Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Careers

As a hairstylist/cosmetologist, you will provide beauty services like shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling hair to clients. You'll use equipment such as scissors, clippers, dryers, and others to beautify customers. You'll carry out manicures, pedicures, waxing, massages, facials, and makeup application. These professionals welcome customers and identify their preferences by asking specific questions. They suggest hairstyles according to face shapes and requests of customers. Also, they apply hair treatment products as needed.

Primarily, a high school diploma is all you need for this position. After which, you must complete a state-approved cosmetology program. Similarly, you must acquire a state-issued license to work. You must be creative, a good listener, communicator, physically fit, and a people person. Also, you must know about hair treatment products and services. Job openings can be found in hair salons, nail salons, barbershops, spas, and resorts. You'll earn an average salary of $33,000. It ranges between $21,000 and $52,000.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a hairstylist/cosmetologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $16.06 an hour? That's $33,399 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 63,900 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Do

There are certain skills that many hairstylist/cosmetologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, customer-service skills and listening skills.

Learn more about what a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist does

How To Become a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

If you're interested in becoming a hairstylist/cosmetologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 11.6% of hairstylist/cosmetologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.9% of hairstylist/cosmetologists have master's degrees. Even though some hairstylist/cosmetologists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a hairstylist/cosmetologist. When we researched the most common majors for a hairstylist/cosmetologist, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on hairstylist/cosmetologist resumes include diploma degrees or bachelor's degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a hairstylist/cosmetologist. In fact, many hairstylist/cosmetologist jobs require experience in a role such as hair stylist. Meanwhile, many hairstylist/cosmetologists also have previous career experience in roles such as cashier or sales associate.

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Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
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Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

14.5 %

Top Careers After Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

8.6 %

Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

Hairstylist/Cosmetologists in America make an average salary of $33,399 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $52,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $21,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Best Paying Cities For Hairstylist/Cosmetologists

Average Salarydesc
Fort Lee, NJ
Salary Range27k - 50k$37k$37,088
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range25k - 44k$34k$33,581
Washington, DC
Salary Range23k - 41k$31k$31,375
Ellicott City, MD
Salary Range23k - 41k$31k$30,776
Duluth, GA
Salary Range23k - 38k$30k$30,213
Glenview, IL
Salary Range23k - 37k$30k$29,724
New York, NY
Salary Range21k - 39k$29k$29,206
Carrollton, TX
Salary Range22k - 35k$28k$28,439

Recently Added Salaries

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Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Hairstylist/Cosmetologist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Resume Examples And Templates

Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Demographics



82.6 %


13.4 %


4.1 %



65.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.1 %

Black or African American

12.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


71.2 %


4.8 %


2.9 %
Show More Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Demographics

Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Education



High School Diploma

32.6 %


25.0 %


17.7 %
Show More Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Education Requirements

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Top Skills For a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 18.0% of hairstylist/cosmetologists listed scheduling appointments on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and customer-service skills are important as well.

Best States For a Hairstylist/Cosmetologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a hairstylist/cosmetologist. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Idaho, Washington, and North Dakota. Hairstylist/cosmetologists make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $46,022. Whereas in Idaho and Washington, they would average $38,798 and $38,264, respectively. While hairstylist/cosmetologists would only make an average of $37,705 in North Dakota, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Hawaii

Total Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Wisconsin

Total Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Idaho

Total Hairstylist/Cosmetologist Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Hairstylist/Cosmetologists

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Updated August 18, 2021