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Become A Stylist

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Working As A Stylist

  • 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

  • $70,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Stylist 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 Stylist

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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Stylist Career Paths

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Stylist Demographics

Gender

Female

74.0%

Male

13.1%

Unknown

12.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.6%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.4%

French

11.6%

Italian

4.3%

German

3.1%

Mandarin

3.0%

Portuguese

2.6%

Russian

2.4%

Arabic

2.0%

Chinese

1.9%

Korean

1.8%

Swedish

1.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Vietnamese

1.4%

Polish

1.3%

Hindi

1.1%

Tagalog

0.9%

Urdu

0.8%

Hebrew

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Turkish

0.5%
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Stylist Education

Schools

Empire Beauty School

19.0%

Fashion Institute of Technology

9.9%

Regency Beauty Institute

8.7%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

8.0%

University of Phoenix

7.1%

Paul Mitchell-The School

6.8%

Aveda Institute

6.2%

The Academy

5.3%

The Beauty School

3.7%

All Beauty College

3.3%

Academy of Art University

2.7%

LIM College

2.5%

Ashford University

2.3%

Columbia College Chicago

2.3%

Beauty Academy

2.1%

Douglas J Aveda Institute

2.1%

Arizona State University

2.0%

Kent State University

2.0%

Savannah College of Art and Design

1.9%

Remington College

1.9%
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Majors

Cosmetology

47.4%

Business

11.3%

Graphic Design

5.7%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

5.3%

Psychology

3.2%

Communication

3.1%

Marketing

3.1%

Nursing

2.5%

Medical Assisting Services

2.4%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

General Studies

1.7%

Fine Arts

1.6%

Management

1.6%

Education

1.4%

Accounting

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Public Relations

1.1%

English

1.0%

Photography

1.0%
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Degrees

Other

39.3%

Bachelors

25.3%

Associate

11.9%

License

10.7%

Certificate

6.3%

Masters

3.5%

Diploma

3.0%

Doctorate

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$70,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$146,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
MasterCuts
Highest Paying City
Minneapolis, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Stylist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Stylist in the United States is $70,123 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $146,000.

Real Stylist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Designer/Stylist Technicon Design Corporation Marina del Rey, CA Nov 10, 2009 $96,000
Designer/Stylist Technicon Design Corporation Marina del Rey, CA Mar 20, 2012 $96,000
Color Stylist Nickelodeon Animation Studios Inc. Burbank, CA Mar 02, 2015 $83,200
Color Stylist Nickelodeon Animation Studios Inc. Burbank, CA Feb 03, 2015 $83,200
Designer-Stylist Millennium Software, Inc. Dearborn, MI Sep 05, 2014 $71,781
Product Stylist Chrysler Group LLC Auburn Hills, MI Sep 24, 2011 $70,000
Stylist Timeless Treasures Fabrics of Soho, LLC New York, NY Sep 19, 2011 $65,000
Color Stylist Viacom Media Networks, A Division of Viacom Intern New York, NY Nov 25, 2011 $62,400
Color Stylist MTV Networks, A Division of Viacom International New York, NY Nov 25, 2011 $62,400
Junior Stylist Create and Produce Inc. New York, NY Apr 23, 2013 $61,000
Color Stylist Viacom Media Networks, A Division of Viacom Intern Burbank, CA Nov 25, 2011 $60,590 -
$62,400
Color Stylist Viacom Media Networks, A Division of Viacom Intern New York, NY Nov 25, 2011 $60,590 -
$62,400
Color Stylist MTV Networks, A Division of Viacom International New York, NY Nov 25, 2011 $60,590 -
$62,400
Color Stylist MTV Networks, A Division of Viacom International Burbank, CA Nov 25, 2011 $60,590 -
$62,400
Junior Stylist Create and Produce Inc. New York, NY Apr 29, 2015 $60,000
CAD Stylist Sleepwell Inc. New York, NY Dec 01, 2011 $46,600
Stylist The Connaught Group, Ltd. New York, NY Feb 07, 2011 $45,000
Photographer/Stylist Robex International Inc. New York, NY Feb 15, 2011 $43,285
Textile Stylist Robert Kaufman Co Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 16, 2009 $38,317

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Top Skills for A Stylist

  1. Hair Extensions
  2. Customer Service
  3. Full Service Salon
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided services such as hair extensions, cutting, coloring, conditioning, straightening, tinting and styling.
  • Maintained a steady clientele by providing excellent customer service and satisfaction.
  • Owned and managed full service salon by handling all business transactions and making all final decisions regarding the business.
  • Facilitate Customer satisfaction through positive and professional interaction and product knowledge.
  • Maintain store integrity with customer service management, merchandising sales floor, and inventory

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Top 10 Best States for Stylists

  1. New Jersey
  2. Wyoming
  3. Delaware
  4. South Dakota
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Washington
  7. Hawaii
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Minnesota
  10. Michigan
  • (541 jobs)
  • (38 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (358 jobs)
  • (298 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (296 jobs)
  • (470 jobs)

Top Stylist Employers

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Jobs From Top Stylist Employers

Stylist Videos

Day in the Life: Food Stylist

Hairstylist, Career Video from drkit.org

Pet Stylist (Groomer), Career Video from drkit.org

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