Salons and spas only hire makeup artists who are licensed as cosmetologists or estheticians. The South Carolina Board of Cosmetology requires 1,500 hours (cosmetologist) or 450 hours (esthetician) of beauty school training in order to qualify for the respective license.
Makeup artists fall into two categories:
- Theatrical and Performance
- Personal Appearance
All makeup artists create different looks with cosmetics. They are skilled in techniques that highlight, contour and conceal. Personal appearance makeup artists focus on making people look their best both every day and for special occasions, like weddings.
Theatrical makeup artists strive to reflect the role being played by the performer. This might simply be making someone look younger or older or could involve using rubber or plastic prostheses to create special effects. Expert theatrical makeup application requires advanced training. Some universities offer degrees in theatrical makeup.
Makeup Artists Salaries Organized by Earning Group
Theatrical makeup jobs generally pay more than personal appearance work for salons, spas, cosmetics stores, bridal boutiques, etc. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual salary of theatrical make-up artists nationwide ranges from a low of $19,560 to $121,910 with a mean of $66,330.
However, personal Appearance makeup artists do very well in South Carolina. The following table compares annual salaries and hourly wages in South Carolina with national averages. Bear in mind that these figures do not include client tips, which adds an additional 10-25% to a makeup artist’s take-home earnings.
Makeup Artist Salaries in Metropolitan Areas and Large Cities of South Carolina
Makeup artist salaries are higher in metropolitan areas and large cities. The following is a Bureau of Labor Statistics table of personal appearance makeup artist salaries for large cities and metropolitan areas in South Carolina.