An industry-wide data collaboration

DEADLINE EXTENDED

 

Part 1: Data Collection

Closes October 15, 2022

Part 2: Survey Submission

Closes October 15, 2022

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WHAT DOES A CAREER IN COSMETOLOGY LOOK LIKE FROM A WAGE & HOURS STANDPOINT?

 

WHAT DOES A CAREER IN COSMETOLOGY LOOK LIKE FROM A WAGE & HOURS STANDPOINT?

 

+ get a free copy of the Report upon Completion of the Study

This is the question we sought to answer from April to June 2022 as we conducted phase 1 of a Pro Beauty Compensation Study. What started as a grassroots effort to help service providers better understand their compensation has quickly escalated in importance as media outlets have published more and more misinformation about earnings in the beauty and wellness industry. We came to learn that much of the data made available to the public about cosmetology pay and hours is alarming, shocking, flawed, or biased, portraying cosmetology as a field with “low wages and long hours with very little time off” (Institute for Justice).

Let’s tell a different story about earnings & hours in pro beauty. through data.

LET’S TELL A DIFFERENT STORY ABOUT EARNINGS & HOURS IN PRO BEAUTY. THROUGH DATA.

 

+ get a free copy of the Report upon Completion of the Study

Much of the data being used does not tell the full story about a career in beauty. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with other sources, paint a very grim picture about earnings in beauty and wellness, with references to “the poverty of cosmetologists’ earnings” (The Century Foundation).

$16,767

The Century Foundation analysis of earnings data from ‘the College Scorecard’

$29,670*

Median annual wage for a hairdresser in the United States according to BLS.

is this the full picture?

we don’t think so.

IS THIS THE FULL PICTURE?

WE DON’T THINK SO.

 

Help our industry close gaps between perception and reality on salon compensation, benefits, and hours worked.
Let’s shift the narrative and recognize Pro Beauty as a first-choice career.

WHAT YOU’LL GET

WHAT YOU’LL GET

A report with the first industry-specific data for service providers on:

  • Average Annual Compensation
  • Average Hours Worked
  • Average Earnings Per Hour
  • Employee Benefits Offered
  • Length of Service
  • Unstaffed and Open Positions
  • Compensation Structures
  • Paid Time Off & Sick Leave
  • Paid Education & Training
  • And more, including segmentation (by price points, department,
    region, and other points of reference)

Plus, you’ll receive:

  • Tips, education, and examples on how to USE the data to better recruit
    and retain staff
  • Helpful comparisons to other industries
  • Other important insights to help you and your team

You’ll also have the chance to play a key role in changing the narrative & shaping the future of the professional beauty industry.

    The ripple effects of this kind of misinformation are massive.

    Industry perception is suffering, salons and spas of all sizes are struggling to find and keep talent, and public policy decisions that impact the entire industry are being made based on incomplete data. Our findings from phase 1 paint a very different picture.

    “What parent wants their kid to go to school to make in the $20,000’s with no benefits? No one.

      The work you are doing is helping to expose the truth of this industry and show what’s possible. In our case, we have 250 service providers and we have 50% of them make over $100,000, 17 people over $150,000, and 5 that make over $200,000. Not many careers where that’s possible.”

      – Van Council | CEO | Van Michael Salons

      PHASE 1: CLOSED

      PHASE 1: CLOSED

      There is little to no timely and relevant industry research and data on pro beauty compensation and hours worked. So we started small. We used a simple but thorough methodology, collecting W2’s from full-service salons of all sizes and price points:

      • 51 salon companies
      • 108 locations
      • 1,219 employee W2’s
      • Over $65MM in payroll

      We went to great lengths to safeguard the data, including developing a custom data entry portal for each business. We worked through a tight timeline, but there were no shortcuts.

      Our Findings:

      • $53,338 annual W2 earnings
      • 27.33 average hours worked per week
      • $37.53 average hourly wage
      • If adjusted for full time hours, 23% of employees would exceed $100,000 in annual earnings
      • Approximately 80% of businesses are female owned

      This is the most broken down, accurate data I’ve ever seen. Keeping it simple to the W2 is what everyone should have been trying to do. This is more information collected than what I’ve seen from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I’ve been shocked to find that the BLS is not using IRS data, but rather is using phone calls, censuses, and other data collection. This may actually be more than what they are doing!”

      -Myra Irizarry | Director of Government Affairs and Industry Relations | Professional Beauty Association

      We can’t stop here. To go deeper, add data points, and ensure that the study is statistically relevant, we need to increase the sample size. It’s time for Phase 2. We need more data. We need you.

      For practical reasons, the next phase of the study does NOT address all segments of the fragmented pro beauty workforce, but it DOES provide a deeper look at earnings based on standardized and verifiable W2 data provided to the IRS. We’re starting with the largest segment of the workforce: full service, employee-based salons with under 20 locations, most of them independently owned, small businesses that are part of your community.

