There are approximately 24,590 cosmetologists licensed in New York State, which at 2.85 per 1,000 jobs, has the second highest concentration of hairdressers, hairstylists, nail technicians and skincare specialists in the nation. Cosmetologists are licensed by the New York Department of Licensing Services after completing a 1,000-hour state-approved cosmetology course and successfully passing a state examination which includes both written and practical components. License candidates must be knowledgeable about New York’s Appearance Enhancement License Law.
Comparison between Cosmetologist Salaries in the U.S. and New York State
Since tipping is standard in this industry, take-home earnings are considerably higher than many of the salaries seen here.
There are 44 state-approved cosmetology schools in New York State from which approximately 4,954 students graduate each year to begin a career that the government predicts will enjoy a 10 percent increase in jobs by 2018. According to the results of a 2013 NY Department of Labor (DOL) survey of 213,000 businesses, new graduates seeking employment can expect an entry-level annual salary of $16,920 plus gratuities, while an experienced cosmetologist seeking work can expect an annual salary of around $34,620 plus gratuities.
Additional Salary Data for Cosmetologists in New York
The website Cosmetologypay.com reports New York cosmetologist salaries as
- Starting Annual Salary – $29,168 to $43,752
- Average Annual Salary – $36,460 to $52,086
- Top Annual Salaries – $41,669 to $63,503
- Starting Hourly Wage – $13.00 to $20.00
- Average Hourly Wage – $16.00 to $24.00
- Top Hourly Wage – $19.00 to $28.00
Some hair salons allow cosmetologists to keep their own gratuities while others collect all tips and distribute them equally among the workers. Although many salons pay a base salary, others “rent” a chair to individual cosmetologists who are then effectively self-employed.
The Sky’s the Limit
Cosmetology is one of those careers that have endless possibilities. According to Forbes Magazine, the average salon haircut costs $45; however, celebrities might pay $800 and up for a single styling cut.
New York City is home to some of the highest paid stylists (don’t call them cosmetologists) who generally tend to cater to the entertainment industry. Nonetheless, a talented cosmetologist with excellent people skills can work up a devoted clientele and earn well above the average salary.
Salary Differences between Nonmetropolitan Areas of New York State
The following table describes BLS salary and wage data for cosmetologists in different metropolitan areas and large cities of New York (2013):
This table shows a BLS analysis of salary data for manicurists and pedicurists licensed as nail technicians (2013):