If you have an interest in the beauty industry, particularly hair, nail and skin care, you may find great satisfaction in attending a cosmetology school to become a cosmetologist. Cosmetology covers such career options as hair stylist, manicurist, esthetician, cosmetics expert, massage therapist, salon manager and more. As cosmetologists work primarily with people, you’ll do better if you have a friendly disposition and good interpersonal skills.
Cosmetology School vs. Conventional College
In order to become a cosmetologist, you need to complete a cosmetology program from a qualified cosmetology school. Unlike conventional colleges which focus more on academics, trade schools specialize in providing training for occupational skills that students can use directly within the workforce. Trade schools offer practical training for such professions as secretary, hairdresser, plumber, electrician and welder, among others.
Cosmetology schools differ from conventional colleges in several other ways. They’re often smaller in size, maintain smaller classes and offer courses related strictly to cosmetology. Programs run between 1-2 years, after which you can obtain your license and begin your career. In contrast, colleges offer a variety of course options and degree programs which may extend anywhere between 2-5 years or more. Employment generally begins after completing a 4-year Bachelor’s degree.
Cosmetology School Requirements
To enter a cosmetology school, students are required to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Cosmetology programs may take anywhere between 1-2 years for completion, depending on the curriculum and the school you choose. In general, cosmetology classes focus on hair, skin and nail care along with general health and safety. You’ll also learn basic business skills that can help you in setting up your own salon.
Most states require that you complete a cosmetology program and get a license before you can practice your profession. In addition to classroom study, cosmetology programs include on the job practical training in a private or school salon. Such practical training will enable you to gain valuable experience that you can rely on to get a job.
Cosmetology is a growing field with many opportunities for the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, career prospects in the beauty industry are expected to grow by approximately 13% within the next 10 years. On average, cosmetologists earn about $23,500 annually, not including tips and commission. Your salary will vary depending on your experience, specialty and location of employment. By establishing an extensive client base and strong client relationships, you can go far in this field.
There are many benefits of becoming a cosmetoogist. Once you have your license, you have the freedom to choose where you want to work as well as determine your own schedule. You may prefer to leave your mornings free and make all appointments in the afternoon or early evening. Starting your own business offers many challenges for the future. Another alternative is to work in a salon where you can learn from the best in the industry.
Talented cosmetologists are in great demand. By honing your skills and recruiting a large client base, you can steadily increase your income. As you gain more experience, your career prospects will continue to grow. Top salons are always looking for experienced cosmetologists who are gifted in their field. Most important of all, you’ll be working in a profession you enjoy where you can express your creativity to the full.