If you've already got a fabulous look, chances are you know at least one graduate of cosmetology school. Your hairdresser, manicurist, and even the skin care specialist at your local salon--all may have attended cosmetology school. Of course, if you've ever considered a career in beauty, you should explore your options before diving right in.
If you're not quite sure where to start, never fear. Opportunity for graduates of cosmetology schools is on the rise, despite tough economic times. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal appearance workers should grow by 14 percent from 2006 to 2016. Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists should experience growth of 12 percent, while manicurists and pedicurists should see employment grow by 28 percent. Estheticians and other skin care specialists should see growth of 34 percent, and makeup artists 40 percent.
Competitive Compensation and More
In addition to expanding career opportunities, you may also want to know what you can earn as a cosmetology school graduate. Your wages typically vary, depending on how you put your cosmetology training to work and your degree of experience. In May 2007, median annual wages for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists stood at $22,210. The highest paid workers earned up to $41,290. Within the motion picture and video industries, however, the mean annual wage for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists stood at $60,810--proof that when it comes to cosmetology careers, you ought to be in pictures!
Manicurists and pedicurists enjoyed median annual wages of $19,960, with the highest 10 percent of workers earning up to $32,240 in May 2007. Skin care specialists garnered some of the most attractive wages, with median annual wages reaching $27,190 in May 2007. That same year, the highest-paid skin care specialists earned $51,750.
Of course, it's not all about wages. Additional perks for cosmetologists may include commissions on products they sell, or bonuses for employees who bring in new clients. Better yet, you may also find yourself getting free trial products from manufacturers--skin creams, shampoos, conditioners, etc--before the general public.
Want To Become a Cosmetologist?
Find a Cosmetology School Near You!
If the pay, perks, and passions of cosmetology match your "must-have" list for an exciting career, you may want to investigate cosmetology school opportunities. The educational requirements for cosmetology careers vary from state to state. Sometimes, a high school diploma or GED is sufficient training. However, most states require personal appearance professionals to complete cosmetology training programs through an approved cosmetology school.
If you're still in high school, you may be able to find programs in hairstyling, skin care, and other personal appearance services through your school. You can also find cosmetology training through private postsecondary cosmetology schools. Full-time cosmetology training programs usually last about 9 months, leading to an associate's degree. Training for manicurists and pedicurists generally takes less time. Further training occurs on the job, together with continuing education--allowing you to keep up with new industry trends, products, and styles.
Licensure for Cosmetology Careers
All states require barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers to gain licensure. Applicants for state licensure must have a high-school diploma or GED, be at least16 years old, and have completed cosmetology training from a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school. The examination includes a written portion as well as a practical test of styling skills.
In the end, some of the most important requirements for any cosmetology career are solid interpersonal skills, a fabulous personal style, and a positive attitude. Cosmetology careers put you in daily contact with discriminating fashionistas. But with the right attitude, you can go to work every day making sure both you and your clients look their fabulous best.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Barbers, Cosmetologists, and other Personal Appearance Workers"
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007: Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists"
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007: Manicurists and Pedicurists"
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007: Skin Care Specialists"