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Salary Range
€25k - €60k
Career Zone

In Brief...

Uses make-up to either enhance or characterise a persons features for on stage, film or television.


  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.


  • Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

In Summary - Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

Career Sectors

Make-Up Artist - TV/Films typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Visual Arts
Art, Craft & Design
Make Up
Fashion & Beauty
Beauty Therapy
Fashion & Beauty
TV and Online Video
Media & Publishing
Media & Publishing

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

The Make-up Artist breaks down the script in order to work to the make-up budget and schedule for the production and is responsible for the budget and administration related to the make-up department. The Make-up Artist briefs the Assistant Make-up Artist on the type of make-up required then schedules and assigns make-up personnel to certain actors and/or extras.  
The Senior Make-up Artist would usually attend to the principal actors and assign an Assistant to minor cast members and extras, depending on the size of the cast involved in the production.  
The work may include life casting, modelling and creating prosthetic pieces, applying and removing same. Ageing actors using various techniques. Creating forms of forensic make-up. Dressing, cleaning, applying and removing facial hairpieces. Remaining conscious of the damage that can be done to skin should any of these be carelessly executed. Make-up will need to be touched up in between takes.  
The work involved for the Make-up Artist depends on the nature of the script and one is expected to have knowledge of all the make-up techniques required, taking into account that story lines originally in the script can be altered and changed during shooting. The work includes consideration of hygiene, sterilisation of equipment, skin problems and allergies. The make up artist works closely with the costume designer, the hair and wardrobe departments, and has to have an understanding of the requirements of each.  
Travel within a working day, absence from home at night and overseas work or travel is frequent in this profession.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Confer with stage or motion picture officials and performers in order to determine desired effects.
  • Duplicate work precisely in order to replicate characters' appearances on a daily basis.
  • Establish budgets, and work within budgetary limits.
  • Apply makeup to enhance, and/or alter the appearance of people appearing in productions such as movies.
  • Alter or maintain makeup during productions as necessary to compensate for lighting changes or to achieve continuity of effect.
  • Select desired makeup shades from stock, or mix oil, grease, and coloring in order to achieve specific color effects.
  • Cleanse and tone the skin in order to prepare it for makeup application.
  • Assess performers' skin-type in order to ensure that make-up will not cause break-outs or skin irritations.
  • Analyze a script, noting events that affect each character's appearance, so that plans can be made for each scene.
  • Requisition or acquire needed materials for special effects, including wigs, beards, and special cosmetics.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Developing and Building Teams Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Interests - Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:


Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.


The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.


Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.


You will usually see the performers, personalities and guests just before they are needed on set or stage, when they are likely to be nervous or irritable. Therefore, you will need to put them at their ease and cope with any stress. Thousands even millions will see them- only the immediate crew will see you, so whatever you feel like, it must always come second or be hidden. This requires a mature and even temperament, tact, diplomacy and endless patience. You will have to always be discreet, both about actors and the production you are working on.  
You will need to be reasonably fit. Working on location can be physically strenuous and you will spend a lot of time on your feet, sometimes in the outdoors in bad weather. You also need a very accurate eye and good colour vision for colour matching. You need good hand skills and a steady hand to apply make-up and delicate prosthetic pieces.

Entry Requirements - Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

Pay & Salary - Make-Up Artist - TV/Film

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €25k - €60k

Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

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