How Much Money Do Cosmetologists Make?

By Justin Graves , last updated January 10, 2012

Generally, cosmetologists are considered beauty specialists who are professionally qualified to treat and care for nails, skin and hair. Cosmetologists may open their own business or work in salons or related environments. Most often, cosmetologists deal with a wide variety of different customers and are able to offer a plethora of different services. More specialized cosmetologists may offer massages and other therapeutic services. While the regulations and requirements for cosmetologists will vary from state to state, most practicing cosmetologists have earned a license and completed a cosmetology school program or internship. In nearly all states, a cosmetologist must earn a state license to practice cosmetology. Depending on what area of cosmetology you decide to specialize in, your salary may rise or fall. For instance, a hairdresser at a basic salon may receive a smaller salary while a professional manicurist at a spa may receive a substantially higher salary.

In coming years, jobs in the field of cosmetology are expected to grow exponentially. Today, cosmetologists can find work in salons, spas and even nursing homes. As a cosmetologist, you also have the option of starting your own practice. In fact, self-employed cosmetologists tend to make more than other cosmetology employees. According to PayScale, cosmetologists with one to four years of experience can expect to make up to $12.50 an hour. Cosmetologists with 5 to 9 years of experience can expect to make up to $18.51 an hour. Cosmetologists with 10 to 19 years of experience canning expect to make up to $49.32 an hour. Cosmetologists with 20 or more years’ experience can expect to make up to $72.72 an hour. Obviously, these numbers are just estimates and you can expect them to vary greatly depending on your own specific circumstances and location.
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