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    How to Become a Cosmetologist | Guide to a Career in the Beauty Industry

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    Have you ever been a beauty fanatic? Cosmetologists help you learn the services that can assist people’s hair, skin, and nails. Depending on where you want to specialize in there is a wide range of employment opportunities from hair stylists to estheticians.

    If you’re fulfilled in making people feel their confidence and best self, cosmetologists can be a worthwhile career! You need to take a series of steps such as the proper schooling and training to help you become a qualified candidate. Keep on reading for more information. 

    How to Become a Cosmetologist

    If you want to launch a career in this industry there are several steps you want to consider before starting your career journey. You want to consider the amount of time that will take to become a cosmetologist. By looking at the best cosmetology schools reviews, you’ll get a better idea of which school to choose.

    The time commitment and labor will give you the proper foundation to start your journey. Also you want to take into consideration your licensing fees just to get a sense of how you’re going to pay for the applications and schooling. 

    Should You Become a Cosmetologist?

    Whether you just graduated highschool or college cosmetology can be a rewarding career choice. Choosing your career path is a vital part of your long-term happiness so you want to consider what cosmetology means to you. Place yourself in a number of different scenarios to picture the actuality of you becoming a cosmetologist.

    For instance, you want to think if you’re good at working people one-on-one because cosmetology requires lots of small talk conversation. 

    Can you also work with your hands for long periods of time and can you upkeep the latest trends? Think about your responses and how realistic it is for you to continue this career choice. 

    Types of Cosmetologists

    Depending on your field of interest, there are countless types of cosmetologists out there. If you’re someone who loves working with hairstyles you can consider becoming a celebrity hairstylist. It is highly profitable if you make it to the entertainment industry with lots of opportunities.

    The good thing about cosmetology is that whatever field you go into you can open up a private salon. You can be a cosmetologist in anything from makeup, hair design, nail technician, or even barbering. As you continue your journey for cosmetology you’ll find yourself entering new levels of experience. 

    Steps to Become a Cosmetologist

    First, you want to find a cosmetology school that suits you. If you don’t know which field interests you think about possible options you want to go into. After you enroll in the proper program you want to plan out the hourly requirements of your completion certification. 

    Every school has a different set of hours that you’ll need to complete to pass your program. Once you feel that you’re equipped to move onto the next level you can register to sit for the state board exam. After your state board exam you’ll be able to start working and building your career connections. 

    Getting the Training

    Cosmetology school is all about the hours and experience. The better your skills are the better chance you’ll get in landing the job of your dreams. Each cosmetology curriculum will have different hours, but the average training hours are 1500 to 2100 hours.

    The main function of training is for you to get the experience you need to transition into schooling to professionalism. This will allow you to acquire skills such as hair design, safety and sanitation, and makeup artistry. The more training you get the more you can learn what it will be like on a real life job scenario.

    Landing the Job

    You want to think about the field that you want to go to. Once you find the salon that you want to build your career in, think about the specific skills you’ll need to start. Think about how you can become an assistant or shadow a person at the salon. 

    Even becoming a staff member will help you learn how to book and talk to different clients You want to join a business so you can build clientele. Building your client basis will help you become referred to others and get more recommendations. It can be hard to land the job in the beginning, but with consistent work you can slowly make your way up. 

    Succeeding in Your Career

    Once you complete your license program and training hours you want to start by building a portfolio. This will set you apart from other candidates because it will showcase your level of professionalism. As you get your accredited program it can help you excel if you provide before and after pictures.

    Start applying for jobs on a daily basis. This will showcase your determination for future employers. Keep building connections through networking and maintain a consistent work ethic. A strong portfolio with a clientele will make you stand out from other candidates.

    Cosmetologist Career Advancement

    For you to embark on career advancements you have to think creatively. Consider the wide range of job opportunities that can display your leadership qualities. The opportunities will include jobs such as salon ownership, management, consultant, or teaching at a school.

    When you showcase independence and leadership skills it can appeal to customers. This will show your versatility in how you can easily adapt and adjust to different demands in the industry. In the cosmetology industry these traits are highly favored and rewarded. 

    What To Look For In Cosmetology School

    The start of your cosmetologist journey can be exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. You want to narrow down what to look for during your schooling.

    Begin by deciding on a program. This will help you finalize your overall interests. Than make a checklist of how this school can benefit your career advancements.

    Tour the campus and ask questions regarding financial aid and scholarships. This can give you a boost of confidence if they’re providing the right amount of funding for your program. Also check the enrollment dates and choose the classes that best fit your schedule. 

