The Salary of a Hair Colorist

by Gregory Hamel ; Updated July 27, 2017

Hair, as a prominent physical feature, has a significant influence on how a person is perceived by others. Hair colorists are beauty professionals that apply dyes and other coloring agents to hair. Many colorists also shampoo and style. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes hair colorists in its income data for hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists.

Average Income

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists was $26,510 in May 2010. This income level is equivalent to an average hourly wage of $12.74. The median income of workers in the occupation was $22,760, meaning half of workers made less than $22,760 and half earned more. The Bureau says that 44 percent of personal appearance workers are self-employed, so many workers have flexible schedules and work more or less than 40 hours a week.

Income Range

Income can be substantially higher or lower than average for any particular individual. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the top 10 percent of income earners among hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists made $41,540 or more in May 2010 while the bottom 10 percent made $16,350 or less. Half of all workers in the field made between $18,320 and $30,490.

Top Industries

Hair beauty workers are employed in several different industries, which can impact pay. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that the vast majority of hairdressers and stylists worked in the field of personal care services and those workers earned $26,760 on average. Other top employers were department stores, which paid workers $21,040 on average and health and personal care stores, which paid $27,170 a year on average.

Top States

Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists working in the District of Columbia, Hawaii and Washington earned the most of all workers in the country on average. Workers in these areas earned over $33,600 a year. New Jersey was the state with the highest concentration of hair hairstylists earning $29,170 a year on average in May 2009.

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.