Makeup Artist Salaries in New York

New York is without a doubt one of the best possible places to pursue a career in makeup artistry. Opportunities abound for both theatrical/production and personal appearance makeup artists.

New York City is a world center for theatre, opera, television and fashion, making it a paradise for theatrical and production makeup artists. In addition, the Empire State’s many tourist attractions, like the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, the Finger Lakes and Lake Placid (site of two winter Olympics), host five-star hotels, resorts, spas and cosmetics shops that employ personal appearance makeup artists.

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Theatrical Makeup Artist Salaries in New York State

New York employs 18.3 percent of all makeup artists working in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New York is the highest paying state in the US and the New York City metropolitan area is the highest paying metropolitan area for this occupation. New York is also the US state with the second highest employment level (after California) for makeup artists.

The following is a comparison of theatrical makeup artist salaries nationwide with those in New York State as published by the BLS (2013).


Number Employed
Mean Annual Salary
10th Percentile Salary
25th Percentile Salary
50th Percentile (Median)
75th Percentile
90th Percentile Salary


Mean Hourly Wage
10th Percentile Wage
25th Percentile Wage
50th Percentile (Median)
75th Percentile
90th Percentile Wage

New York Department of Labor Makeup Artist Salary Estimates

Statewide estimates of annual salaries of theatrical/production makeup artists published by the New York Department of Labor are as follows.

  • Mean – $104,410
  • Medium – $92,820
  • Entry Level – $52,940
  • Experienced – $130,150

Personal appearance makeup artists in New York, especially in New York City, can be expected to earn more than in most other states. In addition, the BLS figures do not include tips which are usually 10 to 25 percent of the cost of the service. Many celebrities live in New York and hire their own personal makeup artist to come to their homes on a regular basis to prepare them for making appearances. Tips in these cases can often be extremely generous.

The following is a Bureau of Labor Statistics table of theatrical/production makeup artist salaries for large cities and metropolitan areas in New York.

Area name
Annual mean wage
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island NY-NJ-PA
New York-White Plains-Wayne NY-NJ Metropolitan Division

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