Are you thinking about opening a salon?
Then I’m sure you’ve asked yourself:
“How much do Salon Owners make?” and “is a Salon Owner’s salary really much better than a Salon Manager’s salary or Salon Worker’s salary?”
These are fair questions.
Becoming a salon owner comes with responsibility.
You need to deal with all types of issues that arise in the salon and, on top, you need to ensure there’s enough money in the bank at the end of the month to pay your salon employees’ salaries.
But to what extent are Salon Owners compensated for the added responsibility?
And how can Salon Owners increase the money they earn?
How Much do Salon Owners Make?
Salon Owners make $70,000 per year on average. The Salon Owner’s salary depends on the type of salon, its location, and how well-managed the salon business is. The average annual salary for Hair Salon Owners is $75,000 per year (CMP), Nail Salon Owners is $58,000 per year (MNB), and Spa Owner is $78,000 (SAP). The salon’s location influences the salary up to 50% vs. average and with the right business management, salon owners can make over 6 figure income.
The numbers quoted here are based on data extrapolation from available reported data in the U.S. Understandably, the answer to the question “how much do salon owners make?” is much more complex than a number.
This article dives into the details of how much you can make in a salon business as well as how you can influence it.
How Much do Hair Salon Owners Make?
Hair Salon Owners make $75,000 per year on average. Reported Hair Salon Owner salary ranges from $14,500 to $385,00 per year but most hair salon owners fall into the $70,000 to $175,000 annual salary range. The Salon Owner’s salary depends on location and how well-managed the salon is.
The highest average hair salon owner salary is in San Francisco which is 51% higher than the U.S. average. Also, Beauty Salon Owners make $75,000 per year on average which is not surprising as they typically offer similar services (CMP).
How Much do Nail Salon Owners Make?
Nail Salon Owners make $58,000 per year on average. Nail Salon Owner salary ranges from $40,000 to $75,000 per year for most Nail Salon Owners. A nail salon owner’s salary varies depending on the salon’s location and how well-managed the business is (MNB).
We’ll soon go through how a Nail Salon Owner can improve the salon business and earn more money.
How Much do Spa Owners Make?
Spa Owners make $78,000 per year on average. Spa Owner salary ranges from $35,000 to $120,000 per year for most Spa Owners. Spa Owner’s salary varies based on location, the type of Spa (small day spa vs. large spa resort), and how well-managed the spa business is (SAP).
A small day spa is typically more similar to a salon in structure while a large spa resort has a different ownership structure where each location is managed by a Spa Director who also earns the highest salary from the specific spa location.
The Full Reward of Being a Salon Owner
Just looking at the expected salon owner salary does not give justice to the reward you get as a salon owner.
Most salon owners decide to enter business due to their entrepreneurial passion and desire to create something for themselves.
They want to realize an idea and vision that they have not been able to achieve as employees of a salon. Although this is an intrinsic reward, it’s something you should take into account if you’re considering a future as a salon owner.
But there are also further monetary rewards.
When you own a salon, you’re not only compensated by the salary you’re paying yourself every month.
You’re building a brand, a team, a location, and a clientele. You’re building a business that can yield even higher returns if you one day decide to sell it.
This is why comparing a salon owner’s salary with an employee’s salary doesn’t give an accurate picture.
We will still explore what you can expect to earn as a salon employee before we look at how you can influence the salon owner’s income.
My Most Essential Blog Posts when Growing a Salon BusinessAs you’re reading this article, you should also check out the two below.
The 5 Best Salon Software in 2023The ultimate guide to picking the right appointment and business management software
41 Most Effective Salon Marketing Ideas in 2023Attract more clients and grow your profitability with these powerful marketing ideas
How can Salon Owners Make More Money?
It’s clear that the range of Salon Owner salaries is wide. But how come some are able to earn beyond 6 figures and other struggles to make ends meet?
In the following section, we’ll go through the best practices for how to run a successful salon business.
Improving Salon Marketing Effectiveness
It doesn’t matter how good you are your staff is at your craft.
