How Much Do Hair Stylists Make – Whether they run their own salon or work for others, hair stylists use their expertise to help clients find the perfect hairstyle and provide services to change hair texture, length or color. In some cases, their duties may be limited to hair styling such as skin and nail care and assisting with business management duties. Effective hair stylists are creative, aware of trends in hair design and willing to learn new techniques. While those working in performing arts companies and high-end salons earn generous salaries, the overall average income for a hair stylist is more modest.
As of May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median salary for a hairstylist to be $30,490. Entry-level hair stylists are scarce, and some states and industries pay better than others.
How Much Do Hair Stylists Make
Hair stylists offer a variety of services to transform the look of their clients’ hair, as well as hair care recommendations. Depending on the client’s hair type and desired look, stylists may cut, wash and condition the hair or use chemical perming and straightening treatments. They also offer coloring services that range from some highlights to a double treatment service where bleach is applied before the desired color is applied. Hair stylists also use curling irons, blow dryers and flat irons to create styles, while braiding and weaving are also common services.
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Depending on the work situation, hair stylists may have additional duties. It is common practice for stylists to stock and replenish supplies, including stocking their own equipment as needed. Some offer makeup, manicures and pedicures or waxing services. Hair stylists who own their own salon can train and mentor the stylists who work for them, market their salon online and socially, manage their accounts and provide customer service.
The path to becoming a hair stylist includes a high school diploma and meeting state cosmetology license requirements. The first step to obtaining a license is to find a state-approved cosmetology diploma or certificate program. Often found at community colleges and beauty schools, these programs typically take 12-18 months of part-time or full-time study. States dictate how many hours stylists must complete to become licensed. For example, hair stylists in Maryland, Missouri and Ohio must complete 1,500 hours, while hair stylists in New York only need 1,000 hours of training. Montana requires 2,000 hours of study.
Cosmetology students spend a lot of time learning the practical techniques of cutting, styling and coloring hair. Their research included shampoo and conditioning, hair types, curling and the use of relaxing and heat products. They also learn about hair care chemistry and the structure of hair and hair. Cosmetology programs also provide extensive information on nail technology, skin care, waxing and makeup application. Students often learn about salon management to become familiar with the legal aspects, accounting practices, ethics and marketing associated with successful salon management. At the end of the program, students work with real clients at a beauty school or complete an internship to gain additional experience.
After graduating from a cosmetology program with state-mandated hours, licensure requires meeting age requirements and passing state board cosmetology exams. These exams usually include a written assessment along with practical exercises that demonstrate proficiency in cosmetology services. Hair stylists can begin working after being licensed, but continuing education is a general requirement for license renewal.
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Some hair stylists choose to become certified in skills such as hair extensions, advanced coloring techniques, or cutting curly hair. These certifications typically require you to take courses from a specific vendor and pass skills tests. Hair stylists can also obtain additional business education if they are interested in operating salons and hiring personal stylists.
Most hair stylists work in both chain and independent salons. Others work in dormitories, retail stores, beauty schools, spas, hospitals, and art and motion picture companies. 43 percent of stylists are self-employed and operate their own salons or share space with other stylists as contractors. Due to the position required to serve clients, the profession is stressful and exposure to chemicals used in hair care poses health risks.
Hair stylists have the option of pursuing a part-time or full-time career in the industry. However, weekend and evening hours are often required as more clients come for service during these times so they must be flexible. Self-employed stylists can set their own hours, but they often spend extra time promoting their salon, managing appointment schedules, and managing finances.
Based on employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for a hair stylist in May 2017 was $30,490 per year, which is $14.66 per hour. The median income is $24,850 per year ($11.95 per hour), meaning half of hair stylists earn less and half earn more. The bottom 10 percent of hair stylists earn less than $18 to $170 a year ($8.73 an hour), while the top 10 percent earn between $50 to $670 a year ($24.36 an hour).
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Hairdresser salaries vary by industry. More than half work in personal care services and earn an average of $30,920 per year ($14.87 per hour). Average annual wages for those working in general merchandise stores and health/personal care stores are $22,670 ($10.90 per hour) and $24,660 ($11.85 per hour), respectively. The highest-earning hair stylists work for performing arts companies, earning an average of $67,090 per year ($32.25 per hour). Those working in other professional, technical and scientific service firms had the second highest average salary at $39,290 per year ($18.89 per hour).
Location also affects the salary potential of a hair stylist. The District of Columbia, Washington, and New Jersey offer median annual salaries of $45,680, $40,680, and $37,660, respectively. Florida, Nebraska and New York are other states that offer high salaries. The worst states for hair stylist earnings include South Carolina, Utah, and Louisiana, where median annual wages are $21,750, $23,820, and $24,130.
As of October 2018, PayScale reports that hair stylist salaries start low and increase the most with 5-10 years of experience. On average, a new hairstylist earns $23,000 per year and increases to $28,000 with 5-10 years of experience. The average salary for a hair stylist with 10-20 years of experience rises to $29,000. Those with more than 20 years of experience earn a little more than $30,000 a year.
As more people seek hair cutting and styling services, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that hair stylists can expect rapid job growth and good job prospects in the decade 2016-2026. Cosmetologists and hairdressers added 80, 100 positions. Many positions for new hair stylists become available when existing hair stylists change jobs or retire. Those who want to work in high-end salons need considerable experience to compete with other applicants. Learning advanced hair styling techniques will help candidates stand out in these positions. From Oscars to beauty influencers, a hair stylist dreams of a great career. It can be a lucrative career for some, but how much do hairdressers earn on average? Find out what you need to know before starting your career.
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If you’re considering a career as a hairstylist, knowing how much you can make is probably on your mind. The good news is that you don’t need to win awards for your outstanding achievements in film hair and makeup to make a living as a stylist.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), barbers, hair stylists and beauticians earn an average hourly wage of $17.30 and a median salary of $35,990.
However, most of these stylists are part time. Many factors can affect your earning potential, leading you to a six-figure salary, including:
Before you begin your journey to becoming a hair stylist, it is a good idea to create a plan that will help you maximize your earning potential.
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Being a hairdresser can be a rewarding career, but making good money doesn’t happen overnight. Building a viable career and making the money you want takes time, commitment and planning.
Hairdressers must meet several requirements before touching a person’s hair. Specific requirements vary by state, but most require stylists to complete a cosmetology program and obtain a license before working.
Most cosmetology schools require students to have a high school diploma or GED (Graduate Equivalency Diploma). You can choose between a certificate program or an associate degree in cosmetology.
The average program takes one to eighteen months to complete and consists of a series of lessons. Expect to pay between $5,000 and $20,000 for cosmetology school. The best programs are more expensive, but you can earn a higher starting salary.
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After completing your studies,
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