You are probably considering a career in beauty because it is a very rewarding profession. When you work as a hairstylist, you have the ability to transform someone’s appearance and provide them with a look that allows their inner beauty to radiate through to the surface. You can experiment with color, cuts and various techniques in order to come up with innovative designs. You are able to connect with your clients and share in their personal journeys.

And beyond all of that, it’s one of the most lucrative careers. Here are the three most common compensation models for hairdressers:


Hairdressers can be salaried employees who work for salon owners. With this compensation model, your employer may pay you an hourly rate based on your schedule, or you may earn an annual salary. Some stylists prefer a salary because it provides them with a predictable income, however, you may find that your income potential is limited with this type of compensation model. It may be worthwhile to search for a salon that offers a salary plus commission or a salary plus a performance bonus.


Commission pay models are very common in the beauty industry, with many hairstylists earning their income based on commission. In a commission model, you will be motivated to sell specific services and products to your clients, as this will boost your personal income. The two main types of commission models in hair salons are:

  • Flat-rate Commission — This commission structure allows you to earn a fixed percentage of all products and services sold.
  • Tiered Commission — This commission structure allows you to earn a higher commission rate when you sell a higher volume of products or services.

Booth or Room Rental

The booth or room rental commission structure allows you to work as an independent contractor. Essentially, you pay the salon owner a rental fee in order to use the space. Then, you are able to charge your clients your preferred rate for products and services, and earn all of the income generated. This is a favorite among stylists who want to be in full control of their income potential.

There are benefits and drawbacks to each compensation model, so it’s important to explore your options and choose a salon that offers the model that works best for your lifestyle. Ultimately, when you pursue a career in beauty, you are in control of your income, making this one of the most powerful career paths you can consider.

Of course, there are many other career paths you can choose as a cosmetologist. 

By attending a New York State licensed and NACCAS accredited school, your opportunities are endless. For more information about the beauty industry and the different opportunities available, contact Long Island Beauty School today!