If new clients don’t know you exist and your existing client doesn’t understand why they should spend more with you, you’ll struggle with making your salon profitable.
This is where the importance of good salon marketing comes in.
All successful salon owners have a solid salon marketing plan as part of their salon’s business plan. Your plan should include clearly spelled-out business goals and include an actionable plan for how to reach them.
You should also make sure you have the fundamentals in place for effective interaction with new and existing clients. Below are three specific areas I’d recommend that you focus on first.
Your Salon’s Website
Your salon’s website is many times the first interaction you have with new clients.
You don’t just want it to be a pretty brochure that presents your salon, you want it to convert visitors into followers.
In my guide on how to create a salon website, I go through the basics of how you can make sure your website helps you convert visitors into new clients.
As for website builders, I would recommend Shopify if you plan to sell products online, or Wix if you want an easy way to build an attractive website yourself.
When designing your salon website, it’s important to consider the technology behind it. The choice of website builder platform and salon software can greatly impact the experience your site provides and how successful it is at building your brand and attracting clients.
It’s crucial to ensure that the two technologies integrate well for a seamless user experience.
For salon software, my top recommendation is Mangomint. It offers excellent integration with your website’s online booking experience, regardless of the website builder platform you choose.
For future online stores, Mangomint and Shopify integrate directly and allow you to synchronize your online and offline inventory.
To learn more about your technology options when building your barbershop website, read the articles below:
Your Salon’s Social Media
When used right, social media is a powerful marketing tool for salons. However, it can also consume a lot of time without adding much value if used incorrectly.
This is why I’ve put together a social media guide for salons here to help you get started with using social media to effectively market your salon.
Your Salon Software
The right salon software can help you get new clients and communicate effectively with your existing clients.
Good salon software can do much more than just marketing.
Make sure you understand how your current salon software can help you market your salon.
If you’re not sure if the salon software you’re using today is giving you the support you need you can read my guide to the best salon software here.
These are three vital components you need to have in place to effectively market your salon. There is however much more you can do to grow your salon business via effective salon marketing. For more inspiration, I recommend you check out my list of salon marketing ideas here.
Adding More Salon Revenue Streams
To add significant growth to your salon business, you should not only focus on the incremental improvements you can make to your existing business.
You should look at the different ways that your salon is making money today and consider adding new, additional, income streams to your salon.
When you have multiple sources of income, you’ll not only grow your business faster. You’ll also reduce the risk that your business would fail.
As if one income stream goes down, another one can compensate.
To learn more about different salon revenue streams and how you can find new ones, I recommend you read my article where I go through the salon revenue model here.
Improve Salon Team & Operational Discipline
To be successful in growing your salon business, you cannot only add new ideas to your business.
You also need to make sure you execute all the new ideas with excellence.
A salon business is a people business. It’s people who conduct services on other people.
Your team is everything.
As you start growing your business you should not forget this and ensure you continue to keep your team trained and motivated. If you have employees in your salon, I’d strongly recommend that you read my article on how to motivate salon staff here.
On top of effectively managing your team, you need to effectively manage your business. This means keeping track of the most important numbers and understanding how to read your business. I cover how you can do this in more depth in my article on how to grow your salon business here.
You can also learn more about salon profitability and get profit margin benchmarks in my article about salon profitability.
Reducing Salon Operation Costs
Finally, it doesn’t matter how much revenue your salon is generating if it’s all being eaten up by your salon expenses.
This is why you need to put the right cost controls in place to ensure your salon is not leaking profit somewhere. I know, cutting and optimizing costs is not the most exciting exercise but it’s often overlooked. In particular, if your salon is growing at a fast pace.
But simple things like lowering fixed costs like your salon insurance are easy to do and improve your profit every month. To assess if you’re paying too much for salon insurance today, you can read my article on how much does salon insurance cost here.
As you look at your whole business, your salon software should be able to help you with tracking your expenses and make this work easier for you.
How Much do Salon Employees Make?
How Much do Salon Managers Make?