      MEET THE STUDY TEAM

      MEET THE STUDY TEAM

      Barry Matthews
      Independent Analyst

      ABOUT BARRY
      • Experienced CFO
      • Over 40 years in accounting/finance
      • Over 20 years in pro beauty
      • Career includes multi-unit service and retail organizations inside & outside of Pro Beauty 
      • CFO, Gene Juarez in 2000-2012
      • Independent Analyst for Salon Services
      • Fractional CFO for multiple beauty companies
      • Multiple Compensation projects

      KEVIN LIGHTHEART, CPA
      LIGHTHEART SANDERS

      ABOUT KEVIN
      • Shareholder and Tax Partner at Lightheart Sanders since 1997.
      • Oversees the Tax Department, including tax preparation, consulting, and planning for businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations. Passion for helping small businesses in the Beauty & Barber School and Salon & Spa fields.
      • Over 30 years of experience in the field

      Jared Sanders, CPA
      Lightheart Sanders

      ABOUT JARED
      • Shareholder and Audit Partner at Lightheart Sanders since 2000
      • Oversees all aspects of the audit department, including leading SFA audits, managing client relationships, presenting financial information to schools, and marketing and industry outreach
      • Serves on various boards and committees
      • Industry speaker on beauty school financials and student financial aid compliance

      KAY WONG
      Lightheart Sanders

      SONJA ECKLUND
      QNITY

      CANDY LIU, CPA
      LIGHTHEART SANDERS

      STERN NEILL, PhD
      CAL-POLY

      MEET THE THINK TANK

      MEET THE THINK TANK

      ELAINE HAGAN
      UCLA

      DIANE STEVENS
      COLE STEVENS SALON & SPA

      DOUG ROBINSON
      DRY FLY CAPITAL

      JANET WILLIAMS
      PROGRESSIVE DISCOVERIES

      AL OSBORNE
      UCLA

      MYRA IRIZARRY REDDY
      PROFESSIONAL BEAUTY ASSOCIATION

      TRACEE HERRING
      Davanti Salon

      READY TO JOIN THE STUDY?

      READY TO JOIN THE STUDY?

      Here’s our promise to you:

      • Confidentiality and protecting your data is paramount. Company and employee data will remain highly protected. No specific company wages will be released. Published findings from the Study will include only aggregate and anonymous data that you supply. Qnity has created a separate division called Qnity Data & Research Institute to isolate activities, team members, funding, etc. from other Qnity business units. Email us for a copy of the CONFIDENTIALITY AND TERMS OF USE AGREEMENT.
      • The purpose of collecting and publishing this data is to help elevate the industry.
      • We have simplified the process so submitting the data and completing the survey is quick and easy

      What we’ll ask of you:

      • Fill out the form to provide a point of contact
      • Watch your email and check your SPAM. Please respond to all messages in a timely manner
      • Steps to complete:
        1. E-sign the Confidentiality Agreement (through DocuSign). The email will come from compstudy@qnityinc.com.
        2. Submit payroll data (without employee names) through your private data collection file. The email will come from LSA (Lightheart Sanders & Associates, CPAs)
        3. Complete the survey. The email will come from compstudy@qnityinc.com the week of August 15.
        4. Please respond quickly – We have a short timeframe to collect this data.

      A Message from Tom Kuhn

      CEO & Founder of Qnity, Beauty Changes Lives Board Member

      Read More

      Greetings,

      Throughout my career, I have witnessed a negative perception of hairdressers and the salon industry by the public.

      A common story is that hairstylists work in a low tier profession with correspondingly low earnings. Yet those of us who have extensive experience and access to data in this industry have found that a career in pro beauty can be highly competitive from an earnings, hours worked, AND quality of life perspective.

      We’ve seen overwhelming evidence that most employees do not understand their compensation and their paychecks. More often than not, employees grossly underestimate their earnings. Many leave good jobs for what they think are better opportunities, or they get side hustles to make more money, often for a much lower hourly rate. Many even leave the industry prematurely, thinking that they can’t make it as a full time cosmetologist. 

      Supportive employers that have sat down with employees and explained their W2 AND other compensation report a common theme of surprise when employees begin to understand their full, gross earnings AND see it broken down to an hourly rate.

      What started as a grassroots study to equip salon owners with data to communicate earnings to their staff, has become an unprecedented industry-wide data collaboration.

      In my research, I have become increasingly alarmed and shocked to find that much of the data made available to the public about cosmetology pay and hours is flawed and biased.

      To date, the primary point of reference on earnings is provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which I have come to learn relies on surprising flawed methods. It fails to adequately account for the fragmented nature of the industry, including the extreme flexibility in work hours, forms of doing business, and the high percentage of part-time solo practitioners operating out of their home, a booth rental salon, or a suite. Data also sometimes comes from public policy groups with an agenda, such as those seeking to remove licensing for cosmetology (and most other industries). Some groups are advocating for public policy reform, which threatens to harm genuinely good beauty schools and attacks the viability of this industry when based on incomplete and flawed data.

      We can’t deny the data out there, but we can provide other points of reference on earnings and hours data to help change the narrative.

      It’s time to advocate for pro beauty, and to do so with quality data and integrity.

      Transparency is important. The Confidentiality and Terms of Use Agreement not only protects those that are in the Study, but it also provides disclosures about perceived and real conflicts of interest, motives, funding, separation of research from other Qnity ventures, and more.

      For practical reasons, this study does NOT address all segments of the fragmented pro beauty workforce. But we needed to start somewhere. We went first to where there was the most accessible, standardized, and verifiable data: W2 data provided to the IRS by employee-based salons. We also believe we are starting with the largest segment of the workforce: full service, employee-based salons with under 20 locations, most of them independently owned, small, community-based businesses. We hope that this Study encourages other segments of Pro Beauty to join the collaboration and help change the narrative with data.

      Frankly, this is not a project I asked for. As the CEO of high growth companies with a mission of creating greater financial wellness in beauty, wellness, and other industries, and as a Board member of Beauty Changes Lives, I have a full plate.

      But this needs to be done.

      I have been encouraged by the MANY beauty brands, associations, tech companies, and other parties that have decided to get behind this research and step up as advocates, sponsors, and Think Tank Members. We need it and we are immensely grateful. 

      Please join us by participating in or otherwise supporting the next phase of the Pro Beauty Compensation study.

      Yours in Service,
      Tom Kuhn

      Interested in sponsoring the study? Contact compstudy@qnityinc.com

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