Putting the Salon Professional First
Putting the Salon Professional First
Putting the Salon Professional First
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Putting the Salon Professional First
Putting the Salon Professional First
Putting the Salon Professional First

A new salon education and salon benefits program makes it easy for salon stylists and estheticians to grow their business rapidly and in the direction they want to take it. They get the perceived benefits of booth rental or owning their own salon, but without the hassle or overhead. Benefits include ability to earn up to 70% commission right away, generous health insurance, paid vacation and sick time, and even paid education. Grow your salon career now with a salon company that puts you first!

The guest is at the center of everything at Ulta Beauty, starting with the internal guest—the salon professional.

“Come see for yourself,” Ulta’s Jen McGann says. “Come interview us. Sample our education. Talk to the salon manager and to other stylists, skin therapists or arch experts. They’ll tell you what’s different and exciting at the Salon at Ulta Beauty, because they are living it, they believe in it, and they are definitely passionate about it.”

McGann, who is director of artistic development and training for the Salon at Ulta Beauty, is pretty passionate herself, especially about how salon pros are responding to enhancements to the services business model at Ulta. She and Sarah Dahl, senior manager, field services education, have worked with an an expanded team of full-time technical educators—109 district and nine regional—to roll out the program across the country, working in tandem with Director of Field Services Operations Megan Murray and another 118 full-time trainers whose focus is to help associates with all aspects of salon business and personal success.

All together, this powerhouse field team makes sure Ulta salon pros in every location get personal support and training so they understand and get the most benefit out of:

  • updated and attractive career paths and compensation
  • streamlined, simplified salon menu and pricing
  • revamped and customizable hands-on education

“There’s much more, of course,” Murray says. “It’s a new culture, a new way of salon life.”

“We are really at the tip of the iceberg for continued growth,” adds Dahl. (See more on her personal Ulta Beauty career journey here.)

McGann, a licensed hairdresser—as all the Salon at Ulta Beauty technical education educators are—has been with the company nearly six years and spent the previous nine with a major cosmetology education group. She has witnessed many salon industry shifts.

“Salon services have always been important at Ulta Beauty, but as the salon and retail landscape started changing a few years ago, our leadership saw an opportunity to really look at how we could be best serving our guests and truly meeting all their needs, to create the best experience,” McGann recalls. “Kecia Steelman, our chief store operations officer, had a vision, challenged us and led us in building out a plan to celebrate and support our service professionals.”

The plan kicked off by investing in people, education and industry relationships. Steelman brought Nick Stenson on board to lead the salon group and deliver big ideas, like assembling an inclusive Pro Team of top educators Ammon Carver (now Ulta Chief Artistic Director), Sonya Dove (now seeing clients out of an Ulta location in California) and others, all aligned with different manufacturers.

Stenson, who is vice president of salon services and trend, says while Ulta Beauty had more of a traditional salon business model in the past, today it has been “revolutionized to be 100% focused on growing the careers of all our service professionals.”

“This professional-first approach of putting the stylist at the center of everything we do, of prioritizing their financial success, is a win-win-win for the salon professional, our guests and Ulta,” he explains. “We gave ourselves permission to think differently, to break old barriers, to be more diverse and inclusive. And it’s working.”

The Ulta difference includes a lot more (paid!) education—each salon can expect at least one class per month—and three simplified but meaningful career path tiers: Stylist, Master and Elite. And, associates can earn up to 70% commission, based on weekly sales, from day one, regardless of tier.

As appealing as the money and education perks are, Stenson, McGann and almost anyone you speak with from Ulta mention a new level of purpose and pride evident these days at The Salon at Ulta Beauty.

“In addition to the excitement about service business, there is a very real desire to help change the entire industry,” McGann says. “This filters down from Nick and Ammon and everyone on the services team. As hairdressers, we have all needed things at different points in our careers—good education, better advice, more money. I think about myself as a beginning hairdresser behind the chair and imagine what I could have done then if I’d had the kind of support Ulta Beauty is offering—if I was in control of my earning power, was paid for education, and had the world’s largest waiting room of 33 million guests connected to my salon brand. It’s game-changing.”

“It all starts with our highly trained associates, who are the heart and soul of what we are all about,” concludes Kecia Steelman, chief store operations officer, Ulta Beauty.
“More than 11,000 stylists, skin therapists and arch experts help guests bring out the best version of themselves,” Steelman says. “The Salon at Ulta Beauty and the array of services we provide complete the truly unique guest experience you can only find in our stores. Between our beauty loving associates, salon services and more than 25,000 products, it is easy to understand why we say the possibilities are beautiful at Ulta Beauty.”

Check out the Salon at Ulta Beauty near you. Ask the salon manager for more info on local—and free!—Ulta Academy education and events. Apply at careers.ulta.com


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