A-Z Guide to Becoming a Cosmetologist

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becoming a cosmetologist

In 2019, there were around 722,600 cosmetologists, which shows it’s a flourishing industry.

Becoming a cosmetologist means you can restore people’s confidence and flex your creativity skills. Perhaps you’re eager to start a career but you’re not sure where to start.

Sounds familiar? Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is a Cosmetologist?

Before we cover the necessary qualifications to become a cosmetologist, it’s important to understand what the role entails. Cosmetologists focus on hair, but many specialize in other areas such as skincare, makeup design, and nails.

Because of this, cosmetologists have a wide range of skills in beauty skills depending on their preferences

Benefits of Becoming a Cosmetologist

“Why become a cosmetologist,” you ask. Find out the benefits below!

Express Your Creativity

A major reason why students want to learn cosmetology is you can express yourself and push boundaries with your creativity.

You can try new things with styling techniques, color theory, and makeup, so you’re constantly honing your skills. Plus, cosmetology lets you give clients the look they want while adding your personal touch.

Many students want to become a cosmetologist because no two days are the same. Whether you’re meeting new clients or trying new styles, you’ll never feel bored at work.

Join a Growing Industry

One of the main facts about becoming a cosmetologist is you’re joining a booming industry. It’s predicted to grow around 8% by 2028. This means the skills you develop are valuable, thanks to the wide range of opportunities available.

Make People Feel Great

A cosmetologist’s job security is often thanks to the special relationships they have with clients. You must have a good level of trust for someone to style your hair, which is why customers keep returning.

Furthermore, people want to feel pampered and escape their hectic lives, which you can do. This makes cosmetology a rewarding career.

Many Career Opportunities

The possibilities are endless with cosmetology. If you want to work outside the salon environment, you can also become a hair colorist, fashion stylist, makeup artist, and movie hairstylist.

Or, if you want to become a salon owner, cosmetology school gives you the tools so you can learn both the creative and business aspect of running your own company.

Create Your Schedule

Not everyone wants a 9 to 5, which is why cosmetology is such an attractive career path.

Because you’re your own boss, you can choose where and when you work. And even when you’re learning, you can attend night classes to fit around your schedule.

How to Become a Cosmetologist

You’ve decided cosmetology is for you. Congrats! So let’s figure out how to start the process.

Meet Basic Age and Educational Requirements

Note that you must be at least 16 years old and have a high school education to become a cosmetologist. This will depend on your state, as they have different regulations and requirements. So familiarize yourself with this before applying to schools.

If you’re in high school, check whether you can join a vocational program for cosmetology, as this will give you a jump start.

Research Beauty Schools

Take time researching cosmetology schools so you find the best one for your personality and career goals. Check out the establishment’s website to learn more about its culture and the programs available.

Once you’ve got a list of options, schedule a tour. This lets you ask questions about cosmetology education and receive immediate answers, whether it’s about financial aid or the variety of courses.

Enroll in Your Dream School

Tuition for cosmetology school ranges from $10,000 to $20,000, depending on your preferred course, its location, and the hours required to earn your license. It’s wise that you find three schools to compare prices, the percentage of students who find jobs, and the program’s duration.

Don’t worry if you can’t commit to a full-time program. There are many part-time ones available so you have flexibility.

Complete Your Education

Most cosmetology programs take 9 to 15 months to complete. Again, consider your state, as many require 1,600 training hours while others only ask for 1,000.

During your education, you’ll learn everything from hair coloring to human anatomy so you acquire a deep knowledge of the subject. You’ll also attend class, pass exams, and gain practical experience so you can graduate.

Decide Whether to Specialize

In cosmetology school, you can decide whether to specialize. For instance, you can become a beautician, wedding stylist, and nail technician. And, after becoming a cosmetologist, you can become a magazine editor or consultant, as you have the necessary skills.

Pass Your Licensing Exam

The final stage of your cosmetology education is passing a licensing exam. This means you must pass written questions and a practical exam on skincare, makeup, and hair care. If you’re unsure about what to specialize in, you can get your cosmetology license and pursue one afterward.

Starting Your Cosmetology Career

A great way to begin your cosmetology career is by joining an apprentice program. Check which salons offer paid apprenticeships and apply, as you’ll gain at least two years of apprenticeship.

You can also jump right in and check out job listings. It also helps to have connections, so ask students you’ve met whether they have any leads.

If you’re eager to start your salon, know you’ll need experience in another business first to learn the ropes. So check out spas, retail beauty locations, and beauty salons.

That’s How to Become a Cosmetologist

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know all about becoming a cosmetologist.

Make sure you research schools, know your state’s requirements, and pass your licensing exam. You can decide whether you want to further your education to specialize or apply for an apprenticeship to start your career. Good luck!

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