    Common Classes Of Cosmetology/Beauty School

    Depending on your field of interest, you want to choose classes that will give you a strong foundation of knowledge. A common class for new students is the basic safety and sanitation course. This will give you the proper techniques for beauty tools and help you with the maintenance of your products.

    There are basic services that can help you decide your field of interest. There is the hair care course which will elevate your hair coloring and scalp treatment massages. Also a hair removal course and a nail course. Start with what interests you the most and choose according to your prerequisite requirements. 

    How To Get Your Cosmetology License

    The Cosmetology Board Examination require at least a high school diploma or a GED. The certification training is very hands-on which will enable candidates to apply for the licensing exam. You need to complete the required amount of training to be eligible for the exam.

    Once you’re almost done with your cosmetology school, you’ll be able to apply for the examination process. You want to prep with thorough practice and make sure you are confident about all the topics. Take multiple practice tests to ensure your passing rate. 

    Cosmetology Board Required Examinations

    The Cosmetology Board Examination require you to complete the prerequisites in order for you to continue your journey. The Cosmetology License is split into two portions. There is a written section and a practical. The written is like a traditional paper exam with questions and critical thinking. However, the practical is an actual representation of how you’re going to use the mannequin head.

    The overall content areas for the exam is the infection control, hair and scalp care, and nail and skin care. You’ll need to know these topics in depth in order for you to qualify for the examination rates. From state-to-state some requirements will differ, however on average you’re given an estimate of 2 hours for the exam. 

    Overall Cost Of Cosmetology Schooling

    ​The cost of beauty schools will be different for each curriculum. You’ll need to consider the costs of room, board, and textbooks. This may be separate if you’re considering of commuting or if you’re going to buy used materials. So, how much is cosmetology school?

    The overall cost is around $15,000-$20,000. The financial burden of loans can be overbearing that why you want to see how much scholarship and aid your school offers. This will narrow down the cost of your education and give you additional amenities according to your needs. 

    Different Cosmetology Careers


    The fun thing about cosmetology careers is the variety of professions it can offer. You can be a hairstylist, nail technician, spa manager, beautician, to a makeup artist. The list is endless and if you pick up a few other skills you can be able to adapt your careers. 

    License professionals can go deeper into the beauty industry. This can open doors for you in beauty magazines which can further your career options of going into marketing or sales. Also as you build experience you can pass on the knowledge by teaching at the beauty schools.

    Cosmetologist Salaries and Job Prospects

    The average salaries a cosmetologist can earn is a wage of $27,940 and it can depend on a number of factors. The earning potential depends on your technical skills and your ability to adapt to your clientele. Also if you work in metropolitan areas you’ll be able to rebook and have a consistent clientele.

    For job prospects, as you can further clientele you can gather more experience which will increase your salary and tips. Since this is a flexible field, you’re able to grow and free lance on your own time. You want to consider the benefits of your employer and build independent clientele so you can have multiple job prospects. 

    Top Paid Cosmetology Careers

    The top paying cosmetology careers are combined with lots of skill sets and clientele. The best careers is a hairdresser, cosmetic surgeon, beauty vlogger, private dentist, and beautician. With all these careers, you can apply the skills that you learned through cosmetology school.

    Each industry has different components and you want to focus on networking. Your skills and your portfolio is a huge factor to consider your successes, however meeting the right clients can get you a top paid position. Continue to persevere and charge higher rates as you gain more experience. 

    Top Paying States for Cosmetologists

    Where you work will heavily affect your salary. For cosmetologists your salary will depend on a metropolitan setting. However, if your salon is already thriving on its own you can rely on the salon’s successes. The top paying states include: North Central Colorado ($38,760), Southeast Alaska ($38,050), North Dakota ($35,440), Wyoming ($33,720) , and Massachusetts ($33,300). 

    For the top-paying metropolitan areas it’s in San Francisco ($39,220), Seattle ($39,180), and Springfield ($37,220). If you’re highly considering in being a cosmetologist, you want to think about the location. These states and cities can offer endless opportunities for you to make your dream come true. 

    About the Author Sally

    Hey all, Sally here. In my first 7 years of my career I was an architect and spent hours hunched over the desk to complete model rendering and drawings. Eventually, it took a toll on my body and I had to change my approach to work or my health would continue to suffer.I spent loads of time studying physical therapy and desk-focused health tips and am completely healthy now. You'll find many of my articles are about health management and efficiency, but I'll also dabble into more general health topics!

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