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1st Academy of Beauty

Cosmetology School

Cosmetology School

What is a cosmetologist?

In the beauty industry, a cosmetologist is more than just a hair stylist – they are someone on the cutting edge of trends and styles in hair and beauty techniques, and they can transform their clients from average to spectacular in one sitting. According to the Princeton Review, “cosmetologists are the fairy godmothers of style and change.” As a cosmetologist, you must be able to cut and style all types of hair, as well as straighten, permanent wave, and color it. They should also be knowledgeable in the field of esthetics, the division of cosmetology which focuses exclusively on skin care management. Included in this field are facials, makeup application, manicures, pedicures, electrolysis, waxing and massage treatments.

Most importantly, a cosmetologist must understand client personalities in order to provide the best services possible. A successful cosmetologist is outgoing and personable, can work well with their hands, does not mind standing for long hours, and is able to work nights and weekends in order to build up clientele.

What can a cosmetologist earn?
The rewards for this work can be great; a 2003 study by the NACCAS (the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences), found that cosmetology graduates can expect to earn anywhere from $30,000 and up, depending on the amount of experience, salon, clientele and hours worked. As stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 50% of cosmetologists earn around 22,760, while 90 percentile of cosmetologists earn around $41,540.

How do you become a cosmetologist?
The first step in becoming a cosmetologist is finding a cosmetology or beauty school that fits your needs. At cosmetology schools, students learn the skills needed to pass the state licensing exam (required in all 50 US states). Courses for a cosmetologist degree can include hair cutting, styling, coloring, and permanent waving, as well as facials, makeup application, massage, electrolysis, and nail technology. Cosmetology schools may also offer courses in salon management in business courses, chemistry, anatomy, biology and physiology.

What are the requirements?
Most beauty and cosmetology schools require a high school diploma or its equivalent, but check with the state in which you plan to enroll to be sure. Most courses are offered on a full- or part-time basis, and an average of 1500 hours is usually needed to complete a basic cosmetology course, but this depends on where you attend school since State Beauty License Requirements vary by state.

Take a look at our state license requirements page to find out more. We recommend you contact the licensing department for the state you’re interested in to verify if there have been any changes in programs or required hours.

How much do cosmetology programs cost?
Tuition costs vary depending on the types of courses, hours of instruction needed, location of the school, as well as their facilities and equipment. In some cases cosmetology programs may cost less, in other cases it may be more.

What are some of the career options for a cosmetologist?
A career in cosmetology can lead to a variety of professions, including hair stylist, barber, manicurist, pedicurist, electrologist, or nail technician, to name a few. Many cosmetologists also choose careers in the beauty industry as a beauty magazine editor or consultant, while others become sales or marketing specialists in the cosmetics industry.

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