The Austin Beauty Student's Resource Guide

If you hope to become a cosmetologist, esthetician, or other beauty professional in Austin, Texas, this guide is here to help you find your way.

Working in beauty in Austin means far more than going to school and earning your license—it means figuring out how much you could make in your chosen field, finding employment, determining your specialty, locating scholarships and supplies, and so much more.

Read on to find out all these details and more.

Salary and Job Growth in Austin Beauty Careers

In May 2019, Texas employed the second-highest number of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in the nation, with 385,960 Texans holding these jobs. The Lone Star State also employs the highest number of barbers and the third-highest number of skincare specialists.

Salaries in the Austin-Round Rock metro area are competitive with those from around Texas and the nation. For example, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists earned a median wage of $35,903 in 2019, while the state median wage for this occupation was $24,705, and for the nation, it was $26,090.

Similarly, barbers in Austin-Round Rock earned a median wage of $32,417 in 2019, while the median wage for barbers statewide was $28,683 and that of the U.S. was $30,150.

According to PayScale.com, the average annual salary for nail technicians in Austin is $47,500, and Salary.com reported an average salary of $40,793 for skincare specialists in Austin in early 2021.

Fortunately, for those considering cosmetology schools in Austin, the outlook looks bright. While cosmetology jobs are projected to decline by 2% nationwide over the 2019-2029 period, in Texas, those jobs could grow by 15%.

This trend extends to barber jobs, which are expected to grow 16% in Texas, while U.S. growth is projected at a modest 8%.

Projected job growth for 2018-2028 is expected to be on par with the U.S. for estheticians (at an impressive 19% growth) and manicurists/pedicurists (17%).

Top Beauty Employers in Austin

Viva Day Spa

This locally and women-owned business has been recognized as the top day spa in Austin, Best Place to Work, and a host of other top awards. It has three locations in the Austin area and offers a wide range of classic day spa services, including massages, facials, and other skincare services. In 2017, Viva began offering several non-invasive medical spa treatments, such as laser hair removal and Botox injections.

Birds Barbershop

This Texas-born hair salon prides itself on promoting all things local, from offering its walls as free gallery space for local artists to donating to local causes. It's been on Elle's list of 100 Best Salons in America four times and awarded Best Haircut by Austin Chronicle since it opened. With 10 locations throughout Texas, the salon employs over 200 people in the state, offering perks such as four-day work weeks, full health coverage, continuing education, and more.

Beaute Studio Esthetics

This business, owned by a Black woman from Austin, offers lash and brow services, skincare, microblading, semipermanent makeup, facials, and waxing, as well as a rotating schedule of professional training courses and support for cosmetology students with an instructor on site. The salon has earned five stars on Yelp, Google, and Facebook.

Milk + Honey Spa | Retreat | Shop

With six locations in Texas—including four in Austin, home to its founder—this premier day spa offers services for men and women that include massages, facials, waxing, body treatments, manicures/pedicures, lash extensions, and a range of medical aesthetics treatments. It has earned numerous distinctions, including Best Day Spa, Houston's "It" List, the INC. 5000 List, and more.

Sport Clips

Sport Clips at Austin's Southpark Meadows is a guy-friendly salon specializing in barbering. It has a customer-friendly walk-in policy and caters to its customers with a sports theme, including live sports on TVs throughout the salon. Stylists may enjoy the big-company benefits and career growth opportunities available here, including access to a national conference, leadership training, medical benefits, paid vacations, and more than 1,800 locations in the U.S.

Specialties and Certifications Austin Beauty Students Should Consider

Beauty students in Austin will find that the area is home to professionals specializing in many areas within the industry. Some of these may be available as certifications or specializations in training programs, in addition to more generalized programs in cosmetology or esthetics. These include:

