Everything You Need to Know About How to Become a Cosmetologist

Thinking of becoming a cosmetologist? If so, you’re on the right track: the BLS predicts the industry will grow 19 percent by the end of the decade.

One key reason for this growth is that cosmetology is a versatile field. Your career options include anything from a hair stylist to a nail artist. You may also choose to open your own salon or rent space in a group setting.

Whatever services you opt to provide, your focus should be on becoming a licensed professional. To that end, here’s a short guide on how to become a cosmetologist!

Meet Age Requirements

You need to be at least 16 to enroll in a cosmetology school. Most programs will also require you to have a high school diploma or a GED. That said, some vocational programs allow you to enroll while attending high school.

Enroll in a Cosmetology School

As mentioned, you have a variety of options when choosing what education to pursue. The amount you’ll pay depends on the facilities available to you, the licenses you’ll receive, and veteran financial aid. Your main options are:

  • Community College
  • Private Institution
  • Vocational school
  • For-profit entity

Cosmetology programs can issue a certificate of completion or an associate degree. Do your research to find the right fit for your needs. Also, ensure your school of choice offers the right accreditations.

Consider Specialized Studies

Many programs offer specialized studies in waxing, hair coloring, and so on. Specialty roles, such as manicurists, may require up to 600 hours of extra work. Of course, this extra training will lead to more job opportunities.

An experienced esthetician may find a job in unexpected places as well. For instance, they may work in a mortuary, styling hair and makeup for the deceased.

Complete Your Courses

Depending on the state, a cosmetology school takes 9-15 months to finish. This comes out to about 1,000-2,300 hours of coursework. Common subjects include anatomy, cutting techniques, customer service, etc.

On top of passing exams, a cosmetologist must prove their skills in a practical setting. This may include working with mannequins or real people. Some states allow for salon apprenticeships for on-the-job training.

Pass a State Licensing Exam

To get a cosmetologist license, you’ll need to pass a state exam. The content of the exam will vary by state. That said, it will always include a written test and a practical evaluation of your skills.

It’s possible that your state isn’t offering a license to provide particular services. If so, there’s a decent chance another license covers that service. For example, many cosmetology licenses include makeup artistry.

This Is How to Become a Cosmetologist

Now that you know how to become a cosmetologist, all that’s left is to choose the right path for you. Do you want to be an expert in a specific field or a jack of all trades? Either way, the above guide will get you started!

Still looking for the perfect cosmetology program for you? At Bucker Barber School, we offer cosmetology classes in many areas of beauty. Contact us here to learn more about how we can realize your potential!