How To Become a Cosmetologist

Here are the five steps to becoming a cosmetologist:
  1. Be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or a GED.
  2. Enroll in a state-licensed cosmetology school.
  3. Complete your courses. Most programs take 9-15 months to complete.
  4. Complete training hours. …
  5. Pass the state licensing exam.


Average salary for a cosmetologist

The type of services provided by a cosmetologist and their geographic location both have a significant impact on their pay. Those who land jobs at upscale salons in major markets may make significantly more money than those in smaller towns. Cosmetologists who work for themselves have more control over their own income because they can decide how much time they spend working, how much they charge, and what services they provide.

What does a cosmetologist do?

Cosmetologists give their clients individualized care to make them feel confident and attractive. While some cosmetologists opt to open their own salons, others opt to rent space from a group. Some cosmetologists prioritize developing a clientele that they can continue to see on a regular basis for many years.

How to become a cosmetologist

Depending on where you intend to work and the services you intend to offer, the requirements to become a cosmetologist may change. Generally speaking, you must complete a specialized cosmetology training course before proving your proficiency in a licensing procedure. Here are steps to follow for becoming a cosmetologist:

1. Meet the minimum requirements

In most places, entering cosmetology school requires that you be at least 16 years old and have completed high school or an equivalent program. But in some cases, some vocational programs do let high school students enroll. The fact that these programs give students a head start on their career path may be advantageous.

2. Enroll in a cosmetology school

When deciding what training you need to become a cosmetologist, you have a lot of options. The cost you can anticipate varies significantly depending on your school’s location, the licenses or certifications you earn, and the facilities you have access to. Community colleges, vocational schools, private institutions, and for-profit organizations all offer cosmetology programs. Some programs result in an associate degree, while others grant a completion certificate.

For those who require a flexible course schedule, both full-time and part-time programs are available. A few programs offer limited online classes. To find the school that is the best fit for you, you must evaluate a number of options.

3. Complete coursework

It can take nine to fifteen months to complete cosmetology school, and there are 1,000 to 2,300 hours of required coursework. The topics cover customer service, business bookkeeping, and anatomy as well as the science of hair coloring and cutting. Additionally, cosmetologists learn how to operate and maintain tools like razors, blowers, rollers, hair irons, and more.

Exams must be passed in order to graduate from a cosmetology training program, and students must demonstrate their skills in real-world and mannequin practice sessions. As a form of on-the-job training, some states also permit authorized, paid apprenticeships.

4. Decide on a specialty

Your program might provide specialized courses in microdermabrasion, waxing, facials, and hair coloring, to name a few. Work hours for specialty positions like estheticians and manicurists increase by about 600. However, they can increase your opportunities and give you a leg up when applying for jobs.

For instance, with more expertise, you might be able to land a job as a consultant for a beauty publication. You might also come across opportunities in unexpected places, like morgues, where you could help grieving families by doing the dead person’s hair and makeup. Some cosmetologists provide assistance in choosing and using suitable hair and skincare products for their clients.

5. Pass a licensing exam

Passing a licensing exam is the final requirement to become a cosmetologist. The test’s content varies by location, but the majority of them include a written section and an evaluation that highlights principles of skincare, makeup, and hair care. You must pay a licensing fee to get your documentation after passing your exam.

FAQs about becoming a cosmetologist

The following are responses to some of the most typical queries people ask when looking into cosmetology careers:

What does it mean when a cosmetology school says it is accredited?

In order to become accredited, cosmetology schools must adhere to criteria set by a body with the power to do so. By being accredited, a school can demonstrate that it is meeting standards for the quality of its curriculum, the employment of its graduates, and other success metrics.

The National Accrediting Commission for Career Arts and Sciences is acknowledged by the US Department of Education as the accreditation body for cosmetology schools. Selecting an accredited institution may open up more financial aid options for you, and some employers prefer to hire graduates from accredited programs.

What is the difference between a cosmetology school and a beauty school?

The same type of educational program is typically described by these two terms, which are frequently used interchangeably. The majority of programs prefer to be referred to as “cosmetology schools,” as the name suggests a more professional course of study with a wider focus.

What are some paths for career advancement as a cosmetologist?

Some cosmetologists look for a career path that uses their skills in a new way after gaining years of experience. Opportunities include teaching cosmetology, inspecting licenses, and consulting in salons, to name a few. Many cosmetologists use the internet’s resources to their advantage, starting their own blogs or posting images and videos of their work on social media.

Is financial aid available to attend cosmetology school?

Financial aid usually takes one of three forms. Federal loans and grant programs are available through the government. Private loans are those you get from a bank, credit union, or other type of lending arrangement. Scholarships and grants are typically competitive in nature and may be awarded based on both academic achievement and financial need.

Most accredited cosmetology schools provide a mix of these three types of financial assistance. Although unaccredited programs might provide grants and scholarships, they typically lack access to federal lending programs.

What if my state doesnt offer a license to provide a particular service?

Every state in the US offers a cosmetology license, though in some places it may go by a different name. Some states do not require licenses for certain occupations, such as nail technicians and makeup artists. Make sure it is not covered by another license if you want to offer clients a service that is not specifically licensed by your state.

For instance, the cosmetology license may include information on makeup artistry. If the service doesn’t require a license, your local licensing board can answer these queries and provide you with information on your options.


Is being a cosmetologist HARD?

Beauty school is a lot of hard work. Studying textbooks, taking quizzes and tests, and repeatedly practicing hairstyles are all required of students. Even though there are early mornings and late nights, when you are truly passionate about your work, it is all worthwhile.

Is cosmetology a real career?

You can therefore mention that you are a chemist, customer service representative, marketer, sales representative, and business manager if someone claims that being a cosmetologist is only about cutting hair. But most importantly, it’s a line of work that allows you to express your creativity and artistic talent while also uplifting others, which is rewarding.

Why is cosmetology a good career?

Cosmetologists work with people of all various backgrounds. Making new friends and learning about various types of people is an opportunity that arises every day. Cosmetology careers are very flexible. Depending on your preferences, you can choose to work part-time, on the weekends, or full-time.

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