Best Beauty Jobs for Your Personality and Goals

Cosmetology is a broad field for people who love beauty and working with others. But, not every job is right for every person with these passions.

So, how do you know which job is right for you?

Let's look at popular cosmetology careers and pair them with needs and personalities. Who knows? Maybe you'll find your dream job today!

Best Cosmetology Job for People Hoping to Start Fast: Nail Technician

Nail technicians may be able to get jobs quickly, as it's the 31st fastest-growing job of all careers! The job is expected to grow by 22% between 2021 and 2031.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Nail Technician?

Nail techs are paid among the lowest amount of all licensed beauty careers at just over $30,000 per year in average earnings. But, it can be a good starting point in a beauty career as you gain experience or perhaps add other licensure later.

Best Cosmetology Job for Game-Changers: Natural Hair and Hair Braiding

While hair braiding, natural hair styling, and the desire for these services aren't new, the laws making such specialists more necessary are changing. The CROWN Act bans educational and employment discrimination based on wearing Black hair in natural or braided styles.

Most cosmetology programs have, historically, left natural hair out of the curriculum. However, schools are starting to offer it as a requirement or an additional class. So, if you want to be part of the solution to a systemic problem, becoming a hair braider or natural hair specialist could be right for you.

What's the Downside to Becoming a Natural Hairstylist or Hair Braider?

Natural hairstylists and braiders mostly serve BIPOC. So, you need to be aware of the demographics of the area where you work and the likely demand for your services, just like with any other specialization in beauty.

Best Cosmetology Job for People Who Like Variety: Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists can do the most out of all beauty professionals. Haircuts and hair designs? Check. Makeup? Check. Nails? Check. The list goes on!

They can't do everything you might think, though. For instance, only barbers can do major work on facial hair.

If you want to work in a field where you can either specialize or provide a wide range of services—that is, control your destiny!—cosmetology could be the ideal choice.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Cosmetologist?

Despite being a broad career, narrower fields make more money on average. So consider specializing if you want to earn more money but remain able to do a bit of everything.

Best Career for Moneymakers: Theatre and Performance Makeup Artist

Makeup artists for theatre and performing arts make the most money out of all beauty careers, averaging $124,380 annually. The number of jobs is also expected to grow by 7% between 2021 and 2031.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Theatre and Performance Makeup Artist?

Only a few states report on their Theatre and Performance Makeup Artist career statistics. So, it's hard to tell if you can get a job locally or get a firm grasp on nationwide pay.

Best Cosmetology Career for Those With No Licensure Training: Shampooer

Shampooers don't need licenses to work in the field. Despite this, their pay averages $25,160 per year ($12.09 per hour), and the number of jobs is growing rapidly.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Shampooer?

Few states provide data on shampooing careers, so it's hard to tell how in-demand the jobs are nationwide.

Best Cosmetology Field for Those With Strong Stomachs: Death Care Services

Death care services have the fifth-highest employment for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists out of all fields. So if you're comfortable dealing with death, grieving family members, and doing reconstructive work, this could be a great niche.

What's the Downside of Working as a Cosmetologist in Death Care Services?

No matter what My Girl taught us, it's rare for cosmetologists to work in death care services without other licenses or certifications. Many who prepare bodies for viewing are trained as embalmers, funeral attendants, or other mortuary or funeral professionals.

Best Career for Cosmetology Crossovers: Barber

Cosmetology is the broadest beauty career, but barbers can do several things cosmetologists can't…plus many they can! So, it makes sense that this would be one of the more popular careers to cross over with.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Barber?

This isn't so much a downside to being a barber as a matter of self-reflection. While the number of women who visit barbers to get their hair done is growing, most clients identify as male. So if you'd rather work with women more frequently, cosmetology may be a better choice than barbering.

Best Cosmetology Career for Caregivers: Esthetician

Estheticians are needed by the general population and those with specific needs, making this a great field for caregivers.

For example, medical estheticians often work with people recovering from or undergoing medical treatments. Though this career doesn't require unique licensure, additional training is generally needed.

To take it a step further, you could get a nursing degree and work as a nurse esthetician.

What's the Downside of Becoming an Esthetician?

If you're not comfortable getting up close and personal with people—quite literally, as estheticians may get in people's faces or wax private areas—this may not be the job for you.

Best Cosmetology Career for Playing it Safe: Massage Therapist

By "playing it safe," we mean massage therapists are already in demand, and the field is growing.

The number of massage therapists is expected to grow by 20% between 2021 and 2031, making it the 42nd fastest-growing career, period!

What's the Downside of Becoming a Massage Therapist?

Massage therapy is an intensely physical job. Expect to spend hours on your feet and working your muscles daily. Plus, massage therapists physically interact with all sorts of patrons and could occasionally find themselves in uncomfortable positions.

Best Cosmetology Career for Artists: Permanent Makeup Artist

Permanent makeup artists often work as tattoo artists in general, meaning this could be a fabulous choice for people who like to do all sorts of artwork.

What's the Downside of Becoming a Permanent Makeup Artist?

Permanent makeup is, well, permanent. So, no matter how great your work is, you could end up with unhappy customers who make life unpleasant.

Best Beauty Careers for Science Lovers: Electrologist and Laser Hair Removal Specialist

Did you love science class? Then becoming an electrologist or laser hair removal specialist may be great for you! You can engage with those fascinating scientific concepts without spending years upon years in school and help people feel great about themselves.

What's the Downside of Becoming an Electrologist or Laser Hair Removal Specialist?

Electrology and laser hair removal are narrow areas, so it may be worth having it as a specialty under a broader license (like esthetics or skincare). This lets you offer more services and potentially attract more clients.

Best Cosmetology Career for Business-Minded People: Salon Manager

Salon managers run salons, spas, or other beauty locations. They manage all aspects of the business, including customer service, training and development, finances, and more. If you like being the boss, this may be right for you.

What Are the Downsides of Becoming a Salon Manager?

Salon managers have to make the tough calls about hiring and firing. You may also be unable to do many artistic parts of the job.

If you want to be the boss but get to keep being creative and not worry about others' careers, perhaps freelancing would be best for you.

Best Cosmetology Career for Mentors: Cosmetology Teacher

If you find yourself naturally training new cosmetologists at work, becoming a cosmetology teacher may be worth considering.

What are the Downsides of Becoming a Cosmetology Teacher?

You could be the world's best cosmetologist, but those skills don't necessarily translate to being an excellent teacher. Consider training new workers or talking to current cosmetology instructors to get the nitty-gritty details about the skills needed to rock at teaching.

Best Cosmetology Career for Risk-Takers: Influencer

Becoming an influencer can be a high-risk, high-reward move. While having a cosmetology license isn't necessary to get started, having one can help, as it raises your authority. Then, finding a more specific niche could be useful.

This is a high-risk career because the pros make it look easy, but it's a full-time job. Making a reasonable income if you dedicate yourself to this full-time immediately may be challenging. However, it can be a high reward because, if things go well, you may make a good amount doing something you enjoy.

What Are the Downsides of Becoming an Influencer?

Unlike traditional cosmetology careers, you likely don't have a mentor to help you find work. This is almost always all on you. You also need the materials and financial stability to give it a go before you begin.

What Other Cosmetology Careers Are There?

There are dozens of cosmetology-related careers—you're only limited by your imagination!

For instance, you could specialize in makeup, allowing you to do anything from makeup for special events, theme parks, or movies.

There are even cosmetologists and estheticians who travel the world!

And those are only a couple of the unique cosmetology career options out there.

The key is to reflect, figure out what makes you smile, and go for it.

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