  • Barbering: Austin is home to a number of barbershops and salons, ranging from the classic, old-fashioned version to more modern takes. Barbering involves cutting, styling, and treating men's hair, including neck and facial hair.
  • Medical esthetics: Austin has a high concentration of medical spas and salon/spas offering medical esthetics services.
  • Makeup artistry: Many salons and spas in the Austin area offer aspects of makeup artistry, including applying and removing makeup, eyelashes, or other prosthetics. This may be a good specialty for those interested in entertainment careers, as stage makeup is an important component of this specialty.
  • Lash and brow services: As an increasing number of salons and spas specializing in lash extension and brow services crop up around Austin, aspiring beauty school students may find they have an interest in this specialty. Fortunately, it's possible to earn specialized training in this field on the job, with many businesses, such as Amazing Lash Studio, Pink Lady Lash, or Beautiful Brows & Lashes, offering in-house training programs to add to your foundation of cosmetology or esthetics training.
  • Cosmetology education: Because of the faster-than-average growth of Texas' cosmetology scene, some beauty schools in Austin offer specialized training in cosmetology instruction to prepare the next generation of teachers in this industry.

Beauty School Scholarships and Grants for Austin Students

Aspiring beauty school students may take advantage of several scholarships to help them pay for college. These include:

  • Joe Francis Haircare Scholarships: These $1,200 scholarships are available to students enrolling in cosmetology school (except esthetician or nail tech students).
  • Beauty Changes Lives: The Beauty Changes Lives Foundation works to empower beauty professionals with scholarships, mentorship, and inspiration. It offers a range of scholarships for students and licensed professionals in cosmetology, barbering, nail services, makeup, massage, and esthetics.
  • Paul Mitchell Schools: The Paul Mitchell Schools, with a location in Austin, offers scholarships to its students nationwide.
  • The Great Scholarship Program: This scholarship is sponsored by Great Clips, a national chain of hair salons that is one of the top beauty employers in Austin, with 30 locations in the area. Eligible students can earn up to $5,000 in scholarships given twice a year in Alice Madden Barton's memory, the mother of both the company's CEO and its chairman.
  • Rosy Rewards Scholarship Program: This $12,000 annual scholarship fund is for future salon professionals in the U.S. or Canada, particularly minority students, who will comprise half of the award recipients.

Looking For More Scholarships?

BeautySchoolsDirectory.com offers a $2,500 scholarship for beauty and wellness professionals. We've also gathered the most comprehensive list of nation-wide scholarships available for beauty students.

Top Beauty Student Supply Stores in Austin

Although your beauty school will likely offer kits containing the essential tools you'll need to do your work for purchase, you may need to buy your own or restock your supplies at a beauty supply store. Many sell wholesale to beauty professionals, and some may offer student discounts.

In Austin, you'll find several beauty supply stores, including the following:

Supreme Beauty Supply

Supreme Beauty Supply sells unprocessed remy hair, wigs, and weaving hair.

Call: 512-458-8818
Visit: 6021 North Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78723

Sally Beauty Supply

Sally Beauty Supply offers a range of cosmetology kits and products, and it has nine locations in the Austin area.

Call: 512-453-4792
Visit: 5457 North Interstate Highway 35, Austin, TX 78723

RDA Pro Mart

With three Austin locations, RDA Pro Mart is a nationwide company offering stylists access to fine professional supply brands and salon education.

Call: 512-670-2442
Visit: 3407 Wells Branch Parkway 500, Austin, TX 78728

Austin Nail Supply

Austin Nail Supply sells supplies specifically for nail professionals, including drill machines, gels and gel polishes, LED lamps, and spa pedicure chairs.

Call: 512-835-7553
Visit: 10901 North Lamar Boulevard Suite C302, Austin, TX 78753

Other Resources for Austin Beauty Students

For further information about education, trends, or careers in the beauty industry, especially in Austin, check out these additional resources:

Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation
On this page, find information about getting or renewing your license, cosmetology law in Texas, continuing education, and more.

Professional Beauty Association
This professional association's membership includes makeup artists, hairstylists, salon owners, beauty suppliers, beauty schools, and students. It offers events, industry resources for members, education, and more.

Independent Beauty Association
This nonprofit trade association is for independent beauty and personal care professionals. Its advocacy and resources are intended to support entrepreneurs in the industry in compliance standards, environmental sustainability, and ethical business practices.

Texas State Association & Beauty Culturists League
This membership organization strives to improve the beauty industry and support those working in the field. They offer a variety of continuing education courses and host events.

Cosmetology
NonCommercial