You may have thought hairstyling would be a fun and interactive job to have for the rest of your life. It may have worked for you for many years but now has become a problem. Many people in the beauty industry quit for various reasons. The main reasons are stress, earning potential, and boredom. Some people can’t handle the stress of multiple clients per day or not knowing how many they will have. This leads to financial stress because if they don’t get any clients, they won’t make money. Boredom comes from the lack of change. Many hairstylists often do the same tasks daily without any change. Over time, it becomes monotonous, and they want a challenge. What can other jobs can hairdressers / ex-hairdressers do? Luckily, your cosmetology degree translates into a wide variety of jobs. We compiled a list of the best ones!

1. Mortician Cosmetologist

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $17,620. Median annual salary $23,660. Top 10% earn $47,410 as of August 2021

Job Growth: 5% by 2026 (faster than average)

A mortician cosmetologist provides makeup for deceased loved ones when they have an open-casket viewing. The idea is to get them to look as they would alive. Loved ones want to see the deceased person as natural and normal as possible to ease the grieving process. Only licensed cosmetologists and morticians can work on the deceased. They perform duties like hair styling, makeup, manicures, or painted nails. This type of job often works for a funeral home but can be freelance or independently contracted too. You may have to undergo additional training to deal with the sensitivities of your work.

Transferable Skills:

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Empathy and caring
  • High attention to detail
  • Ability to work flexible hours
  • Knowledge of specialized cosmetics

2. Corporate Trainer

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $31,000. Median annual salary $50,000. Top 10% earn $76,000 as of August 2021

Job Growth:  9% by 2029 (faster than average)

Corporate cosmetology trainers work directly with companies to train their employees. As a corporate trainer, you may travel to salons or spas. You’ll teach their employees about products, new beauty techniques, or general guidelines. You may have to create feedback surveys, instructional guides, or develop training budgets. This job follows the typical 9-5 and requires frequent travel.

Transferable Skills:

  • Time management skills
  • Strong listening skills
  • Project management experience
  • Customer Service skills
  • Knowledge of the beauty industry as a whole
  • Strong communication and written skills

3. Pet Groomer

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $15,500. Median annual salary $34,280. Top 10% earn $59,500 as of August 2021

Job Growth: 22% by 2029 (much faster than average)

Pet groomers don’t require any special licenses or experience. While your license might not mean much, the skills you’ve gained will help you in the job. You will have patience, knowledge of hairstyling/cutting techniques and tools, and customer service skills. The job may require you to work pet salon hours. However, once you’ve built a clientele, you might get the opportunity to set your own schedule.

Transferable Skills:

  • High attention to detail
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience
  • Knowledge of animal fur types a plus
  • Customer service skills

4. Wig Maker

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $18,780. Median annual salary $43,215. Top 10% earn $53,234 as of August 2021

Job Growth: The BLS doesn’t collect data on wig makers.

Wig makers do just that, make wigs! You don’t need a degree in cosmetology, but it will benefit you greatly. It will teach you how to work with real and synthetic hair. You’ll have the knowledge of extensions application, styling, and coloring. As a wig maker, you’ll need to create dozens of wigs within a deadline to keep clients happy. You might have the freedom as a freelance worker or work for a company.

Transferable Skills:

  • Organizational skills
  • Detail-orientated
  • Creativity skills
  • Strong knowledge of all hair types, real and synthetic

5. Massage Therapist

Salary Range:  Bottom 10% $42,544. Median annual salary $53,222. Top 10% earn $68,346 as of August 2021

Job Growth: 21% by 2029 (much faster than average)

Massage therapists are trained in the art of different massage techniques. They work independently, for spas, doctor’s offices, hotels, fitness centers, or salons. Many set their own schedules and have their own clientele. Some states require a cosmetology license to perform massages, others require special licensure or none. The job doesn’t differ that much from a hairstylist except for your clients won’t talk as much and you’ll work on their body instead of their hair.

Transferable Skills:

  • Massage technique knowledge
  • Interpersonal and communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Strong organizational and scheduling skills

6. Beauty Therapist

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $17,500. Median annual wage $46,613. Top 10% earn $105,000 as of August 2021.

