7 beauty industry jobs (With duties and salary info)

Updated 28 August 2023

The beauty industry has a broad range of potential career options for people from different backgrounds. Some of these are entry-level, whereas others might require some experience or training. If you're interested in a career in the beauty industry, knowing about some potential job options can help you make your decision. In this article, we explain what the beauty industry is and then list seven beauty industry jobs for you to consider.

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What is the beauty industry?

The beauty industry provides people with a range of goods and services which help them care for various aspects of their appearance. This includes products for skin and hair care, cosmetics and perfumes. There are also various services at places like hairdressers, nail salons, spas and beauty salons.

7 beauty industry jobs

Here are seven beauty industry jobs for you to consider, together with their respective salaries and primary duties:

1. Makeup artist

National average salary: £9.69 per hour

Primary duties: A makeup artist applies makeup to clients, either for professional reasons or for special events. For instance, many makeup artists work with people who are about to go on television or speak to a live audience. Alternatively, some may even provide their services for special occasions, like weddings. In many instances, makeup artists also know how to style people's hair and use hairpieces and wigs. In industries like cinema, some makeup artists might specialise in special effects makeup. Many of them might work collaboratively on film sets and take direction from a production designer.

Becoming a makeup artist simply requires the necessary skills. This means that there are various options available, including university courses, college courses, apprenticeships or courses from specialised training providers. Good options to consider include a foundation degree or higher national diploma in media makeup artistry or a level 3 diploma in makeup artistry. It might also be possible to find entry-level or trainee work at a salon and then build up a portfolio with experience.

Read more: How to become a make-up artist in 6 steps (Plus salary)

2. Hairdresser

National average salary: £23,591 per year

Primary duties: A hairdresser can cut, colour and style a customer's hair to make it look the way they want. There is often a distinction between a junior and senior hairdresser. Junior hairdressers can manage simpler hair styles, help with bookings, shampoo and condition customers' hair, clean the salon and welcome customers at the door. A senior hairdresser can manage all hair styles and cuts, make suggestions to customers, advise on hair and scalp issues, promote hair care products to customers and take payments. Hairdressers can work at a salon, go to clients' homes or at a store.

It's possible to become a hairdresser through an apprenticeship or college course. Good options to consider include a level 2 hair professional apprenticeship or a level 3 advanced and creative hair professional apprenticeship, in addition to a level 2 or level 3 diploma in hairdressing.

Related: How to become a makeup artist apprentice (With skills)

3. Beauty consultant

National average salary: £9.68 per hour

Primary duties: Beauty consultants help customers with their purchasing decisions regarding beauty products. They speak with customers to understand their needs, make recommendations, keep up-to-date on new products and trends, order stock, advise on product applications and meet sales targets. This means that they typically work in a store which sells these products, although they can also work in other locations like salons, cruises or even by visiting clients' homes.

Although it can be possible to apply directly to entry-level positions, there are also college courses and apprenticeships available. Some good options include a level 2 certificate in beauty consultancy, a level 2 diploma in beauty therapy or an intermediate apprenticeship as a beauty and makeup consultant. Other names for this position include beauty brand ambassador and beautician.

Read more: How to become a beauty consultant: A step-by-step guide

4. Beauty therapist

National average salary: £11.44 per hour

Primary duties: Beauty therapists apply various body and face treatments to their clients. This can include giving massages, facial cleansing treatments and toning. Additionally, they can apply makeup, shape eyebrows, colour eyelashes, give manicures, hair removal and use ultraviolet (UV) treatments or spray tanning. Beauty therapists often work in beauty salons, health spas, hotels or from clients' homes. Their regular interactions with clients mean that they typically have excellent customer service skills, knowledge of beauty products and are good at working with their hands.

There are both college courses and apprenticeships available for this role, although it's also possible to find trainee positions for learning the skills on the job. Some good choices for college and apprenticeships include a level 2 or level 3 diploma in beauty therapy, or an intermediate or advanced beauty therapist apprenticeship.

Related: How to write a beauty therapist CV (With an example)

5. Nail technician

National average salary: £10.64 per hour

Primary duties: A nail technician specialises in decorating, painting and repairing clients' nails. This includes services like pedicures and manicures, nail cleaning, nail filing, false nail application and removal, nail decoration and nail repair. They can also check clients' nails for potential problems prior to treatment. Nail technicians often work with chemicals and know about safety and hygiene practices. They typically work in beauty salons, nail salons, health spas or from clients' homes. They're good at working with their hands, have excellent attention to detail, understand various nail products and have good customer service skills.

In addition to applying directly for roles where individuals can train on the job, there are also college courses and apprenticeships that provide the necessary skills and experience. Some examples to consider include a level 2 or level 3 certificate in nail technology, a level 1 or level 2 certificate in nail treatments and a level 2 award in nail art. There's also the option for a nail services technician for intermediate apprenticeship.

Read more: How to become a nail tech: A step-by-step guide

6. Tattoo artist

National average salary: £37,829 per year

Primary duties: Tattoo artists apply tattoos to clients' bodies. This typically involves discussing tattoo designs with the client beforehand, advising them on their options, drawing design ideas by hand in advance and using needles for injecting ink under the skin to apply the actual tattoos. They also make sure that all of their equipment is clean and sterilised. It's possible to become a tattoo artist by applying for entry-level or trainee positions, or through specialised courses that teach the necessary skills.

Tattoo artists might also work as body piercers. This involves a similar client advising process, explaining options, recommending types of metals for the jewellery and using piercing equipment. Just like tattooing equipment, they keep this clean and sterile. Tattoo artists and body piercers typically work in a dedicated studio or a store.

Read more: How much do tattoo artists make and what do they do?

7. Model

National average salary: £40,419 per year

Primary duties: Models promote and showcase various items of clothing and beauty products by wearing them. They can do this for magazines, promotional materials or at fashion events. Many models can specialise in a certain type of modelling. Some specialisations include runway modelling, commercial modelling, editorial modelling, parts modelling and glamour modelling. For instance, a parts model showcases items and products for certain parts of the body. These can include hair products, nails, footwear and piercings or jewellery. Editorial models primarily work for fashion magazines and can showcase a wide variety of products, including beauty products.

Models typically work with fashion designers, product promoters, photographers, makeup artists and various other professionals in the beauty industry. Becoming a model typically means applying directly for the role, as the most important aspect of a model is the right appearance and proportions, although this can vary significantly. Models often work with agencies, take promotional photographs and details, network with industry professionals and maintain their physical appearance to match the particular type of modelling they're interested in pursuing. Models can also develop a personal portfolio to help promote themselves.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌


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