A cosmetologist typically works in a salon or spa to provide hair care, facials, scalp treatments, nail care, and other beauty treatments. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest data, the expected 10-year job growth is 13 percent, and the median salary is $23,140. Although attending university is not required to become a cosmetologist, you do have to undergo a postsecondary certificate training program. How much training you need depends upon your career goals, as well as your state’s regulations.
General Education Requirements
Most beauty schools require at least a high school diploma or GED in order to attend. Additionally, some state regulations require that you hold at least a high school diploma. Therefore, before you attend beauty school, you will need to at least finish high school or the equivalent. One exception is if you are taking cosmetology training while in high school.
Once you have your high school diploma or GED, then you will need to undergo specific training in cosmetology. Some high schools, community colleges, and vocational schools provide training in cosmetology, but many students choose to enroll in a specialty beauty school.
Additionally, some renowned salons have their own specific training programs or institutes. Most programs take a year of full-time work, but some programs may take longer. Typically, you will undergo between 1,400 and 1,600 hours of training just to qualify to sit for the state-licensing exam, which differs based upon your state. For example, in California you need to have 1,600 hours of training to qualify to take the exam.
What Courses do You Take?
The courses you take will depend upon your career goals, as well as the program in which you enroll. Most basic cosmetology programs will cover a wide range of courses, including hair styling, nail care, makeup application, and more. The program curriculum is built to prepare you to pass the state exam, as well as prepare you for a career as a cosmetologist. You can also choose to take advanced training in a specialization, such as esthetics, hair removal, makeup application, nail technology, or hair care.
No matter which state you plan to practice in, you will need a license to work as a cosmetologist. However, the requirements in most states are fairly easy to meet. Most require completing an accredited and state-approved program, followed by sitting through the state licensing exam. There is typically a written part of the exam and a practical component.
The written exam will go over theories and procedures and may include some basic information regarding anatomy, chemistry, and other associated subjects. You may also have to take an exam on the state’s laws and regulations. There may also be an age limit in place depending on the state, which is typically between 16 and 18.
Once you are licensed, you will be expected to renew your license every year or two, depending on the state. You may also be required to complete continuing education courses. For example, in Texas you have to take 4 hours of approved continuing education courses every two years. If you choose to specialize in a particular area, you may also need to pass additional licensing exams. To know what your guidelines are, you will need to visit the website of your state’s governing board.
How Can Beauty Academy Help?
Beauty Academy provides hassle-free, cost-effective continuing education courses for cosmetologists and beauty professionals. We provide courses that cover the specific requirements to renew your license in certain states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia. However, even those who live in other states benefit from the education we provide. The courses are conducted online, making it easy to squeeze them into your already busy schedule.