If you spend most of your time following the latest beauty trends and trying out the most popular skincare and makeup routines, then you’re probably destined for a career in the beauty industry.
There are hundreds of opportunities waiting for, regardless of whether or not you have an artistic hand! And to help you find the perfect one, we’ve put together this list of the 18 most exciting beauty careers.
Average salary: $30,080 / £62,820
Dermatologists are medical doctors that specialise in skin, hair and nail concerns. To become a dermatologist, you’ll need a real passion for treating extreme cases (think: Dr. Pimple Popper) and have the stomach to handle it, too!
Browse dermatologist jobs
2. Eyelash technician
Average salary: $30,080 / £17,500
If fluttery eyelashes excite you, you might want to consider becoming a certified lash technician. The best part is that you don’t have to sit through three years of beauty school; indeed, within just three days, you can be well on your way to becoming an entrepreneur with your first set of clients.
3. Graphic designer
Average salary: $48,700 / £33,000
If you have a passion for graphic design and beauty, you can combine your love for both and work for a major beauty brand. Cult Beauty, Feelunique and Huda Beauty are just a handful of online beauty retail sites that hire skilled designers to help them keep up with their changing graphics.
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4. Product developer
Average salary: $55,900 / £27,800
As a product developer, you’ll be responsible for mocking up and testing new products for beauty ranges. So, if you really have a passion for formulas, textures and consistencies, this is the ideal job to get your hands stuck into the making of skincare and cosmetic products.
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5. Spa owner
Average salary: Variable
If you have business management experience, you could open your own salon or spa and focus on your main passion – the best part is that you get to be your own boss. You could also aim to open a salon if you’re a trained beauty therapist and work in your own establishment while managing your staff members.
6. Beauty PR specialist
Average salary: $47,310 / £25,000
As a PR specialist, you’ll be working to place your brand in the best light possible and increase their popularity. To succeed in this role, you’ll need to have good interpersonal skills and be able to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
7. Nail technician
Average salary: $24,530 / £15,500
Working as a nail tech, you’ll create unique designs and nail art while giving your clients the nail length and strength that they’ve always wanted. You will also have the option to work in a salon or as a freelancer or open your own business.
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8. Hair stylist
Average salary: $24,900 / £22,000
If you have a knack for styling hair, you’ll excel as a hair stylist. In such a large field, you can specialise in colouring, styling, wedding hair or extensions, and even work towards becoming a celebrity stylist.
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9. Beauty writer
Average salary: $61,820 / £22,690
As a beauty writer, you can work for a glossy magazine or a trending website, or venture off on your own and start your own blog. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll mainly write about new products and trends in the beauty industry.
10. Special effects makeup artist
Average salary: $69,310 / £20,650
To work as a special effects makeup artist, you need to have the artistic talent to transform faces and bodies. This profession involves special training and requires a lot of dedication if you want to make it onto a film set or theatre stage.
11. Laser hair removal technician
Average salary: $30,080 / £17,500
Laser hair removal is becoming increasingly popular in the beauty field, with many women – and men – seeking permanent hair removal methods. If you’re not shy with a laser gun, you could invest in your certification and a machine before setting up your own business.
12. Massage therapist
Average salary: $39,990 / £19,940
As a massage therapist, you’ll help relieve people’s stress and knots from their muscles, making them feel more relaxed. To succeed in this career, you’ll need a calm and friendly persona to make your clients feel comfortable.
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13. Image consultant/Stylist
Average salary: $32,540 / £27,000
An image consultant helps their clients improve their overall look with styling, makeup and skincare tips. So, if you’re interested in the overall package, you could help transform people’s appearance on a daily basis, making them feel happier and more confident in the process.
Browse stylist jobs
14. Cosmetic surgeon
Average salary: $208,000 / £64,425
Cosmetic surgeons, otherwise known as plastic surgeons, help clients change their aesthetics by undergoing specific surgical and nonsurgical treatments. To succeed in this field, you’ll need to undergo years of studies and practice before you can work on your own patients.
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Average salary: $32,490/ £27,000
As a photographer, you can find your niche in beauty shots, taking pictures for glossy magazines, brands and online resources. You’ll need to have a good portfolio to showcase your work and bag the job of your dreams.
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Average salary: $30,080 / £17,500
Aestheticians, otherwise known as beauty therapists, are trained professionals who can offer a range of beauty treatments, including tailored facials, waxing, massages and nail services. People who follow this path usually choose a few procedures that they are good at and focus on them.
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Average salary: $24,900 / £17,500
The job growth for makeup artists has risen immensely over the last 10 years, proving that there really is a demand for people who can enhance natural beauty by using a few cosmetic products. To enter into the field, you’ll need professional training and certification, and good social media skills to promote yourself online.
Browse cosmetologist jobs
Average salary: $22,900 / £28,000
Another career option is becoming a brand ambassador for a company and appearing in a number of their campaigns. To succeed as a model, you’ll need to meet specific physical requirements and have the look that the brand is seeking.
As you can see, many beauty jobs go beyond stereotypes. You just need to have the passion and dedication to make it in this highly competitive market.
Which career path would you follow? Join in on the conversation below to let us know!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 9 June 2015.
Salaries are intended as a guide and vary depending on employer and level of experience. Salary information is based on data compiled and published by a variety of sources, including PayScale, the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook and the National Careers Service.