The World of the Beauty Industry and the Careers in It

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

Cosmetology, though not the same as the industry we have now, was always important for civilizations throughout history. The finest example of this is Ancient Egyptian civilization, where individuals made makeup with organic materials and henna to dye their nails and hair. 

Ancient Romans used vermillion to color their lips red and had different dyed hair colors to represent societal status among women. Ancient Rome was what created a base for many future beauty standards, with women being ideal with pale skin, large eyes, and red lips. 

We hear about beauty every day of our lives, but what is cosmetology actually like as an industry? 

Cosmetology is a broad term for all the professions that relate to aesthetics where it studies and applies such treatments to enhance certain aspects of one’s beauty. This application ranges from being a hairstylist to a skincare specialist and everything in between.

The beauty industry is worth about $511 billion US as of 2022, portraying the high demand there is for these societal aesthetic standards to be maintained. Working in the beauty industry can be a healthy and rewarding experience, especially when working in a well-paying or creative sector. 

Let’s first look at what sectors there are within the beauty industry that may be a good option for you. We will first be looking at the highest paying jobs in cosmetology, then at the lower wage ones.

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Cosmetology areas

Skincare Specialist

We often hear this term being tossed around when we’re watching Youtube videos on skincare, but being a skincare specialist involves more than just making quirky videos on the subject. 

As a skin care specialist, your job is to cleanse and replenish the skin using products you are educated on and know work. The reason this sector is so popular is thanks to society placing importance on healthy, clear skin. 

The job involves facials, waxing, cosmetic tattooing (with a proper license), doing makeup sometimes, and so on.

This standard isn’t necessarily bad but can prove harmful for some individuals who are less fortunate with their skin. This reason is also why skincare specialists are useful in increasing one’s self-esteem or simply helping someone relax thanks to the pampering treatment.

These specialists have an above-average income, but that comes at the price of many work hours which can even overlap with weekends and holidays. Apart from the income, these specialists are rewarded with their clientele as well, building potentially strong relationships through their careers.

Theatrical and performance makeup artists

Performance makeup art is what you see during theater plays and musicals, circuses, and other such performances. Being a makeup artist working for performances is usually done by fresh cosmetology students to gain experience and maybe earn some income during. 

Being a performance makeup artist on a more professional level earns you a large paycheck and a large title amongst the right crowds such as the Cirque du Soleil and Broadway. 

Your job is to essentially do each performer’s makeup to match the draft you were given about the character they play. These looks range from more precise and realistic looks to total fantasy patterns. 

One of the factors to pay attention to is to use the right product so it doesn’t wear off during the performance.

Owning a Salon

Being your own boss is one of the most obvious ways to earn well since your earnings are mostly in your hands. Most cosmetologists have the main goal of becoming business owners, and most of them do succeed thanks to the clientele they amass whilst working elsewhere. 

Being the owner of a salon means you are the one in charge of branding, marketing, hygienic standards, decoration, location, permits, staff, products, and most importantly, profits. 

Beauty Copywriter

If you are passionate about cosmetology and also have sturdy writing skills then becoming a beauty copywriter is right for you. The job requires you to have a good amount of expertise in the industry whilst also being able to write and entice customers into buying a company’s product. 

The reason you need a background in the field is that you need to correctly understand the products you’re writing about and also know their effects on people’s skin. If you wish to pursue this career, prepare to be sought out by multi-billion dollar beauty companies for your work. 

Thanks to the corporate demand for being a beauty copywriter, this line of work is one of the highest paying jobs in cosmetology out there. If you dislike that world though, you can just as easily pursue freelance work and be well off with that as well. 

Hair Stylist

Hairstylists do clients’ hair, which includes washing, cutting, drying, perms and chemical treatments, bleaching, coloring, and so on. A hairstylist has one’s immediate image in their hands since the face and hair is the first thing people notice.

Hairstylists can earn really well in exclusive salons or when owning private salons, and have the gratification of completely transforming clients and making them love themselves even more. 

Hairstyling is one of those careers where if you’re passionate about your job you are the most rewarded for the gratification. 

Nail technician 

Nail technicians have the wonderful freedom of being more creative in their job thanks to the artistic expression they portray on clients’ nails. Though many artists don’t earn as well as others, the clientele is what is rewarding in this career.

Nail techs usually do different types of manicures and pedicures, gel nails, acrylic nails, silk nails, and even medical treatments sometimes. Usually, if you have clients who are satisfied with your work, you almost earn a cult-like following, with your clients only trusting you to do their nails. 

How to become a cosmetician

To become a worker in the field of cosmetology you must first go to school for it. There are many different programs that if completed will provide you with a license for this field. In school, you will be taught all the skills you need to do your dream job properly.

You will also be able to easily gain experience in actually working in this career as well as learn about the business side of things.

You must also sit for the state board or any official board in your region for them to test your acquired knowledge in the school and let you pass towards applying for your license. 

The last step is applying for your cosmetology license within your country. Partaking in regional contests also helps build your credibility in the industry.

Why should you work in cosmetology?

Flexible scheduling is a luxury not many jobs can have, but cosmetology, though busy, means you can choose your hours and clients as well. 

The flexibility is also present in finding your niche since you can easily switch from hair to nails if you really want to, as long as you practice and get your license. 

The creativity you get to unleash in all these different forms provides a reward not many other careers do since you are also helping people become happier whilst being artistic.

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