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Cosmetician Job Description, Career as a Cosmetician, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: High school diploma

Salary Median: $19,600 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Cosmeticians serve clients in drug stores, department stores, and other retail beauty enterprises. Cosmeticians used to sell hair-care, skin-care, and makeup products from door-to-door. That still exists today, but the majority of cosmeticians now work at skin-care and makeup counters in stores.

Cosmeticians demonstrate products through video and photographs, or by applying makeup directly on clients’ faces. They consult with customers and provide suggestions regarding various cosmetic products until their customers feel satisfied. Some typical tasks of cosmeticians include promoting and selling cosmetic products; advising customers on health, skin care, types and colors of makeup; and keeping records of services.

Cosmeticians differ from cosmetologists in some respects. Cosmetologists offer a wide variety of beauty services like shampooing, coloring, cutting, and styling hair to help improve customers’ appearances and make them feel confident. They are trained to provide makeup analysis, and can also offer pedicures, manicures, and facial and scalp treatments. Cosmetologists may advise on taking care of hair and on darkening or lightening hair color. Those who have their own salons perform managerial duties, such as hiring and supervising workers, as well as maintaining inventory and business records, arranging for advertising, and ordering supplies.

Education and Training Requirements

In order to become a cosmetician or cosmetologist, candidates need to have a high school diploma. They are generally trained through seminars and practice sessions funded by the companies that make beauty products. Candidates can also attend postsecondary courses in makeup artistry, cosmetology, or sales and marketing. Some employers prefer cosmeticians who have completed a correspondence course in cosmetics. Individuals interested in this profession should discuss their employment options with prospective employers and practicing cosmeticians.

Getting the Job

Most cosmetology schools help students find jobs. The majority of these institutes offer placement services, and the good reputation of an institute can highly enhance job opportunities for a graduate. Apart from these, job sites on the Internet, in newspaper classifieds, and through professional associations are good sources of information.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Experienced cosmeticians employed in cosmetics departments can advance to managerial or supervisory positions. Some are employed as sales representatives. Proper training may help them move into other related occupations.

Employment is expected to increase in the coming years in response to expansion of the salon industry, population growth, and higher incomes. Employment outlook will also be highly influenced by a number of other factors, such as location, occupational growth, employment turnover, and trends affecting overall employment.

Working Conditions

Cosmeticians represent various beauty products, serving clients in retail or department stores. Some may sell items from door-to-door, while others may organize parties to promote beauty products. Cosmeticians generally work regular hours but may be required to work in the evenings and on weekends.

Cosmeticians need to spend time interacting with clients, advising them on skin care, makeup application, and other products that might be beneficial. They usually do not travel unless they need to carry products into customers’ homes.

Where to Go for More Information

Personal Care Products Council
1101 Seventeenth St., NW, Suite 300,
Washington DC 20036-4702

Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors Association
1220 W. Northwest Hwy
Palatine, IL 60067

Salary, Earnings and Benefits

Cosmeticians usually earn hourly wages. They can also get commissions in addition to their salary. Cosmeticians working in the United States earn between $11,100 and $45,500 annually. Entry-level salary is normally around $13,020 per year. The average annual salary is approximately $19,600.

Benefits for cosmeticians employed by large department and retail stores often include health insurance, holidays, and paid vacations.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesConsumer and Personal Services