The Top Cities to Live In, to Boost Your Beauty Career

Whether you’re just now seriously considering a career in the beauty industry or you’ve been in the game for a while, it’s important to consistently take a look at the city you choose to live in and ask yourself, is this the right location for my beauty business?”

If you’re truly looking to make a change or boost your business, and you’re totally willing to pick up and move, then great --- there are so many cities in the United States with tons of opportunities for makeup artists, hair stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, and more!

We took the liberty of putting together a list of the top beauty cities out there.

While there are dozens we could add to this list, we kept it short and sweet to give you a brief breakdown of why these cities top our list, what sort of job opportunities are available in each of them, and how you can begin judging whether or not these beauty cities are calling your name.

While there are so many factors that go into deciding whether or not you should embark on a new adventure and move to one of these beauty-obsessed cities, we can tell you one thing – these cities definitely appreciate the beauty industry and there’s certainly a market for what you do in each one of these spots.

New York City, New York

Okay, this one is probably super obvious. Everyone knows that New York City is a hotbed for all things glamour, fashion, and beauty. But we wouldn’t dream of leaving it off this list just because it’s obvious.

For starters, New York City is the beauty and fashion capital of the United States, and honestly, it’s in the running for one of the beauty and fashion capitals of the world.

Not only are there unlimited resources for education and classes to advance your career – including headquarters for some of the biggest names in the beauty industry – it’s also just a massive city with thousands of different niches and over 8.5 million people inhabiting it, leaving you room to wedge your way in and start your career.

Want to work under someone as an apprentice? This is totally doable – some of the biggest names in the beauty industry have their studios in New York. From nail techs, to make-up artists, to estheticians, to barbers, and beyond, the possibility are endless in New York.

More than that, though, there’s opportunity to make some real money. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, about $36,000 (2017 data), which, is about 59 percent higher than the national average for a cosmetologist

Los Angeles, California

The City of Angels is probably also an obvious choice, but again, we would never leave it off our list.

Although LA can be a tough city to hack if you’ve never done the urban thing before, there’s so much room to have a rewarding career in the beauty industry in Los Angeles.


For starters, it’s the gateway to Hollywood, film, the TV industry, and more – it’s a haven for a makeup artist, hair stylist, esthetician, nail tech, and more. Beauty is an absolutely essential piece of LA lifestyle, even for those not invested in the film or tv industry.

Like New York, many major beauty companies have their headquarters, studios, and schools in this major city. It’s home to several of the top events, conventions, and startups, like the BeautyCon Festival, the Sephora Beauty Convention, the LA Hair Expo, the IMATS, and so much more.

Beyond that, there’s over 4 million people living in LA, plenty of job opportunities, and lots of salons, studios, and companies that are looking for excited, young, thriving artists to learn from them.

There are dozens of highly regarded beauty schools in Los Angeles that offer incredible training programs to help you further or advance your burgeoning beauty career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries vary wildly depending on what career path you choose, but according to 2017 data, cosmetologists can make up to $42,770 per year, while estheticians can make up to $47,320 per year.

It’s important to remember that much of this salary information is based on averages, and while it’s not guaranteed you will ultimately achieve a similar salary, there’s so much room for growth in the industry in LA.

Las Vegas, Nevada

If you didn’t consider Las Vegas right off the bat, that’s okay! Although it is definitely one of the best cities in the United States for professionals in the beauty industry, it doesn’t always have the same clout or recognition as cities like Los Angeles or New York.

Despite this, Las Vegas is truly a hotbed for the beauty industry.

There huge beauty schools that have established campuses in this area like the Academy of Hair Design, The Expertise Cosmetology Institute, Paul Mitchell the School Las Vegas, the Cosmetology Institute of Las Vegas, and more!

Surely, the tourism, eclectic nightlife, and huge entertainment industry make this a booming beauty city -- not to mention, Las Vegas recently made the’s most beauty-obsessed cities list at number four! 

Surely, this has a lot to do with the beauty industry events that are hosted here, like the International Beauty Show, Cosmoprof of North America, PVA Beauty Week and more.

Orlando, Florida

It should be no surprise that Florida has one of the most burgeoning and active beauty industries in the United States, but if you weren’t considering Orlando, that’s okay. Typically, people’s minds skirt to Miami, one of the most glamour obsessed cities in the state, but Orlando is the secret beauty industry gem of Florida, and here’s why.

For starters, there are so, so many beauty schools in Orlando, Florida. With options like the Florida Academy of beauty, the Affinity Hair Academy Beauty School, Paul Mitchell The School Orlando, and Aveda Institute Orlando, it’s no wonder this is one of the top destinations for stylists, estheticians, nail techs, and make-up artists. '

Another huge factor? Orlando beauty employers also feed into one of the biggest industries in the city – tourism. This includes all kinds of high-end work for hotels, salons, theme parks like Universal Studios or Disney, and high-end spas.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is an amazing, hidden beauty gem in the Midwest. Though it has a smaller population than some of the cities on this list – about 2.7 million -- this is a much-traveled-to spot for people who are seeking out some serious beauty treatments. With huge numbers of high-end salons and beauty studios on almost every corner, there’s plenty of job opportunity available.

More than that, though, several beauty schools have set up locations here, such as the Douglas J. Aveda Institute, The Paul Mitchell School, and the Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. According to the BLS, Chicago cosmetologists made an average salary of $27,210 per year in 2017.

Need more beauty tips and tricks? We thought so!

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