Discover what it takes for a career in cosmetology
At cosmetology school, you can learn the skills you need to work as a beautician or hairstylist. You will learn about both the theory and practice of cosmetology while laying the foundation for a stable, exciting, fun and rewarding career as an esthetician.
Beauty School Programs
Typically, you must be a high school graduate, have your GED, or be what's known as a "mature student" to train to become a cosmetologist. "Mature student" qualifications vary from place to place, but typically, you must be at least 19 or 21 years of age and out of school to be considered. Admission requirements are not typically competitive.
Most cosmetology schools offer flexible course schedules, including full-time classes during the day, part-time classes and evening or weekend classes. Depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time, you may be able to complete your program in three to six months. Typically, beauty school culminates in a certificate or diploma.
Broadly speaking, there are three branches of study you can follow: spa aesthetics, paramedical aesthetics and hairstyling. Spa aesthetics deals primarily with beauty treatments administered in beauty shops, while paramedical aesthetics is more demanding and deals with technical equipment used to treat serious skin and aesthetic flaws. Finally, you can focus on men's, women's or unisex hairstyling if you want to work in a hair salon or barbershop.
Careers in Cosmetology
Your training options lead to a wide range of careers in cosmetology. The topics covered in beauty school programs include skin and nail care, makeup selection and application, manicures and pedicures, waxing and electrolysis, body treatments, aromatherapy and more. You will also receive in-depth instruction in safe, proper techniques, sterilization and equipment handling techniques, and aesthetic theory.
As with any vocational school, you should research the cosmetology school's class sizes and employment success rates. You want to invest your time and money in a program that offers plenty of opportunity for personalized attention from your instructor as well as one that is well-regarded by employers. If you want to open your own spa or beauty salon, you should look for a school that also offers business management training classes.