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Become A Cosmetologist

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Working As A Cosmetologist

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • $23,660

    Average Salary

What Does A Cosmetologist Do

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other beauty services.

Duties

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists typically do the following:

  • Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
  • Discuss hairstyle options
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Chemically change hair textures
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Receive payments from clients
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas

Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists provide hair and beauty services to enhance clients’ appearance. Those who operate their own barbershop or salon have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Barbers cut, trim, shampoo, and style hair, mostly for male clients. They also may fit hairpieces, perform facials, and offer facial shaving. Depending on the state in which they work, some barbers are licensed to color, bleach, and highlight hair and to offer permanent-wave services. Common tools include combs, scissors, straight razors, and clippers.

Hairdressers, or hairstylists, offer a wide range of hair services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling. They often advise clients, both male and female, on how to care for their hair at home. They also keep records of products and services provided to clients, such as hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. Tools include hairbrushes, scissors, blow dryers, and curling irons.

Cosmetologists provide scalp and facial treatments and makeup analysis. Some also clean and style wigs and hairpieces. In addition, most cosmetologists actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products.

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How To Become A Cosmetologist

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:

  • Reached a minimum age of 16
  • Received a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Graduated from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school

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.

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Cosmetologist jobs

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Cosmetologist Demographics

Gender

Female

91.4%

Male

7.0%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

82.4%

Hispanic or Latino

9.8%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

1.1%

Black or African American

0.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.9%

French

8.1%

Vietnamese

4.1%

Italian

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Polish

2.4%

Swedish

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

German

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Romanian

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Danish

0.8%

Wolof

0.8%

Bosnian

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Croatian

0.8%

Carrier

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Serbian

0.8%
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Cosmetologist Education

Schools

Empire Beauty School

22.9%

University of Phoenix

13.6%

Regency Beauty Institute

9.5%

Kaplan University

5.5%

Aveda Institute

4.7%

Liberty University

4.7%

Paul Mitchell-The School

4.7%

Capri College

3.8%

Ashford University

3.6%

Grand Canyon University

3.6%

All Beauty College

2.8%

Walden University

2.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.6%

College of Southern Idaho

2.4%

Georgia Career Institute

2.4%

The Beauty School

2.2%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

2.2%

Davidson County Community College

2.1%

Model College of Hair Design

2.1%

Iowa School of Beauty

2.1%
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Majors

Cosmetology

55.9%

Business

10.4%

Nursing

4.8%

Health Care Administration

3.8%

Medical Assisting Services

3.1%

Psychology

2.3%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

General Studies

2.0%

Education

1.9%

Nursing Assistants

1.7%

Management

1.6%

Accounting

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.4%

Medical Technician

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Human Services

1.1%

Communication

1.1%

Marketing

1.1%

Elementary Education

1.0%

Social Work

0.8%
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Degrees

Other

45.5%

License

13.4%

Associate

13.0%

Bachelors

11.6%

Certificate

8.7%

Masters

3.9%

Diploma

3.7%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Real Cosmetologist Salaries

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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Top Skills for A Cosmetologist

HairColorFullServiceSalonCustomerServiceSkillsCosmeticServicesStylingHairAppointmentSchedulingBeautyServicesMakeupApplicationsBeautyTreatmentSpaServicesClientAppointmentsCustomerInformationRecordsSkinCareServicesHairCareServicesPhoneCallsHairTypeRetailSalesPhysicalFeaturesRetailProductsShapeHair

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Top Cosmetologist Skills

  1. Hair Color
  2. Full Service Salon
  3. Customer Service Skills
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Service includes free consultation; hair care (haircuts, hair color) nails (manicure) or skincare services.
  • Full service Salon which consist of assisting clients with desired styles and treatment of hair and use of products.
  • Demonstrated excellent time management and customer service skills.
  • Provided a range of cosmetic services and promoted business development through various marketing strategies.
  • Provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling hair, and massaging and treating scalp.

Top Cosmetologist Employers

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Cosmetologist Videos

A Day In My Cosmetology School!

My Cosmetology School Experience | Q&A

My Cosmetology Career | My Experience

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