In general, the highest paying salon jobs tend to be those that require advanced skills and expertise, as well as a strong client base. If you’ve been at it for 10 consistent years, count yourself an expert . . . and your prices should reflect that. Here are some examples of high-paying salon and barbershop jobs in 2023:
- Master Esthetician: As a master esthetician, you offer numerous basic and advanced medical treatments for men and women that will help improve or maintain skin health. You may work in a variety of settings, such as at a medical aesthetician facility, a beauty spa, salon suite, or other specialized setting. Your duties include performing facial cleanses, chemical peels, waxing and body treatments, and other beauty procedures to make your clients feel good about their appearance and skin health. Unlike a cosmetologist, who is also skilled in skin and nail care, your job is to provide skin care exclusively.
Salary range: $163,500-210,000+ per year
- Salon Owner/Manager: As the owner or manager of a salon, you would be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the business, including managing employees, setting prices, marketing the salon, and ensuring that clients are satisfied. This can be a lucrative position, especially if you own a successful salon.
Salary range: $94,800-303,000+ per year
- Freelance Makeup Artist: As a Freelance Makeup Artist, you may work as a platform artist, exclusively for bridal clients, for clients who have a special upcoming event, actors who work in theater or film, or models preparing for fashion shows or photo shoots. You select and apply various cosmetic products to create the look desired by your client. The techniques, skills, and products in your makeup kit help you successfully meet your client’s expectations.
Salary range: $45,500-99,000+ per year
- Hairstylist/Natural Hairstylist/Colorist: Hairstylists and colorists are responsible for cutting, styling, and coloring hair for clients and must have a current cosmetology license. Natural hairstylists, however, do not have to hold a license but are unable to use chemicals on their clients’ heads. They often develop a loyal client base, which leads to high earnings through tips, referrals, and repeat business.
Salary range: $45,500-169,200+ per year
- Wax Specialist/Cerologist®: As a wax specialist or Cerologist®, you provide waxing or other hair removal services to clients while soothing, exfoliating, and softening their skin. Your responsibilities in this career include waxing body parts such as the face, back, underarms, arms, legs, and bikini line. You may work with different types of waxing equipment. For example, depending on the needs and preferences of the client, you may use waxing strips, sugaring, or hot wax. You can perform your duties in a multi-service beauty salon, spa, or specialty hair removal salon.
Salary range: $40,500-79,000+ per year
- Master Barber/Tonsorial Artist: As a master barber, you are a highly trained and licensed expert in the field of men’s and women’s hair grooming. In addition to hair cutting, hair coloring, and styling with razors, job duties usually include shaving or trimming beards and mustaches and perhaps razoring eyebrows. In today’s market, clients may request a man weave, scalp steam treatment, or added fibers with their service. State requirements for a master barber vary; some require years of experience as a licensed barber, while others require years of experience as well as an examination.
Salary range: $35,500-159,750+ per year
- Braider: As a braider, some states consider you a natural hairstylist, while others consider you a certified braiding artist. Either way, your services are gaining more and more popularity, as both women and men from a variety of cultural backgrounds are choosing to wear braids as a protective style and/or for special events. From braids to locs to the latest celebrity styles, braiding is a highly-sought after client service.
Salary range: $25,500-111,000+ per year
- Nail Technician: Nail technicians provide manicures, pedicures, and other nail services to clients. They may also offer additional services like nail art and design, gel or acrylic. Like hairstylists, gifted nail technicians can develop a loyal client base with repeat customers every week or two weeks and earn high tips.
Salary range: $42,500-107,000+ per year
- Lash & Brow Technician/Microblading Artist: “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” and we couldn’t agree more. So how your clients frame their eyes–with lashes or eyebrows–is important. Either you are a licensed esthetician who is now certified in microblading/brow lamination/lashes, or you attended a certification course in order to administer specialized services in these areas. Depending on your state, you fall under tattoo artistry or cosmetology. Some services can run up to $500+ per 60-minute appointment.
Salary range: $30,100-112,600+ per year
- Spa Coordinator: Spa coordinators are in charge of customer service for spas. Job duties include answering phones, booking appointments, and helping guests find their way to the correct rooms. You coordinate with spa and salon management to book appointments and ensure guest satisfaction. In this career, you are in charge of helping members have the best spa experience possible. Qualifications include prior customer service experience and computing skills.
Salary range: $34,500-59,000+ per year
It’s important to note that salaries can vary greatly depending on your years of experience, your book of business, the location of the salon or spa, and other factors. But as you become more skilled in an area, you’ll find that the riches are in the niches!