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If you like the idea of making people look and feel their best, you might be interested in becoming a beautician, which is also referred to as a cosmetologist. This job title refers to professionals who provide services that include cutting, coloring, and styling hair. Some beauticians also provide other beauty services, such as doing nails, applying makeup to clients, and performing skin treatments. Whether you want to focus on hair or are thinking about offering all kinds of beauty services, you’ll need to know what kind of income to expect in this field. Here’s the breakdown of how much you can make as a beautician.

Average Income for Beauticians

The amount you make as a beautician depends on several factors. But if you just want a general idea, note that the median hourly wage is $11.66. However, it’s possible to earn a little less or more—as 10 percent of beauticians earned over $23.58 per hour in 2016.

Keep in mind that this is just the hourly wage, and that most beauticians do get tips after most beauty treatments.  This means if you provide consistently great results and good customer service, you’ll likely earn more than $11.66 per hour as a beautician. Also, note that most beauticians get an hourly rate rather than a salary because they rarely work full-time hours. But if you want an idea of what the salary would be, it works out to about $24,000 per year.

How to Get Paid More as a Beautician

If you want to make more than the median income of beauticians, you’ll need to consider which part of the beauty industry you get into. For example, the motion picture and film sector pays beauticians better than average, with a mean annual wage of $69,780. Since this means you’d be working on hair and makeup for celebrities, you typically need years of experience and topnotch training to break into this part of the beauty field. But in return, you’ll make much more than average.

Another way to make more money as a beautician is to move to a state that has higher paid professionals in this industry. The states that pay the most for this job include Washington State, Washington, D.C., and Hawaii. Granted, these states also have higher costs of living, so look at how the costs compare to the money you’ll make to ensure moving makes financial sense in your situation.

No matter where you work as a beautician or what your specialty is, you need to make sure you’re properly insured for this job. This is especially important if you own your own beauty salon. Insurance will cover you if you accidentally injure a client while providing beauty services, or if a client slips or trips in your salon. Your insurance policy will also help if your client is simply not happy with your services and threatens to sue. You never know what kind of situation will come up as a beautician, so it’s important to protect yourself by thinking of insurance as a business expense you can’t skip out on.

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