Makeup Artist Schools

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Makeup Artist Career Overview

A makeup artist will generally be responsible for the application of makeup and other cosmetics for use in professional settings, such as photo shoots, film and television, or special events. Individuals in this field must be familiar with the various functions of their, uses and imagery provided by the proper application of makeup, and how they will appear in the recipients given medium.

How to Become a Makeup Artist

Students from all over the country as us questions about how to become a certified makeup artist.  The answer is that there are currently no educational requirements to enter the field as a makeup artist.  That being said, many professionals elect to earn a certification in makeup design or take industry-specific training in makeup.   Training programs for makeup artists will vary from program to program but a sampling of classes may include one or more of the following:

  • Fundamentals of Beauty & Corrective Makeup
  • Theatrical Makeup
  • Special Effects & Fantasy Makeup
  • Fashion & Photographic Makeup
  • HDTV & Film Makeup
  • Lab Techniques
  • Prosthetic Makeup
  • Multimedia Makeup

Adjacent college degree programs for a makeup artist may include esthetician and cosmetology.  Students may elect to pursue a college degree in either discipline as an additive education track in an effort to enhance versatility and career stability.

On-campus or online esthetician college degree programs teach student makeup skills.  While traditional estheticians enroll in associate degree programs through an accredited college to become skin care professionals, the range of classes may prove to be beneficial for a makeup artist.  Classes in an associate degree program for an esthetician include makeup, facial services, skin care, wellness, and body care.  In addition to earning an associate’s degree, an esthetician must also pass a licensing examination in their state of residence.

Online cosmetology programs or classroom-based cosmetology degrees can be earned from a number of colleges near you or from around the country.  Makeup artists have the opportunity to enroll in a certified cosmetology program to expand their employment opportunities and to learn new material.  From makeup to skin care and hair care to salon management, the cosmetologist degree track may be a great choice for those looking to enter the field.  Like the esthetician program, a cosmetologist must earn a degree and then successfully pass their state’s examination to be granted a license.

Online Makeup Artist Certificate

A student looking to enter the field as a makeup artist or a working professional looking to learn more about the industry are encouraged to take classes from accredited schools.  Online training programs for makeup artists and online professional certificates for makeup artists can be necessary to begin a career in this competitive field.  Below you will find a number of accredited colleges and certified programs offering online programs for makeup artists as well as on-site programs.  The benefits of earning an online certificate in makeup artistry include flexibility, independence, quality instruction, robust curriculum, and often a lower cost.  To learn more about these programs, simply request information from the schools below and they will be in touch with program & admissions information straight away.

Top 5 Job Responsibilities for a Makeup Artist

The United States Department of Labor recently conducted a survey of makeup artists to better understand what their job responsibilities entail.  The list below represents the top 5 job responsibilities of a makeup artist.

  1. The application of makeup to enhance, improve, or alter the appearance of individuals in productions such as plays, musicals, and movies
  2. Communicate and collaborate with stage production managers, motion picture professionals, and performers to determine desired net effects
  3. Replicate work precisely day over day to enhance the appearance of actors and performers
  4. Help to establish and manage production budgets
  5. Actively maintain makeup and update makeup during productions to achieve continuity of the production or to compensate for lighting changes

Job Titles for Makeup Artists

There are a number of different job titles to represent a professional makeup artist.  For education purposes, we have included a sample list of the most popular job titles for makeup artists from around the country.  The most common job titles for a professional makeup artist include:

  • Commercial Makeup Artist
  • Hair & Makeup Designer
  • Makeup Artist
  • Prosthetic Makeup Designer
  • Special Effects Makeup Artist
  • Theatrical Makeup Artist
  • Terminal Makeup Operator
  • Makeup Instructor
  • Freelance Makeup Artist
  • Body Makeup Artist
  • Persulfate Makeup Operator

Education Requirements for Makeup Artists

Makeup artists traditionally study their craft at an accredited cosmetology school, though some community or career colleges may carry programs in this area, and offer a certificate, associate degree or bachelor's degree. These programs will cover the various techniques, products, and styles that are used in the application of cosmetics onto a person. An understanding of color  will also be presented, as well as an exploration of theory and technique in order to effectively perform one's duties.

A curriculum may include:

  • Application
  • Color
  • Skin Care
  • Lighting and Matching
  • Touch Up and Repair

Schools that offer job placement services and have a strong track record for employed and successful students are particularly desirable, as they provide potential students with a strong education, and in the case of some schools, may provide notoriety in regards to trained student output. Schools should be researched in advance in order to ensure they meet personal and professional standards.

Schools Other Students Requested Information From:

Employment Opportunities in Makeup Artistry

Individuals in this field will typically seek employment at local television stations, theaters, or any other place that may require a professional makeup artist on staff. Individuals may also work freelance, particularly on film or short term productions, or for photo shoots, usually as a trusted personal aide, or professional colleague of the overseeing individual. Job growth is expected to remain steady, as this positions are replaced by individuals moving other fields or retiring.

Industry estimated to grow 14% which is much faster than the national composite average for all jobs which is estimated to be 7% growth through 2024.  The average annual median income for a makeup artist is $60,970 which translates to $29.31 per hour.  Jobs for makeup artists and cosmetologists are expected to grow by 64,400 during this same reporting period.

The International Make-Up Association is an organization that provides qualifications in techniques used by makeup artists, allowing individuals to demonstrate their competencies in difficult areas through practice and examinations.  Likewise, the Makeup and Beauty Association (MABA) helps graduates and professional across the country extend their body of knowledge with networking opportunities to help advance the field.

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Related Areas of Study

Career Summary: Makeup artist Major




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