Job Growth: The BLS doesn’t collect information for job growth for a Beauty Therapist.

A beauty therapist works for a beauty salon or spa. Your main duties will include performing beauty treatments on the skin, hands, and feet. Some of these treatments include hair removal, nail technology, facial care, massage, or hair and makeup for events. You might act as a consultant for the best at-home beauty treatments and products to use based on the client’s individual needs.

Transferable Skills:

  • Detail-oriented
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Up-to-date knowledge of all beauty trends and techniques
  • Customer service skills

7. Tattoo Artist

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $12,000. Median annual salary $99,956. Top 10% earn $100,000 + as of August 2021

Job Growth:  0% by 2029 (little or no change)

This might seem unconventional but it’s a viable option in some states. To become a tattoo artist, some states require you to have a cosmetology license first, and then you can apprentice. Other states don’t require any licenses and only require apprenticeships. A degree in the arts isn’t required either but it can certainly help. You don’t have to begin this career choice with tattooing full bodies. You may get to just tattoo makeup on clients like eyebrows.

Transferable Skills:

  • Art skills
  • Patience and ability to sit in awkward positions for hours
  • Organizational and scheduling skills
  • Detail-oriented
  • Creativity skills
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills

8. Beauty Influencer/Social Media Marketing

Salary Range: Bottom 25% earn $34,500. Median annual salary $46,703. Top 25% earn $66,000 as of August 2021

Job Growth:  9% by 2029 (faster than average)

Many people might not consider this a career. If you have the right marketing and sales skills combined with your niche, you can make some serious money. This type of job has been “up and coming” in recent years as social media expands. You can teach others your skills, create new looks, test new products/techniques, blog about your daily life, or talk about how you became to be a hairstyle and tips to obtain a license. The possibilities are truly endless with this one. The road to a social media influencer isn’t easy but it does come with the perks of working from home, setting your own schedule, and possibly obtaining products. It does come with the risk to not make any money, so keep that in mind before you fully quit your day job.

Transferable Skills:

  • IT skills
  • Creativity skills
  • Constant updated knowledge of your niche and marketing tools
  • Sales skills
  • Time management skills
  • Strong written and verbal skills

9 Technical Writer

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $42,000. Median annual salary $60,000. Top 10% earn $100,000 as of August 2021

Job Growth:  7% by 2029 (faster than average)

Technical writers write about a specific niche. Typically, they will have some type of formal education or knowledge of a subject. Then, they will look for companies that want writers for blogs, articles, or their websites. This job is very flexible in terms of scheduling. You will have a set number of hours per week to work and must complete jobs by their deadline. Often, you’re regarded as an independent contractor, but some companies will hire you directly. You don’t have to have any writing degrees or experience, but you will need knowledge of proper grammar use and copy editing.

Transferable Skills:

  • High attention to detail
  • Creativity skills
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Knowledge of trends, brands, and consumers
  • Some IT skills required

10. Trade/Technical Career Instructor

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $36,720. Median annual salary $63,380. Top 10% earn $98,760 as of August 2021.

Job Growth:  2% by 2029 (slower than average)

Teachers at technical schools directly work with students and mentor them. Everything you have learned from when you were in school, translates over to your students. However, you must keep up-to-date with every and any new trend in the beauty world and teach it to your students. Teaching another person or a full class will have its challenges and you will need a great deal of patience. Teachers typically work a 9-5 but hours vary for night schools or if you teach in a high school setting.

Transferable Skills:

  • Strong written and verbal communication
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Patience and understanding
  • Time management skills
  • Knowledge of the industry and new techniques that come out

11. Esthetician

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $22,000. Median annual salary $50,000. Top 10% earn $63,000 as of August 2021.

Job Growth:  11% by 2028 (faster than average)

Estheticians perform skincare treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, facials, dermaplaning, hair removal, and specialty procedures. Some of these procedures might include LED light treatment, Botox, or tanning. Many states allow the transfer of credits from your cosmetology degree to your esthetician’s license. Others may require you to undergo an additional 600 or more hours of schooling to get licensed. The job has many transferable skills, so it’s not as daunting to start over with this career. Like most skin, hair, and nail jobs you have the flexibility to make your own schedule and choice to work independently.

