industry, like hair styling, nail design, or skin care. In other words, the first step is to think about the type of makeup artist career you wish to have, and formulate a plan of action to make it happen.

Taking makeup artist courses is a great way to get your career on the right course. If you choose to become a cosmetologist, you'll have to take a more in depth program of study, and take a state licensing exam in order to become a professional in the field. No matter which level of coursework you pursue, you'll meet people who already work in the industry -- including your instructors and classmates -- and get to network with local salon owners who may one day give you the opportunity to work for them. In addition, you'll be one step ahead of your job competition as you'll be learning the latest techniques and trends. Before you know it, you'll be able to answer the question of how much makeup artists make a year based on your own personal knowledge.