There’s no reason to wait until high school graduation to get started in cosmetology. That certainly doesn’t mean quitting high school – that’s never a good idea. Instead, get a head start on a cosmetology career while still in high school by taking preparatory classes. While not every high school offers this opportunity, many do. There’s no better high school education than one that allows students to follow a passion.
Introduction to Cosmetology
High school cosmetology courses are usually introductory, and the credits often don’t carry over to actual cosmetology schools. Whether or not high school vocational classes, such as cosmetology, enable a student to earn hours toward a license or receive an actual license depends on state law. Even if the credits don’t carry over, a student who takes these classes in high school has a head start when they enter cosmetology school. Let’s face it – learning about hair, nail and skin care is a lot more interesting for most people than algebra or physics.
What You’ll Learn
Which classes are offered in high school for cosmetology classes varies from school to school. In the best-case scenario, students attend a career education program, which focuses on their field of study. The cosmetology courses must adhere to the state requirements for licensing. In addition to learning full-service hair, nail, and skin care, upper-level high school cosmetology students might run a school salon open on a regular basis to customers. While not every school offers that level of experience, most high school students can practice their skills on fellow cosmetology students. Along with cosmetology, students learn other skills necessary in the business world, such as customer service.
High School Education Alternatives
If a high school doesn’t offer cosmetology courses, all is not lost. There are other cosmetology education alternatives available for high school students, and these should offer credits towards licensing hours. Unlike high school cosmetology courses, which are free, the student must pay for this education. One option is online cosmetology courses, which allows the student to work at her own pace in her free time. Another possibility is enrolling in part-time cosmetology courses at night or on the weekends. The minimum age to attend cosmetology school varies by state, but in some states, a high junior could enroll in part-time cosmetology classes and earn enough hours to receive a license by the time high school graduation rolls around, or shortly thereafter.
If your high school doesn’t offer a cosmetology program, don’t despair. Check into whether the county offers vocational schooling, and whether you are eligible to apply. Ask about apprenticeship programs. Certain states allow apprenticeship hours to count for licensing. These include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
Minimum age requirements for apprenticeship vary by state law. If there’s no opportunity to take high school cosmetology classes, the best bet is contacting a local cosmetology school to discuss online or part-time classes. For more information on getting started in cosmetology school, contact us.