Salary of a Funeral Make-up Artist

careertrend article image
Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Some of the highest paid makeup artists work in the death care services field. These makeup artists prepare deceased individuals for visitation in open casket funerals. This service allows those who are left behind by the deceased to view their loved one in their final state before burial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies funeral makeup artists as cosmetologists who specialize in the death care field. Salaries can depend upon various factors such as where the makeup artist works.

Average Salary

The average salary for a makeup artist working in the death care services field was $32,360 per year, as of May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By comparison, the bureau indicates that the average salary of all cosmetologists, hairdressers and hair stylists nationwide was $26,510 per year. Those in the death care services field were the second highest paid in the cosmetology field. Only those who worked in the wholesale electronics market field made higher average salaries.

Pay Scale

Placing the average salary of funeral makeup artists within the larger pay scale of other cosmetologists nationwide can provide some additional context and insight. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for those working in this field was $22,760 in 2010. The upper 25 percent of those working in his field made $30,490 or more per year, while the upper 10 percent made $41,540, on average. This means that the average funeral makeup artist tends to be in the upper 25 percent of all cosmetologists in terms of salaries earned.


Location also tends to provide some indication of what the makeup artist can expect to make. The highest paid workers in this field made an average salary of $37,680 per year in 2010 while employed in the District of Columbia. Those working in Hawaii, Washington, Vermont and South Carolina were also among the highest paid cosmetologists. Average salaries in these states ranged from $31,000 to $34,490 per year. Those who were employed in the state of Texas made an average of $25,690 and those in New York made $28,520.

Job Outlook

The number of jobs for makeup artists and other cosmetologists is expected to grow by about 20 percent during the period from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau indicates that employment will be due largely to rapid population growth and the need for more personal appearance workers. However, death care makeup artists will benefit from the other major demographic trend of this period: the increased number of elderly people in the existing population.


Jared Lewis is a professor of history, philosophy and the humanities. He has taught various courses in these fields since 2001. A former licensed financial adviser, he now works as a writer and has published numerous articles on education and business. He holds a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in theology and has completed doctoral work in American history.