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Become A Colorist

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Working As A Colorist

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Colorist Do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other beauty services.

Duties

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists typically do the following:

  • Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
  • Discuss hairstyle options
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Chemically change hair textures
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Receive payments from clients
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hair and beauty services to enhance clients’ appearance. Those who operate their own barbershop or salon have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair, mostly for male clients. They also may fit hairpieces, perform facials, and offer facial shaving. Depending on the state in which they work, some barbers are licensed to color, bleach, and highlight hair and to offer permanent-wave services. Common tools include combs, scissors, straight razors, and clippers.

Hairdressers, or hairstylists, offer a wide range of hair services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling. They often advise clients, both male and female, on how to care for their hair at home. They also keep records of products and services provided to clients, such as hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. Tools include hairbrushes, scissors, blow dryers, and curling irons.

Cosmetologists provide scalp and facial treatments and makeup analysis. Some also clean and style wigs and hairpieces. In addition, most cosmetologists actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products.

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How To Become A Colorist

All states require barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists to be licensed. To qualify for a license, candidates are required to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology program.

Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for some positions. In addition, every state requires that barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists complete a program in a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school. Programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services are available in postsecondary vocational schools.

Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last at least 9 months and may lead to an associate’s degree. Most of these workers take advanced courses in hairstyling or in other personal appearance services to keep up with the latest trends. Those who want to open their own business also may take courses in sales and marketing.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must obtain a license in order to work. Qualifications for a license vary by state, but generally, a person must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Reached a minimum age of 16
  • Received a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school

After graduating from a state-approved training program, students take a state licensing exam that includes a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills or an oral exam.

In many states, cosmetology training may be credited toward a barbering license and vice versa, and a few states combine the two licenses. A fee usually is required to apply for a license, and periodic renewals may be necessary.

Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed barbers and cosmetologists to get a license in another state without needing additional formal training or state board testing, but such agreements are not common. Consequently, people who want to work in a particular state should review the laws of that state before entering a training program.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must keep up with the latest trends and be ready to try new hairstyles for their clients.

Customer-service skills. Workers must be pleasant, friendly, and able to interact with customers in order to retain clients.

Listening skills. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists should be good listeners. They must listen carefully to what the client wants in order to make sure that the client is happy with the result.

Physical stamina. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must be able to stand on their feet for long periods.

Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and for making clients comfortable enough so that they will want to return. 

Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services. For example, routine haircuts do not require the precise timing of some other services, such as applying neutralizer after a permanent wave. Clients who receive timely hair care are more likely to return.

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Average Length of Employment
Hair Colorist 5.4 years
Hair Designer 4.5 years
Colorist 4.0 years
Hair Stylist 3.7 years
Stylist 2.8 years
Hair Assistant 2.1 years
Apprentice Stylist 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Colorist
Stylist 11.0%
Assistant 10.8%
Editor 10.5%
Internship 6.1%
Artist 5.7%
Manager 3.7%
Cashier 3.2%
Educator 3.1%
Owner 3.0%
Top Careers After Colorist
Stylist 11.4%
Editor 10.3%
Manager 5.6%
Owner 5.3%
Artist 5.1%
Internship 3.9%
Instructor 3.3%
Educator 3.3%
Designer 3.1%
Assistant 3.1%
Director 3.1%

Do you work as a Colorist?

Colorist Demographics

Gender

Female

47.2%

Male

37.0%

Unknown

15.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.2%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0%

French

11.4%

German

8.6%

Korean

8.6%

Mandarin

5.7%

Russian

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Swedish

2.9%

Dutch

2.9%

Cherokee

2.9%

Greek

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%
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Colorist Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

13.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

12.4%

School of Visual Arts

10.0%

Aveda Institute

8.1%

Columbia College Chicago

6.2%

The Academy

5.7%

Full Sail University

4.8%

Empire Beauty School

4.3%

The Beauty School

3.8%

Parsons the New School for Design

3.8%

Academy of Art University

3.3%

Rhode Island School of Design

3.3%

New York University

2.9%

Paul Mitchell-The School

2.9%

Syracuse University

2.4%

Regency Beauty Institute

2.4%

Nassau Community College

2.4%

Art Institute of Portland

2.4%

University of Texas at Austin

2.4%

Beauty Academy

2.4%
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Majors

Cosmetology

29.6%

Photography

16.2%

Graphic Design

12.8%

Fine Arts

8.0%

Business

5.9%

Communication

4.2%

Animation

3.4%

Digital Media

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

Apparel And Textiles

1.8%

Computer Science

1.8%

Education

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

1.7%

Nursing

1.3%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Design And Visual Communication

1.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.2%

Elementary Education

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.0%

Other

33.6%

Associate

9.6%

License

7.4%

Masters

5.8%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$171,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Technicolor
Highest Paying City
Atlanta, GA
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Colorist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Colorist in the United States is $79,843 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $171,000.

Real Colorist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Colorist Crayon Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2014 $175,000 -
$180,000
Colorist Crayon Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2014 $156,525 -
$208,700
Colorist Crayon Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2014 $150,000 -
$160,000
Colorist Crayon Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 28, 2014 $130,438 -
$156,525
Telecine Colorist Technicolor Inc.-MPC Group Santa Monica, CA Aug 31, 2013 $110,885 -
$385,000
Colorist/Editor Tunnel Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jun 01, 2016 $98,176
Digital Intermediate Film Colorist Fotokem Industries, Inc. Burbank, CA Jan 12, 2010 $98,172 -
$204,213
Colorist Deluxe Media Creative Services Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 23, 2015 $90,000
Colorist Technicolor Creative Services USA, Inc. New York, NY Sep 17, 2016 $86,819
Colorist-Editor Tunnel Post LLC Santa Monica, CA Aug 20, 2013 $74,464 -
$75,132
Senior Telecine Colorist The Mill Group, Inc. New York, NY Sep 25, 2010 $73,944 -
$250,000

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Top Skills for A Colorist

  1. Color Correction
  2. Customer Service
  3. Hair Extensions
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Corresponded daily with overseas and domestic vendors regarding color approval and color corrections needed, while maintaining delivery deadlines.
  • Color Specialist Waxing Client Information retrieval and record keeping Customer Service Retail Sales All aspects of color application
  • Color correction and grading for motion picture and video productions
  • Analyze the client's hair and other physical features to determine and recommend treatments for the client's hairstyle.
  • Adjusted final color for TV shows, films, commercials, and music video using APPLE COLOR and DAVINCI RESOLVE software.

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Top 10 Best States for Colorists

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Jersey
  3. South Dakota
  4. Washington
  5. District of Columbia
  6. Vermont
  7. Hawaii
  8. Delaware
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Virginia
  • (74 jobs)
  • (74 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)

Top Colorist Employers

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Jobs From Top Colorist Employers

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