Transferable Skills:

  • Customer service skills
  • Keep up with the latest skincare trends and desire to learn more
  • High interpersonal skills
  • Sales and marketing skills
  • High attention to detail

12. Electrologist

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $24,500. Median annual salary $32,702. Top 10% earn $37,000 as of August 2021.

Job Growth:  17% by 2029 (much faster than average)

An electrologist is someone who specializes in skincare and hair removal. You might perform tasks like eyebrow shaping, hairline adjustments, removal of hair, and skincare treatments. This job might require basic cosmetology licenses, but some states do require a 200-hour certificate, and others, no licenses at all. You can work for salons, spas, dermatologists, or independently and your salary will vary based on that. As you grow in experience and clientele, your earning potential increases.

Transferable Skills:

  • High attention to detail
  • Organizational and scheduling skills
  • Strong customer service skills
  • Sales skills
  • Knowledge of the latest equipment and how to use them

13. Nail Technician

Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $22,716. Median annual salary $29,246. Top 10% earn $37,653 as of August 2021.

Job Growth: 19% by 2029 (much faster than average)

Nail techs often don’t need a degree or license to work. Some states do require a basic cosmetology license and an extra nail class or two. Check with your state’s requirements for full details. As a nail technician, you will typically work in a salon or spa environment. You might perform daily pedicures and manicures. You’ll have to follow the latest trends for nail art techniques if you want to make more money. Sometimes, you may be required to give mini massages on the hands and feet.

Transferable Skills:

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • High attention to detail
  • Creativity skills
  • Time management skills
  • Knowledge of the latest nail art trends

14. Event Planner

 Salary Range: Bottom 10% earn $34,000. Median annual salary $50,000. Top 10% earn $90,000 as of August 2021.

Job Growth:  8% by 2029 (faster than average)

Event planners plan people’s most important events like weddings, parties, and other special occasions. You’re in charge of making sure the event runs smoothly from the planning stage to after the party. As an event planner, you can set your own hours but must be present when the event occurs to prevent or calm any mishaps that occur. You will interact with the hosts from start to finish and make their dreams become a reality. You may even have to plan the entire event from scratch without any input from the host and a simple guideline. At times, you might deal with difficult or very structured clients, so patience and high interpersonal skills are required for the job.

Transferable Skills:

  • Stress tolerance skills
  • High attention to detail
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills
  • Creativity and innovation skills

15. Makeup Artist (Theatrical and Performance)

Salary Range: Bottom 25% earn $23,000. Median annual salary $51,000. Top 10% earn $92,500 as of August 2021.

Job Growth:  8% by 2028 (much faster than average)

Makeup artists provide clients with full face makeup for their performances. You don’t need a license for this job either. Your cosmetology license transfers over, and you’ve likely learned necessary makeup skills. Like the flexibility you get as a hairstylist, you have similar freedom when it comes to choosing your hours. The only time you won’t get to choose is on a job. If you’re contracted for a set or a theatre performance, you will have to accommodate the times they need you.

Transferable Skills:

  • Makeup skills
  • High attention to detail
  • Creativity and innovation skills
  • Time management skills
  • Stress tolerance skills
  • Customer service skills

Q&A Section

What are the second careers for retired hairstylists?

Many retired hairstylists end up in sales, retail, marketing, and teaching careers. These jobs provide them with more flexibility. Their skills are also easily transferrable without having to gain more knowledge.

What are the Side Gig Ideas for Hairstylists?

Many hairstylists become influencers, product marketers, or bloggers on the side. These jobs require specific niches that only those in the industry can deliver. Networking becomes a daily part of your life as a hairstylist, and it only expands the wider your audience gets. This allows you to generate more income without having to leave your home.

Final Thoughts

You might have become a burnout hairdresser that wants a career change but you don’t know where to start. A degree in cosmetology doesn’t seem like you can work anywhere else but with hair or makeup. Luckily, you don’t have to worry your degree won’t transfer any skills you’ve learned. Many jobs exist that benefit from your degree. Skills like marketing, networking, detail-orientated, and creativity are often ones recruiters look for. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try a new job. Fear only holds you back from what could be the opportunity of a lifetime!

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