Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2020. Updated in May 2021.
The microblading trend has been picking up speed in the last few years and it shows no signs of slowing down! The demand for microblading treatments is huge, and while new PMU treatments for eyebrows are coming and going, the natural, subtle results of microblading have become the modern go-to classic.
So if you’re just getting interested in starting a career in microblading, income is probably your biggest concern. PMUHub has conducted thorough research into microblading artist salary and we give you a thorough overview.
Click on the link to go directly to a specific step:
What Is Microblading and Why Is It So Popular?
Microblading is a permanent makeup procedure for eyebrows that gives a long-lasting illusion of thick, lush, and neat brow arches without the hassle of regular makeup products.
It is done by injecting organic pigments in the shade of the client’s natural brow hairs in thin incisions that imitate the thickness, length, and direction of natural brow hairs.
The pigments injected into the upper dermis gradually fade as they are absorbed by the body over a period of up to 3 years. The original look can be refreshed and the results prolonged at touch up appointments.
For more information on the treatment, check out our detailed guide to Microblading!
How Do I Become a Microblading Artist?
The first step towards becoming a microblading artist is getting licensed and certified. The only way to do this is to take a microblading training course at a certified academy. If you’re considering a career change, investing in a quality microblading training course could earn you up to 6 figures a year within a couple of years of working!
You can choose between a live training course, which takes several days and offer training on live models, or an online course, which takes several months. Either way, no prior knowledge is required.
The cost of a live training course is around $3 000. The online option is cheaper, at up to $2000. But there are other factors you need to consider when choosing between a live course and an online one.
At this point, it’s important to note that certification from established academies allows you to price your treatments higher, so investing in a renowned course wouldn’t be a splurge but a gift that keeps on giving.
Once you’ve obtained your certification, you can start building your business. For a preliminary plan, check out our step-by-step guide to starting your microblading business.
Image source: Instagram @phibrows_by_ana
What Is the Price of a Microblading Treatment?
The average price of microblading in the United States is just under $600, but it can vary from $200 to $2000. It depends on numerous factors, the main one being the experience of the artist, but location also plays a significant role in price formation.
What is the Average Microblading Technician Salary?
The beauty industry as a whole is a very lucrative business branch and one of the best options for starting a business. However, not all beauty experts are created equal. A microblading specialist salary is significantly higher than the income of hairdressers, nail techs and aestheticians.
Comparison of beauty professional salaries
The average salary of microblading artists depends on several factors. The most obvious ones are the number of clients an artist gets and the number of hours they spend working, but location and experience can also determine the price of your treatment.
Number of Clients
Naturally, it will take some time for you to build a clientele. But once your name is established, you will have a steady income.
Attracting new clients through marketing and recommendations and ensuring returning clients is the key to success. Building an image takes time and effort, so in order to make a name for yourself as quickly as possible, you need to be aware of the importance of branding right from the start.
Brand loyalty is another aspect of growing your business; the aftercare kit can be a great secret weapon for gaining trust and loyalty from your clients. There are also many strategies you can use to boost your bookings, like starting a referral program.
A satisfied client can be a great advertisement, but an unsatisfied one can damage your image. So make sure you put the same amount of effort and love into each pair of brows you do.
An average microblading treatment takes about 2 hours, including prep. So realistically, an artist can do 3-5 treatments in a workday. This is an ideal scenario where you attract enough clients and all your appointments are booked.
It’s also worth mentioning touch up appointments, which take up to an hour, but are also priced at $100 – $200. In order to achieve maximum efficiency, it might be a good idea to schedule touch up between the full treatment appointments – since they last shorter, they can fill in the unbooked hour here and there.
Image source: Instagram @moguimaraes_pmu
By location, we mean both the location of your salon in the city and, well, your city.
An attractive location in the city adds to the exclusivity and means you can set your price higher. Interestingly, the size of your city may not necessarily affect the average microblading price. In large cities where there are tens of working artists, the average price may be lower, since there are more artists whose prices are towards the lower end of the scale. If there are only a handful of artists in the area, their prices may be higher than the national average.
