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All states require barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists to be licensed. To qualify for a license, candidates are required to graduate from a state-approved cosmetology program.Education
A high school diploma or equivalent is required for some positions. In addition, every state requires that barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists complete a program in a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school. Programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services are available in postsecondary vocational schools.
Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last at least 9 months and may lead to an associate’s degree. Most of these workers take advanced courses in hairstyling or in other personal appearance services to keep up with the latest trends. Those who want to open their own business also may take courses in sales and marketing.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must obtain a license in order to work. Qualifications for a license vary by state, but generally, a person must fulfill the following criteria:
After graduating from a state-approved training program, students take a state licensing exam that includes a written test and, in some cases, a practical test of styling skills or an oral exam.
In many states, cosmetology training may be credited toward a barbering license and vice versa, and a few states combine the two licenses. A fee usually is required to apply for a license, and periodic renewals may be necessary.
Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed barbers and cosmetologists to get a license in another state without needing additional formal training or state board testing, but such agreements are not common. Consequently, people who want to work in a particular state should review the laws of that state before entering a training program.Important Qualities
Creativity. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must keep up with the latest trends and be ready to try new hairstyles for their clients.
Customer-service skills. Workers must be pleasant, friendly, and able to interact with customers in order to retain clients.
Listening skills. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists should be good listeners. They must listen carefully to what the client wants in order to make sure that the client is happy with the result.
Physical stamina. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must be able to stand on their feet for long periods.
Tidiness. Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and for making clients comfortable enough so that they will want to return.
Time-management skills. Time-management skills are important in scheduling appointments and providing services. For example, routine haircuts do not require the precise timing of some other services, such as applying neutralizer after a permanent wave. Clients who receive timely hair care are more likely to return.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Cosmetologist
Top Careers After Cosmetologist
Hispanic or Latino9.8%
Black or African American0.4%
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Empire Beauty School22.9%
University of Phoenix13.6%
Regency Beauty Institute9.5%
Paul Mitchell-The School4.7%
Grand Canyon University3.6%
All Beauty College2.8%
Southern New Hampshire University2.6%
College of Southern Idaho2.4%
Georgia Career Institute2.4%
The Beauty School2.2%
Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater2.2%
Davidson County Community College2.1%
Model College of Hair Design2.1%
Iowa School of Beauty2.1%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Cosmetologist||Jadwig European Skin Care Inc.||Cedar Grove, NJ||Feb 15, 2011||$40,955|
|Cosmetologist||Columbia Day Spa Inc.||New York, NY||Jul 25, 2016||$40,622|
|Cosmetologist, Kimono Hairdressing and Make-Up||KR Creation LLC||Manhattan Beach, CA||Aug 13, 2015||$36,010|
|Cosmetologist Specialist||Boeau Belle Ltd. Inc.||San Antonio, TX||Jan 07, 2016||$36,000|
|Cosmetologist||Salon de Corte LLC||Bergenfield, NJ||Oct 27, 2009||$34,331|
|Cosmetologist||Town Nail & Foot Spa Inc.||Scarsdale, NY||Aug 24, 2015||$32,386|
|Cosmetologist||Seyfert International USA, Inc.||Torrance, CA||May 20, 2015||$29,931|
|Cosmetologist||Pure Products Inc.||Gardena, CA||Dec 24, 2015||$29,931|
|Cosmetologist||Pure Products Inc.||Gardena, CA||Oct 15, 2014||$29,931|
|Cosmetologist||Seyfert International USA, Inc.||Torrance, CA||May 27, 2015||$29,931|
|Cosmetologist||KHT Nail Corp.T/A Youngnail¿V||Pennington, NJ||Apr 15, 2009||$29,719|
|Cosmetologist||UEM Victoria's Nails, Inc.||Marlton, NJ||Nov 20, 2007||$29,635|
|Cosmetologist||Y & Ac Incorporated||Des Plaines, IL||Apr 15, 2015||$28,995|
|Cosmetologist||PJ & E, Inc. DBA Park Jun Beauty Assi||Niles, IL||Jun 09, 2015||$28,933|
|Cosmetologist||M & G House of Beauty, LLC||Hollywood, FL||Nov 19, 2007||$28,905|
|Cosmetologist||Du Japon Hair Club||Los Angeles, CA||Oct 25, 2011||$28,475|
|Cosmetologist||Pure Products Inc.||Gardena, CA||Jun 20, 2016||$27,976|
|Cosmetologist||Du Japon Hair Club||Los Angeles, CA||Jan 20, 2011||$27,674|
|Cosmetologist||D2 Hair Design||Rowland Heights, CA||May 13, 2015||$27,500|
|Cosmetologist||VIVI Castle, Inc.||Arcadia, CA||Mar 09, 2015||$27,456|
|Cosmetologist||Seyfert International USA, Inc.||Torrance, CA||Jan 26, 2015||$27,456|
|Cosmetologist||Seyfert International USA, Inc.||Torrance, CA||Feb 13, 2015||$27,456|
|Cosmetologist Specialist||Boeau Belle Ltd. Inc.||San Antonio, TX||Jun 25, 2015||$26,000|
|Cosmetologist||Menta Y Canela Nail Salon Inc.||Miami, FL||Jun 07, 2016||$25,106|
|Cosmetologist||D2 Hair Design||Rowland Heights, CA||Mar 11, 2011||$25,106|
|Cosmetologist||Elva's Hair Salon||Warner Robins, GA||Apr 16, 2015||$24,149|
|Cosmetologist||Panim Yaffot||New York, NY||Apr 02, 2008||$22,978|
|Cosmetologist||Panim Yaffot||New York, NY||Dec 18, 2007||$22,978|
|Cosmetologist||Akira Takagi||Torrance, CA||Jul 26, 2011||$22,957|
|Cosmetologist||Grand Mentor, Inc.||Hacienda Heights, CA||May 15, 2009||$22,623|
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