July 8, 2016

Step-By-Step Guide To Becoming A Cosmetologist

Cosmetology is a growing field, and more people are needed now more than ever. Even in a weak economy, people still want to get manicures, pedicures, haircuts and color, because it makes them feel more confident and presentable to potential employers. Pampering yourself is great for reducing stress and making people feel more relaxed.

Training Requirements

Before you can go to cosmetology or beauty school, you need to meet certain requirements. Most programs require that you be at least 16 years old or older, and have a high school diploma or GED. However, each state may have different regulations, so make sure to find out what your state requires. Likewise, some schools will require stricter prerequisites, so make sure to inquire about them.


Choosing your college can be very difficult, but it is important to choose a school that fits your wants and needs. Consider at least three schools in your area. You’ll want to consider prices, length of program and how many students get jobs after finishing school. You may also wish to discuss night courses, part-time options and others that will fit your schedule easily.

Complete Training

In most cases, becoming a cosmetologist will take between nine and 15 months to complete. Many states require 1,600 training hours before you can take your license exam, but some will require less or more.

Courses can include learning about chemistry and human anatomy, as well as learning how to style and cut hair. You may also learn about facials and massages, microdermabrasion techniques, waxing, nail care, and much more.


Once you are mostly finished with school, you may want to consider a specialization, such as business management, nail technician, beautician and more. Specialties help you gain expertise in a certain area, helping you get a job and make more money.

Finish Exams

No matter where you want to work in the US, you will have to pass a licensing exam. Requirements for cosmetology licensing can vary depending on the state, but you will likely have to complete written questions and practical testing in haircare, makeup, and skincare. You will also have a choice between earning a nail technician, esthetician or cosmetology license.

Find Work

After you have become a cosmetologist it is time to go out into the working world. Many colleges offer an apprenticeship program, which allows you to earn credits for school and gain valuable hands-on training. While you won’t get paid as much in the program, you’ll still make some money. Inquire if your school has a job placement or career services center to assist you in the job application process.

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