Salon Managers earn $37,000 per year on average. Salon Manager salaries range from $18,000 to 56’500 per year. The variation of income for Salon Managers is fairly small and within $14,000 per year. This is very different compared to Salon Owner’s salary which varies greatly depending on the location and salon business performance (ZIP).
The Salon Manager and Salon Owner are however often the same person. It’s only larger salon chains that have separate Salon Managers. This could also be the reason why salaries are generally more consistent for Salon Managers compared to Salon Owners.
A Salon Manager’s salary is usually a set pay, with a possible commission from selling products. However, the commission structure is typically used for Salon Workers and not for managers who instead may have a bonus tied to the performance of the salon.
Although the Salon Manager position has more responsibility than a regular Salon Worker, it’s not as stressful as being the responsible owner. This is therefore a good alternative for the ambitious salon worker who wants to increase responsibility but isn’t yet ready to open a salon.
How Much do Hairdressers Make?
Hairdressers make $24,800 per year on average. Their salary model is typically based on an hourly rate which is $11.9/hour on average. Barbers make $13.4/hour on average which is higher than the average Hairdresser (BLS). On top of the salary, hair stylists receive tips which can range from 15%-25%.
As you might expect, the salary for a hairdresser is generally lower than for a Salon Manager or Salon Owner.
How Much do Nail Techs Make?
Nail techs make $24,300 per year on average. Their salary model is typically based on an hourly rate which is $11.7/hour on average (BLS). Nail technician (or Manicurist/pedicurist) salaries are similar to hairdressers and may also earn additional income from tips which range from 15%-25%.
Nail Techs earn less than a Nail Salon Manager or Nail Salon Owner.
How Much do Spa & Beauty Salon Workers (Massage Therapists and Skincare Specialists) Make?
The salary for Spa Workers varies greatly depending on what services they are licensed to perform. Massage Therapists make $41,400 per year on average with an hourly salary of $19.9. Skincare Specialists make $31,300 per year on average with an hourly salary of $15.1.
Salaries paid to beauty salons and spa workers are the highest among beauty services providers. This is because of the specific license requirements to perform these specific services.
The Future of Salons
Is the Salon Industry Growing?
Independently of your field, whether it be hair, nails, or spa, the salon industry as a whole, is steadily growing.
This opens up opportunities for more businesses to enter the market. The annual growth is currently just over 2%, which is expected to keep climbing.
With the salon industry being a nearly $60 billion field, it is becoming more and more appealing to the young business owner to look into (IBIS).
Expansion in Services
Over the past few years, the expansion of services has played a key role in the continued increase in growth of salon businesses.
Hair salons have branched out to offer packages such as full care treatment, massage/shave, and other beauty services.
Another example that has gained traction is hair salons offering tanning services. This is meshing two business types from the same industry into one package, which leads to an increase in profit.
When you start expanding on your services available, you open the door to new clients that may have previously not been interested.
This has led to an increase in overall sales as well over the past few years in the industry.
You can learn more about service opportunities in my list of services to consider for your salon menu here.
Expansion in Products
Traditionally, salons have been a place of service. However, as innovation continues in the field, business ideas that add additional income streams have increased.
This is due to the introduction of offering products to customers who are receiving a service. This has increased the annual profits of salon businesses.
There is a positive outlook for jobs in the salon industry. Job growth is projected to be 13% from now until 2026.
Is the Salon Industry Ever in Danger?
No business is guaranteed success.
But the salon industry is showing a positive trend compared to many other industries. Not only is the salon industry constantly growing, but the services offered also not showing any signs of going away.
Over 70% of all women regularly visit a salon for at least one service. Men are behind at around 50% but the share of many regularly visiting salons climbing steadily (MIN).
I hope this article has given you a good answer to how much salon owners make. But the answer is not as straightforward as a single number.
Several factors impact the salary of a salon owner. In particular the performance of the salon.
This blog is all about helping salon owners grow their businesses.
Have a great day!
Below are the sources I’ve extrapolated the data from in this article. Some numbers used in this article are calculations based on the data on the sources below.