A Snapshot of NCA Membership

The National Cosmetology Association (NCA) recently commissioned an independently conducted assessment survey, drawing information about the demographics, wants and needs of its members. The results will be used to enhance member services and develop future programs and benefits. Highlights include:


  • The average NCA member is 45 years old, female and has worked actively in the industry for 19 years.
  • 62% are married; 51% are head of their household.
  • 93% are registered voters: 39% Republican, 31% Democratic and 27% no affiliation.
  • 63% use the Internet; 89% of Internet users frequently use e-mail.


  • 51% are salon owners, and 19% of owners are 30 years old or younger.
  • 19% are booth renters/independent contractors; 16% are commissioned employees.
  • The annual average earnings is $34,850, based on an average of 29.4 work hours per week (or a full-time, 40-hour equivalent of $47,415).
  • 21% report annual earnings of over $50,000.
  • 89% of NCA members have health insurance.
  • 30% percent of member-owned salons offer employee benefits programs, including health insurance (69%), paid vacation days (66%), education reimbursement (43%), and 401k or retirement accounts (41%).


  • Respondents ranked professional development and educational opportunities as the most important factors in the decision to join the NCA.
  • 51% have been members for 10 years or longer.
  • 84% plan to renew their NCA membership. Most popular reasons for maintaining membership:

• continuing education
• industry news
• passion or obligation to support the industry.
  • The top five NCA benefits/programs: Continuing Education, Free/Discounted Trade Show Admission, Educational Events, Professional Advancement and Professional Certification. These also received the highest quality ratings.
  • The top four outside benefits/programs: Sally Beauty Supply Discount (74%), American Salon magazine (73%), Free and Discounted Trade Show Admission (52%) and Educational Events (43%).
  • Professional issues ranked "critical" or "very critical":

• availability of quality continuing education
• maintaining a professional license
• unlicensed services and/or salons
• client retention
• beauty school education.
 NCA members rank professional development and educational opportunities as the most important membership benefits.
NCA members rank professional development and educational opportunities as the most important membership benefits.

"The survey provides our board of directors, officers and staff with valuable insights into the realities and needs of our individual salon professional and owner members," says NCA President Josephine Zeppieri. "We are very pleased to confirm that NCA members exceed the industry average in income, benefits and longevity, not to mention the high level of salon owners among our membership."

*Survey conducted by SmithBucklin Market Research and Statistics Group. The calculated margin of error is ±3.8 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. That is, we can be 95 percent certain that the total population of NCA members would have answered within 3.8% of the results shown in this report.