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California Cosmetologist Salary

Abundant job opportunities and high earnings for cosmetologists in California has garnered national attention. In fact, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), in May 2013:

  • California held the third highest employment level for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in the nation
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Division held the sixth highest employment level for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists among metropolitan areas in the nation
  • San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City was the top paying metropolitan area for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in the nation
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Average Wages for Cosmetologists in California

To become a cosmetologist in California, personal care professionals must first obtain an occupational cosmetologist license from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

In the 1st Quarter of 2014, the California Employment Development Department reported cosmetologists earned an average wage of $13.36/hr. Additional average wages include:

  • Bottom 25% $9.17/hr.
  • Median Percentile: $11.07/hr.
  • Top 25% $15.07/hr.

*These wage statistics do not account for service tips by clients. Therefore, cosmetologists often earn much higher take-home pay then government figures suggest.

Average Wages for Manicurists in California

Cosmetologists that intend to perform manicurist services in California must obtain an additional occupational manicurist license from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.

During the 1st Quarter of 2014, the Employment Development Department reported manicurists earned an average wage of $9.92/hr. and an average median wage of $9.19/hr. Like cosmetologists, manicurists often receive tips along with base pay.

Salary Averages for Cosmetologists in California

In 2013, the USBLS found cosmetologists in California earning in the following salary percentiles:

  • 10th Percentile: $17,700/yr.
  • 25th Percentile: $18,900/yr.
  • Median Percentile: $22,900/yr.
  • 75th Percentile: $31,100/yr.
  • 90th Percentile: $43,800/yr.

Area-Specific Pay Averages for Cosmetologists in California

In 2013, the USBLS released the following area-specific salary data for cosmetologists in California:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield-Delano, CA
320
23740
Chico CA
90
23060
Fresno CA
200
25010
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
6690
27960
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
9080
27940
Merced CA
80
32030
Modesto CA
310
21290
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
1460
29890
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA
350
27140
Redding CA
110
25550
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
2770
21330
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA
1350
25290
Salinas CA
Estimate not released
35730
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
2730
32770
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
2940
34600
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Division
1480
39220
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
2020
23760
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles CA
130
27350
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division
2380
27890
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta CA
250
24220
Santa Cruz-Watsonville CA
190
27700
Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA
410
23710
Stockton CA
280
22850
Vallejo-Fairfield CA
270
22120
Visalia-Porterville CA
60
22390
Yuba City CA
80
24450
Northern Mountains Region of California nonmetropolitan area
50
22050

Area-Specific Pay Averages for Manicurists in California

In 2013, the USBLS released the following area-specific salary data for manicurists in California:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Bakersfield-Delano, CA
Estimate not released
35340
Fresno CA
150
21150
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA Metropolitan Division
4170
20220
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana CA
5550
19910
Napa CA
50
21960
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward CA Metropolitan Division
2090
20400
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura CA
Estimate not released
19700
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario CA
1440
19070
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville CA
1250
20310
Salinas CA
140
26100
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos CA
1870
21280
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont CA
3960
21550
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City CA Metropolitan Division
1870
22830
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara CA
1580
19180
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division
1380
18980
Santa Rosa-Petaluma CA
Estimate not released
25010
Stockton CA
Estimate not released
18080
Vallejo-Fairfield CA
Estimate not released
17700
Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area
50
22240

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