In Rhode Island’s thriving beauty industry you get to choose between specialties and decide if you want to work full or part-time. You can be a regular employee or, if being your own boss turns you on, you can opt to lease a chair in a salon or spa for a monthly fee; be a freelancer who performs services in client homes; or even own your own shop. You’ll need good communication and marketing skills if you elect to take this route.
Of course you’re interested in learning how much money you can make. Again, the beauty industry offers a wide range of possibilities. Government salary estimates usually do not include tips or gratuities which are an important factor. Most beauticians are tipped between 10 and 25 percent of the cost of the service. Independent contractors who lease a chair can set their own prices but they must be competitive and still earn enough to make a nice profit after covering rent and other expenses like tools and supplies. Employees of cosmetics or beauty product companies earn a base salary plus commissions on products they sell. You’ll want to carefully consider all of your options.
Cosmetologists learn the basics of all beauty occupations, including hairdressing, hairstyling, barbering, skin care, nail technology and makeup application. In order to become a licensed cosmetologist in Rhode Island you’ll have to attend a state-approved beauty school for a minimum of 1,500 hours and pass both a written and practical exam given by the State Board of Cosmetology. According to the 2003 report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are 870 cosmetologists employed in Rhode Island. Their estimated annual salaries and hourly wages are as follows:
Cosmetologist salaries in the Providence Metropolitan Area are a bit higher:
Nail Technician Salaries
Nail technicians give manicures and pedicures, including the application of false mails. You will need to complete 300 hours of beauty school training and pass the appropriate board exam in order to become a licensed nail technician in Rhode Island.
The BLS reports that the 470 nail technicians working in Rhode Island in 2013 earned the following annual salaries and hourly wages.
If you decide you want to become a licensed skin care specialist, formally called esthetician, you’ll need to spend 600 hours in beauty school and pass the appropriate board exam. As an esthetician, you’ll focus on enhancing the appearance of skin by providing such services as facials, masks and scrubs.
The BLS reports (2013) that 150 estheticians are employed in Rhode Island earning the following salaries/wages.
Higher salaries/wages can be expected in the Providence Metropolitan Area:
Makeup Artist Salaries
Makeup artists can focus on theatrical/production work or personal appearance makeup. No license is required in Rhode Island; however, you’ll want to complete an accredited makeup artist certification training program. Theatrical makeup artists have the potential to earn much higher salaries (top artists earn $125,000 or more); however, you are most likely to be a personal appearance makeup artist in Rhode Island where you might be employed by a salon, spa, bridal boutique or cosmetics company.
Location has an important impact on salaries. The following is an aggregate of annual salaries offered for makeup artists in various Rhode Island cities.
- Warwick – $40,000
- Cranston – $35,000
- Pawtucket – $35,000
- Providence – $35,000
You will have to complete 1,500 hours of barber school training and pass the State Board of Barbering and Hairdressing exam in order to become a licensed barber in Rhode Island. Barbers shampoo, cut, trim and style head and facial hair, primarily for male clients. They also give custom shaves. As a licensed barber, you will probably work in a salon or barbershop renting a chair or in a commission-based position.
According to the BLS (2013), barbers earn the following salaries/wages nationally.