Cosmetology jobs are growing, and those who want to provide a range of hair, nail, and skincare treatments will have plenty of options. To become a cosmetologist, you can finish training and get your license in less than a year.
Cosmetology Quick Facts
- The worldwide cosmetology industry is projected to be worth $382 billion annually.
- In the United States, there are over 63,000 cosmetology training programs.
- Cosmetologists’ employment growth is expected to be 13% through 2026, which is faster than average when compared to other professions.
- Haircuts are the most popular service among women, followed by manicures, pedicures, and hair color.
- Men and women in the New York City metropolitan area spend the most on beauty services each year, followed by Miami, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Cosmetologists are trained to help their customers with their hair, skin, and nails in terms of look and health. Cosmetologists provide customers with haircutting and coloring, face and scalp treatments, facial and body waxing, and manicures and pedicures, among other services. Because many cosmetologists work on their feet all day, physical endurance is important. You’ll need excellent interpersonal skills and a sense of style to be a successful cosmetologist.
Cosmetology programs are often run independently, such as by major salon chains such as Paul Mitchell and Aveda, as well as by vocational-technical institutions and community colleges.
The amount of time it takes to complete a program ranges from nine months to a year. Students study physiology, anatomy, safety, hygiene, and business management, as well as hair, nail, and skin care. Depending on the institution, a full cosmetology course may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. Accredited programs are eligible for federal financial aid. Some colleges have their own financial aid programs. Before you enroll, make sure you do your research on accreditation and expenses.
To offer client services, all 50 states require cosmetologists to be licensed. Requirements differ slightly from state to state, so be sure you’re up to date on the legislation in your area. Your cosmetology school should have prepared you to fulfill the requirements for licensure. Various licenses may be required for different services in certain cases.
Cosmetology licenses must be renewed on a regular basis. Renewal is required yearly in certain states, while it is required every two to five years in others. The cost of a license varies by state, as do the criteria for proving professional education credits.
It is important for cosmetologists to keep up with the most recent products and trends. Cosmetologists may sign up for a variety of magazines that include the latest trends. Cosmetologists may network with other professionals, try new products, and learn new methods at professional seminars and workshops.
Working as an independent contractor in the cosmetology industry is common, but many people also rent booth space in a salon or a chain. Some cosmetologists own their own salons or offer services to customers from their homes. Others visit clients at their homes to offer services. Cosmetologists with the necessary experience and qualifications may choose to teach in a vocational-technical school or a cosmetology school.
Many cosmetologists work full-time, although there are also part-time positions available as well. The employer and the demand for services in your area determine job availability and working conditions. To meet the requirements of their customers, some cosmetologists work nights and weekends.
Cosmetologists made a median annual income of $27,630 in 2020, or $13.28 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median wage indicates that half of workers earned more, while the other half earned less. Because the BLS does not account for unreported tips, these numbers may be low.
If you work for someone else, your cosmetology pay is determined by the services you offer, the cost of services, and the commission structure established by your employer.