Cosmetology is the study and practice of aesthetic procedures, such as hair styling, skincare, cosmetics, manicures and pedicures, and permanent or non-permanent hair removal. There are several job options for licensed cosmetologists, including barber, hair color specialist, and skin care consultant, while some continue into more technical professions like aesthetics. Students can learn a wide range of beauty treatments or specialize in a particular area. Although the standards vary depending on where you want to work, students must finish between 260 and 1500 hours of training and pass both a written and practical test to practice as certified aesthetician.
Aestheticians are educated to undertake technological procedures including cosmetic electrotherapy, low-level ultrasound treatments, and microcurrents, which are also known as non-surgical facelifts, in addition to treating skin-related conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, and age symptoms. Some continue to finish postgraduate programs and work with a dermatologist for the treatment of more difficult skin conditions.
Many beauty professionals are self-employed, either as single proprietors or independent contractors, and others open their salons or spas. Additionally, cosmetology may be the right career choice if you are drawn to the glamor and glamour of Hollywood or the fashion industry. Even though there is fierce competition for these highly sought-after positions, the most talented individuals in the beauty and hair industries can get employment as make-up artists to the stars. A major film or TV production may pay a make-up artist or hair stylist roughly $59,300 annually.
The cosmetology field is expanding and offers a variety of long-term employment choices. More than 800,000 cosmetology graduates have begun new careers in beauty since 2016, and the figure is expected to keep growing. In fact, between now and 2026, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts a slightly above-average 13% job increase in the beauty business.
How to Become a Cosmetologist
Depending on your chosen career, as well as where you want to study or work, different training and educational requirements apply. In contrast, cosmetology is a regulated profession in the US that calls for state licensing bodies to certify all practitioners. The minimum age restrictions range from 16 to 18, however, this varies from state to state. Additionally, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED, however, some states only require 10th-grade schooling.
Two exams—one written and one practical—must be passed after a predetermined amount of training hours. The last requirement is a certificate demonstrating completion of a course in infectious disease transmission prevention.
A beauty school, a junior college, or a vocational school are places where you may get your cosmetology training. As an alternative, many firms provide work-based apprenticeship programs that integrate academic learning with on-the-job training. No matter which path you pursue, a certificate or diploma may be earned in 12 to 18 months, although associate’s degrees typically take two years to finish.
It is not necessary to have an associate’s degree to work in the beauty industry. A lengthier term of study is likely your best bet, though, if you intend to open your salon or spa. You will take business management, marketing, and business administration modules in addition to learning all the essentials of beauty therapy. A bachelor’s degree in spa administration or additional postgraduate coursework in topics like advanced skincare and dermatology is also possible after earning an associate’s degree.
But having technical talents alone won’t make you a beauty expert. You’ll require a lot of interpersonal skills because cosmetology is a personal service. The majority of a cosmetologist’s day is spent dealing with clients, which calls for a warm and outgoing demeanor, active listening abilities, and the capacity to grasp the worries and expectations of clients.
Benefits of Studying Cosmetology
Cosmetology is probably a satisfying career choice if you are a people person who gets joy from making others happy. And it’s about far more than just improving people’s appearances. Aestheticians and skincare professionals assist patients with long-term health problems like acne or hyperpigmentation, which can be detrimental to their self-esteem and, ultimately, their mental health. Increasing someone’s self-esteem and sense of worth by making them feel better about their looks is another strategy. Since genuine beauty and wellness are about more than simply how you seem, they also concern how you feel.
Cosmetology is a great vocation for those with a creative mindset because it also demands some artistic talent. The most talented hair and makeup artists and stylists become known for coming up with unique twists on popular styles or starting brand-new ones that everyone else imitates. The best artists may also find their creations shown on movie theater screens or enormous billboards that promote designer clothing brands.
Along with a variety of employment opportunities, you may start your own independent, prosperous business. Owning and developing a salon takes years of arduous labor, but the financial and emotional rewards may be enormous. As an alternative, becoming a sole proprietor or a freelancer offers the flexibility that many individuals yearn for. Freelancers have the freedom to choose their clients, set their working hours, and conduct their company in whatever suits them. It is also a terrific method to strike a balance between your professional life and other obligations or duties, like taking care of a family.
A Few Things to Consider about the Course
Cosmetology is a lucrative and stable career, but like any employment, there are some workplace risks to be aware of. The position is physically tough, at the start. For the bulk of the day, hair stylists and beauticians are on their feet, and working in a salon frequently entails late-night and weekend shifts. Second, cosmetologists use a variety of hair colors, shampoos, and other items that might contain hazardous substances.
Health issues including skin irritation, eye infections, and allergies can be brought on by excessive exposure or poor working methods. In addition, several of these substances have the potential to be fatal if accidentally taken. Don’t worry; you will get enough training during your diploma to ensure that you are familiar with safe handling procedures for potentially hazardous substances.
All of this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a career in the beauty industry, but it’s crucial to remember that each beauty professional has a responsibility to their clients, their coworkers, and themselves.
A Secure Career
The worldwide beauty market is worth billions of dollars. To grow their market share and meet consumer demand, companies, and healthcare professionals are always developing new goods and treatments. Additionally, the wide range of beauty standards, the emergence of social media, and the explosive expansion of the male grooming industry are all positive indicators that cosmetologists will never run out of clients or locations to work. It’s also one of the very few sectors that can survive a recession. In actuality, the beauty business grew even during the most recent UK economic slump. Numerous people consider beauty goods and services to be essential.
All of this is wonderful news for anyone who is studying or intends to study cosmetology since it opens up a wide range of employment opportunities with respectable pay and long-term career stability. There are many different employment roles and vocations in cosmetology. As a result, your income is based on your area of specialization. Hair stylists, for instance, earn between $18,000 and $24,000 a year, with the top 10% earning up to $55,000. Although skin care professionals with a master’s or a Ph.D. might make substantially more, especially if they go into the lucrative private medical sector, this income range serves as a solid baseline for most other cosmetology occupations.
After gaining years of expertise, you may impart your knowledge and abilities to the following generation of practitioners. A cosmetology instructor typically makes $52,600 per year. Additionally, creating your line of beauty products offers the possibility to make some additional money for the more ambitious and enterprising sorts. Before you fully comprehend the science involved in producing items, you will need to finish a few years of formal study, but this is an opportunity to have an impact on the sector.
Deciding to study cosmetology is the first step toward a lucrative, safe, and enjoyable profession. First of all, it’s a far cry from the typical 9–5 office schedule. Additionally, you will probably meet a lot of intriguing and like-minded individuals along the way, although it sometimes involves long, exhausting shifts and atypical working hours. Cosmetology is not simply a profession or a career for many beauty experts and stylists; it’s a way of life.