Cosmetologists are trained professionals who provide facial and scalp treatments. They also recommend hair care products and offer advice. Cosmetologists can be seen working in various settings, providing different kinds of beauty treatments, including cutting, hair extensions, manicures, pedicures and applying makeup to a client. They may also be found performing tasks such as hair removal using high-tech lasers.
If you are interested in becoming a part of this glamorous field, the following information on the requirements to become a cosmetologist and how to become a cosmetologist might be of interest to you.
Requirements to Become a Cosmetologist
To become a cosmetologist, you will need to fulfill the following basic requirements:
Education Requirements – The minimum level of education required to get into this field is a high school diploma. In addition to that, all states require that cosmetologists complete a program in a licensed cosmetology or barber school. These programs are typically found in postsecondary vocational schools and end with a postsecondary nondegree award or a certificate.
After completing the minimum education requirements, most aspiring cosmetologists complete advanced courses or certifications in hairstyling or makeup services to keep with the latest fashion. Cosmetologists who want to start their own businesses might also opt for courses in business studies and marketing.
Licensing and Certification Requirements – Cosmetologists are required to obtain a license before they can begin practicing in any state. The qualification requirements for licensure vary from state to state, but generally, aspiring cosmetologists are required to fulfill the following criteria:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Should have received a high school diploma or an equivalent degree
- Should have graduated from a state-licensed cosmetology school
Many states might treat cosmetology licenses the same as barbering licenses and vice versa. Candidates will be required to submit a license fee and will have to complete continuing education credits to maintain their license.
Steps to Become a Cosmetologist
To become a cosmetologist, you will have to follow the steps listed below:
Step 1: Get a High School Diploma or a GED – This is the minimum educational requirement for aspiring cosmetologists.
Step 2: Get Admission in a Cosmetology School – The school you choose should be licensed by the state.
Step 3: Complete the Required Coursework – Most programs would take around 9-15 months to complete, but the length may vary according to the program you enroll in.
Step 4: Complete the Required Training – Most states would require you to complete around 1,000 to 2,300 hours of training, which includes the time spent in class.
Step 5: Get Licensed – For this, you will need to pass a licensing exam for cosmetologists, administered by the state.
Once you have completed these five steps, you will be eligible to find employment in various settings in the lucrative beauty business.
Is Becoming a Cosmetologist Worth It?
The world of beautification and cosmetology has become a massive industry in recent years. With celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, and Rihanna releasing their own makeup lines, along with beauty maestros like Huda Kattan and Mario Dedivanovic, the beauty industry has become more glamorous than ever before. Becoming a part of it is, therefore, nothing short of a dream come true for a lot of people.
Here are some other reasons why you ought to consider a career as a cosmetologist in 2020:
- Good Income – If you are self-employed or are running a business such as a salon, you can earn as much as you work. Even if you are working somewhere, if you manage to get a job at a reputable and famous place, chances are you will be making a decent amount of money.
- Fun Work Environment – Jobs in cosmetology typically have fun and laid-back work environment where you can converse with your colleagues freely, socialize with clients and create new looks every day. You get to play with different materials and equipment while working with varying textures every day.
- Flexible Schedules – This is particularly applicable if you have your own beauty business, where you can come in and go as per client appointments.
- Working with Various Kinds of people – Beauticians usually get to work with models, brides, photographers, celebrities, and people from many different walks of life. This helps keep things interesting in the long run, with a career that always has something new to offer.
- Variety of Specializations – Once you get into the beauty business, there are a number of specializations you can go for. For instance, you can learn skills such as hair styling, hair removal, facials, makeup, skincare, nail styling and so on.
- Fast Entry in the Job Market – To become a cosmetologist, you do not require years and years of education. The minimum entry education is rather low, with just a high school diploma and licensure needed for most opportunities in this field. With such little entry barriers, you can get into the field pretty quick.
- High Job Growth – According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for Barbers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists is 8% in the years 2018 to 2028. This growth rate is much faster than the average growth for all occupations, which is at 5%. This means that there will be an addition of 63,900 new jobs, between 2018 and 2028, to the 766,100 people already working in this particular job occupation in 2018.
What Is the Best State to Work for Cosmetologists?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, California has the highest employment level for Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists, with 33,570 jobs, followed by Texas, with 28,020 jobs. The top-paying state in this occupation was the District of Columbia, with an annual mean wage of $45,680, followed by Massachusetts ($42,260) and Washington ($40,910).