Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Job description

Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists apply makeup to performers to reflect period, setting, and situation of their role.

  • Apply makeup to enhance or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
  • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring to achieve specific color effects.
  • Duplicate work precisely to replicate characters’ appearances on a daily basis.
  • Cleanse and tone the skin to prepare it for makeup application.
Read more about what does a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

Featured Schools


Average salary
$72030 per year

Average hourly wage
$35 per hour

Theatrical Makeup Artists with little to no experience tend to make between $22460 and $32620 while the more experienced ones can earn over $104040 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
TN $42 $88,090
DC $41 $84,320
CA $38 $79,820
NY $37 $77,030
FL $31 $63,950

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist is to move to a higher paying state like TN. Right now, the highest paying states for Theatrical Makeup Artists are TN, DC, CA, NY and FL.

However, a higher pay at TN doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at TN might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Post-secondary certificate

We asked other Theatrical Makeup Artists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Secondary Certificate followed by less than a High School Diploma.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Cosmetology/Cosmetologist, General
Make-Up Artist/Specialist
Permanent Cosmetics/Makeup and Tattooing
Read more about how to become a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist.

Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.
Very good salary
Not suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

80% of Theatrical Makeup Artists said they were satisfied with their job and 54% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Kerrin Jackson

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Theatrical Makeup Artists

Summary (You are here)
Job Description

Find a college with the major you want

Related career information

Theatrical Makeup Artists job description, Theatrical Makeup Artists salary, Theatrical Makeup Artists information, what is the job of a Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artist like, pros and cons about Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists, colleges and universities for Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists, is Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists the right career for me, careers in Personal Care and Service

Similar careers

Beauty Therapist, Body Make-Up Artist, Commercial Makeup Artist, Hair and Makeup Designer, Makeup Artist, Makeup Instructor, Prosthetic Makeup Designer, Special Effects Designer, Special Effects Makeup Artist, Special Effects Technician

Additional resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.