IBMC Articles

9 Exciting Beauty Career Options

After learning all the essential skills you need to become successful in the beauty industry at IBMC College, you’ll need to discover which career pathway is the best fit for you. There are many options a cosmetologist, hairstylist, and esthetician can go into after they receive their state license, including becoming a brand/product specialist, platform artist, as well as the more traditional paths of working behind the chair.

Read below to get inspired and find out which career you might be interested in. IBMC College’s Career Services Department can help you land your career for whichever path you choose!

Want a quick glance at the different career paths? Click here to see the Beauty Careers Infographic!

1. Hairstylist

  • 1-2 years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $31,670

Hairstylists work mostly in a barbershop or salon, although some can work in higher-end spas. Another option is to lease booth space from a salon owner, which can give a hairstylist more flexibility in scheduling. Many hairstylists work full-time and often during weekends, as that’s when their clients are free.

*; Occupation code: 39-5012; Colorado annual mean wage

2. Esthetician

  • 1 year or less of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $49,150

Estheticians and skincare specialists usually work in salons and beauty and health spas; however, some work in medical offices and dermatology clinics to treat more severe skin issues. They typically work full-time, with many working evenings and weekends.

*; Occupation code: 39-5094; Colorado annual mean wage

3. Nail Technician

  • 1-2 years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $27,360

Nail technicians typically work full- or part-time in a nail salon, spa or hair salon; however, as a freelance artist, you could provide mobile services and travel to your clients’ locations.

*; Occupation code: 39-5092; Colorado annual mean wage

4. Platform Artist

  • 1-2+ years of higher education
  • Average daily salary*: $600-$800

Platform artists perform on stage at beauty shows, industry events and advanced education seminars, etc. to train, educate and entertain industry peers. A small number of cosmetologists work full-time as platform artists but most are part-time, doing freelance platform work on weekends in addition to their full-time jobs in a salon.


5. Brand/Product Specialist

  • 1+ years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $64,289

Being a brand specialist might involve traveling to achieve established retail sales goals, build brand awareness, create and maintain long-term relationships with customers. This position utilizes outstanding customer service and organizational skills to ensure the customers will experience superior standards of service.


6. Salon Manager/Owner

  • 1-4+ years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $39,411

After some experience working in a salon, spa, etc., some cosmetologists are promoted to be the salon or spa’s manager, where they take on a more administrative and mentor role.


7. Cosmetology Instructor

  • 1-2+ years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $24,950-$49,087

A cosmetology instructor teaches a variety of courses in nail technology, hairstyling and other beautifying arts, in addition to teaching business skills, such as management and marketing, since cosmetologists often run their own businesses. Instructors typically teach in 2-year colleges and cosmetology schools.


8. Cruise Ship/Resort Employee

  • 1-2 years of higher education
  • Average monthly salary*: $1,500-$2,000

Because work weeks on a cruise ship are typically longer than your typical work week, a cruise ship employee can expect to work more than 45 hours in a week on average. After working on a cruise ship or at a resort for a year, most companies offer their employees discounts, saving you money on your next family vacation!


9. Personal Stylist

  • 1-2 years of higher education
  • Average annual salary*: $37,652

Being a personal hair and makeup artist is the perfect career for someone who desires flexibility in their hours, their clients and their tasks. You could work for a musician, brides, actresses/actors, or maybe a celebrity one day!

Request Info