Looking at a possible future as a cosmetologist? The top question asked by many who are considering this career path centers on salary. And rightfully so. While you may love the world of cosmetology, you also want to make sure a job in this industry will pay the bills. Here are some factors that typically influence how much cosmetologists make.
Look at the Average
A good starting point for determining how much a cosmetologist makes is to look at the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists in 2012 was $22,7700 per year.
These professionals provide hairstyling and beauty services and mostly work in a barbershop or salon. Also, all states require that these professionals be licensed by graduating from a state-approved cosmetology program.
Know your Niche
Beyond looking at the national average pay for cosmetologists, another key factor that could influence pay is the cosmetology niche that you strive to enter, according to Cosmetology School Graduates: How Much do They Make. For example, would you like to focus your career on styling hair? Or would you like to work as an esthetician or nail technician? Perhaps you would like your career to include a blend of all three focus areas. The cosmetology niche that you select could influence how much you’ll make each year.
Consider Your Location
Pay rates in some locations are higher than others based on factors like the cost of living. For example, pay rates for cosmetologists in small towns may vary from pay rates for similar professionals working in cities. If you’d prefer to work as a cosmetologist in a specific location, do some background work to learn about average pay rates for cosmetologists in the area.
Compare Job Offers
Should you accept the first job offer that you receive or wait for a few offers to come in and compare them? How much experience you have, how many job openings are available in your location and other factors can impact whether you should compare job offers or accept the first one that you receive. At the very least, try to negotiate a bit for any job offers you receive to determine if you can receive a higher initial base pay. Keep in mind that gratuity that you may receive as a cosmetologist could impact the base pay rates that you’re being offered.
Assess Business Options
Do you hope to work for an established beauty salon or start your own cosmetology business? The answer to that question might affect how much you make as a cosmetologist. For example, starting a cosmetologist can include a variety of expenses and it could take some time to build a client base. These and other factors can quickly cut into how much you can take home as a paycheck from the new business.
Want to know how much you could make as a cosmetologist? In addition to looking at the national average pay rate for cosmetologists, several other factors could impact how much you make. These factors include your location, job experience and more.