So we could say that it’s the competition in the area and not the area itself that determines the price formation.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average permanent makeup artist salary in 2021 is as follows:
Experience, Image and Popularity
We’re not going to lie, the competition is serious in the microblading world. So it could take some time to earn enough to justify investing in a microblading business.
Obviously, clients won’t pay top prices for a treatment from an inexperienced, fresh-out-of-training artist, but at the same time, lower pricing will attract enough clients for you to gain experience and show your skill. In permanent makeup, recommendations are the most effective form of marketing, so each pair of brows you do is a walking ad.
As you gain experience, your work becomes more valuable and you can gradually raise your prices. Along the way, establish and maintain your social media and work on your client relations – two crucial elements of building an image and boosting popularity.
Apart from the initial investment into a training course and the salon, you should always keep in mind the day-to-day costs of running a microblading business, such as supplies, and the costs of rent and taxes.
Let’s explore what each of those may cost.
The price of supplies can vary significantly depending on the brand you purchase from. It also varies depending on whether you use disposable tools or a universal holder with disposable blades.
According to artists, the average cost of the material used for a single microblading session (not a touch up) is around $30 with supplies at a medium price range. This includes pigments, tools, and an aftercare kit (up to $10).
Insurance is a must if you’re practicing PMU. You definitely need to protect your business from liability. It will protect you in case anything goes wrong, so it’s not something you want to cheap out on.
The price of insurance varies from state to state. In most states, it’s about $1000 per year, but it can go up to $1200 or higher. In other states, you may find insurance at $650 – $850. Most companies offer the option of paying insurance in monthly installments, so it won’t make a significant dent in your income overall.
The price you pay for rent depends on whether you’re renting a room in an already established salon, or you’re renting the entire space. It varies significantly from state to state and city to city. The rent on a room or suite within a beauty salon or tattoo parlor goes from $500 to $1100 per month. Some artists work on commission, so the expense of their rent is anywhere from 20 to 60% of the price of the treatment.
The rent on a whole space is higher, but this is impossible to predict as there are too many factors involved.
4. Paid Apps
Many artists use various apps and programs to help with their microblading business, from photo editing apps to booking apps. Most of these have a free version and a premium, paid version, but none of them are pricier than $30 per month.
5. Additional Services You Need to Pay for
There may be other expenses, like hiring an accountant, a cleaning service, hazardous waste disposal, etc.
Image source: Pexels
How Much Can You Make Doing Microblading In a Year?
Taking all the mentioned factors into account, here’s a formula for calculating a potential weekly, monthly, and annual microblading salary. We will try to illustrate this – if we take the national average for each of the expenses, we get the following weekly, monthly and annual microblading income of artists who do 3 treatments per day, fully booked without touch ups:
DISCLAIMER: These formulas should be taken as a starting point and adapted to your own personal expenditure.
Weekly (only includes supplies)
(price of treatment – supplies cost – commission % (if you pay rent on commission)) x number of clients = income
Weekly: (600 – 30) x (5 x 3) = $8550
Monthly (includes supplies, rent, and paid apps)
(price of treatment – supplies cost – commission % (if you are charged for rent on commission) – paid app fees) x number of clients per month – arranged cash price for rent (unless you pay rent on commission) = income
(600 – 30 – 30) x (15* x 4) – 864** = $31 536
*3 clients per day x 5 workdays
**fixed monthly cash price for rent, without insurance
Annual (includes supplies, rent, paid apps, and insurance)
Monthly income x 12 – insurance = income
31 536 x 12 – 1000 = $377 432*
*excludes other expenses
So there you have it. Of course, this calculation applies to an imaginary artist who doesn’t take a single day off in a year, is always fully booked, charges an average US price for a microblading treatment, and pays average prices for all the necessities of running a business, but it shows the earning potential for microblading businesses. The realistic annual income of beginners is significantly lower and is shown in the chart in the Location section. The formula should be adapted according to your prices and to the expenses of your salon – every business is different and has different expenditures.