Frequently Asked Questions about Permanent Makeup Artist Programs and Careers

If you want to work as permanent makeup or tattoo artist, check out these top questions and answers about this field of cosmetology. Ready to learn what these professionals do, or how to become one? We can fill you in on those details, and let you know what the 2017 job outlook is for permanent makeup. You’ll quickly realize there are several types of career opportunities for permanent makeup professionals. So take a few moments to learn more about permanent makeup, including what your salary expectations should be for these careers.

About Permanenet Makeup Artists

What is permanent cosmetics? What does a tattoo makeup artist do?

Permanent make-up can be useful for men or women who wish to wear makeup, but cannot apply it easily because of reasons such as: allergic reactions to make-up materials, having vision deficits, suffering from tremors due to stroke or Parkinson's disease, restrictions of precise movement due to arthritis or multiple sclerosis. Some alopecia sufferers rely on permanent makeup to fill in eyebrows. Permanent makeup may also be used to camouflage scarring on the face or other parts of the body. Some women elect for this cosmetic procedure simply to save money on cosmetics over time and save time each morning getting ready to head out for the day.

Permanent make-up applications begin to look their most natural a few short weeks after the procedure. However, the pigmentation of permanent makeup may fade over time, particularly under the effects of sunlight. It usually lasts for a decade or more before fading significantly, though. Touching up the makeup may be required to restore the original color.

Most permanent cosmetics applications can successfully mimic topically applied cosmetics, such as eyebrow pencils, eyeliner, lip liner, mascara and more . Before committing to permanent makeup, particularly if for convenience only, clients should be aware of the potential problems of later removal and complications that may ensue. As with the similar art of tattooing, permanent makeup may take several sessions and may present some minor discomfort (although many technicians will use a topical anesthetic to help reduce any discomfort).


Each state’s training and licensure requirements to be allowed to perform tattoo makeup services professionally are different. Some states have separate permanent cosmetics licenses, whereas others fall under the standard tattooer license regulations, and still other states don’t regulate this profession at all. Nearly all the state boards that offer licenses for this field require a minimum amount of in-school training hours. In some states this may be as short as a 1-day class or weekend seminar, whereas other states may require up to 300 or more hours to get licensed. However, the amount of hours required may vary from state to state. Also, a small handful of states allow you to apprentice in a permanent cosmetics clinic to get some or all of your training hours.

Because these licensing requirements vary so widely from state to state, we highly recommend checking your state’s permanent cosmetics license requirements on our list, and contacting your local board directly if you have any additional questions. In the meantime, don't hesitate to find tattoo makeup artist training programs near you so you can start comparing your options.

Career Options

The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals conducted their 2015 Vision survey this year, and we hope to offer you the latest information as soon as they publish it! Meanwhile, according to the latest survey from the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals we know that many permanent cosmeticians originally started their careers in cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, nail technology, tattooing, nursing, electrology and laser hair removal, or medicine. About 30% of the survey respondents indicated that they continue to work as estheticians, and 25% said they continue to work as cosmetologists in addition to permanent cosmetics. This suggests that many individuals pursue an education in permanent cosmetics as a way to add value to their beauty services and augment their income.

According to the same SPCP survey, the majority of Permanent Cosmetics Technicians work in full-service or multi-faceted salons, followed by doctor’s or dermatologist’s offices, day spas, tattoo studios, electrolysis clinics and massage therapy clinics. More than 83% of permanent makeup artists reported being self-employed, more than 17% reported being independent contractors, and just over 5% said they are employed by other businesses.


Accurate statistics on the average salary of permanent cosmetics technicians are tough to come by because so many of them are individually employed or independently contract their services. However, the average cost per procedure ranges from $300 to $800, and advanced work may be charged at $150 to $300 per hour, according to the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. Some organizations estimate average salaries ranging from $50,000 to $80,000 per year for this highly specialized profession.

Some of the charges that help contribute to a permanent cosmetician’s earnings may include regularly scheduled maintenance visit charge or commissions. The costs a permanent cosmetician may incur in this line of work include liability insurance, professional and licensing fees and the purchase of supplies.

Permanent Make-Up
Commercial Career