The Ultimate Guide To Cosmetology School

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Are you ready to turn your passion for hair, skin, and nails into a career? Nice! First things first: You’ll need lots of training and practice to impress your future clients. So, it’s time to advance your education. If you want to become a professional hairstylist, makeup artist, esthetician, or nail tech, you should look into cosmetology school. 

Interesting. But where do I start? 

This guide teaches you everything you need to know about cosmetology school and provides tips for increasing your income as a cosmetologist.

What is Cosmetology School?

What Is Cosmetology School? 

Cosmetology school is where aspiring hair, nail, and skin specialists go to turn their passion into a certified professional career. Cosmetology school provides extensive, hands-on training so you can pass your licensing exams and take on clients like a pro! 

In cosmetology school, you study techniques to beautify hair, skin, and nails. You learn modern and classic concepts to make your clients look and feel great. Your instructors teach you essential skills to be a real-world cosmetologist. 

There’s a variety of specialized cosmetology courses. In general, you’ll study:

  • Hair care, including rinses, scalp treatments, cutting, texturizing, and coloring
  • Nail care, including manicuring and pedicuring
  • Skincare, including facials and hair removal
  • Makeup application
  • Career  development 
  • Client management and retention

Some programs also cover advanced treatments, like electrolysis (a form of permanent hair removal), and others provide training for people who want to teach cosmetology.

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Cosmetology courses typically combine classroom instruction with practical training. You get to learn from licensed professionals and might even train in their salons as part of the course. Some schools have a student-run cosmetology clinic where you work, while your “clients” get discounted cosmetology services. This is great if you want a taste of the real-world experience. 

And the best part is that most theoretical courses can be done online. 

Which Course Is Best In Cosmetology? 

The best cosmetology course depends on you. Consider these things before you make your decision: Where do you want to work? What’s your budget? What are your goals? There are lots of great cosmetology schools to choose from.

You can take cosmetology courses at most community colleges. Or, you can choose to attend an independent cosmetology school. Just make sure your state’s licensing board approves the program.

Cosmetology is usually offered as a certificate program or an associate’s degree program. A cosmetology certificate program teaches essential concepts about caring for hair, skin, and nails. They usually focus on one specialty. If you pursue an associate’s degree in cosmetology, you learn liberal arts, math, and sciences alongside your cosmetology courses.  

Ultimately, you should choose a cosmetology course that matches your state’s licensing requirements and has a strong focus on business development. After all, you’re there to advance your career.

What is the highest degree in cosmetology?

The highest degree in cosmetology is an associate’s degree. Students study cosmetology while receiving a traditional college education. It’s the best of both worlds. 

After earning your associate degree in cosmetology, it might be a good idea to get a bachelor’s degree (in a relevant field). A bachelor’s degree is significantly more expensive, but you can transfer credits from your associate’s program and finish quickly for a portion of the cost.

What is the lowest degree in cosmetology?

The “lowest degree” in cosmetology school is technically a cosmetic certificate or diploma. Except it’s not a degree, and there’s nothing low about it. A cosmetology certificate can open many doors for your career, especially if you’re a beginner. 

Cosmetology School

How Many Years Does Cosmetology Take? 

Cosmetology school can take several months to two years, depending on the kind of course you take and if you choose to specialize. For example, a nail technician certificate might only take six months, while an associate’s degree in cosmetology can include up to two years of coursework. 

How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost? 

You can expect to pay about $10,000 to complete a cosmetology program. But the cost can be anywhere from $3000 to $25000, depending on where you study and your specialization. For example,  a school in a rural area will cost less than a large city. You should also factor in an additional $2000 to cover the cost of books and student beauty kits. 

The good news is that there are lots of options to finance your education. Most schools provide financial aid, grants, and scholarships. It’s also a good idea to look into federal loans (if you attend an accredited school). They tend to have lower interest rates than private tuition loans.

Is Studying Cosmetology Hard?

It’s relatively simple to begin studying cosmetology. Each school has different admission requirements. If you don’t have a high school diploma, expect to get a GED or take additional tests to qualify. 

Once you get in, cosmetology school is very hands-on. It can be a big adjustment if you’re used to spending most of your time with your head in a book.

But don’t get the wrong idea. You will have to grasp theoretical concepts. Cosmetology students learn biology to care for the hair, skin, and nails, as well as chemistry, to understand chemical reactions and processes in dyes and products. 

Cosmetology School

It won’t always be easy, but if you’re worried about becoming a beauty school dropout: don’t. Like most things in life, it’s going to take dedication and hard work. You’ve got this!

I Finished Cosmetology School. Now What?

With your certificate (or degree) in hand, you’ll be ready to take the cosmetology world by storm. Cosmetology students typically pursue careers as:

  • Hairstylists and colorists
  • Barbers
  • Retail specialists 
  • Nail Technician 
  • Salon managers and owners
  • Makeup artists,
  • Beauty writers,
  • Instructors

But first, you should get your hands on a cosmetology license. Each state has different licensing requirements, so be sure to check your local laws. Typically, you’ll need to complete 1500 hours of practical training (or an apprenticeship), take an examination, and pay a fee to obtain a cosmetology license.

Some cosmetic services, like makeup, might not require a license to practice. But it’s good to get one anyway. One day you might move to a new state, start work at a salon or open your own business. Be prepared! Not to mention, it’s nice to let clients know they’re working with a licensed professional.

Can You Make Six Figures As A Cosmetologist?

Absolutely! On average, cosmetologists, hairstylists, and barbers make $29,680 per year. And salon professionals can make up to $50000 per year, including tips and commission. 

You don’t have to work in a salon to be a cosmetologist. You have the potential to double your income by breaking out on your own.  You can start your own beauty business, build a loyal client list and earn up to six figures!

As an independent cosmetologist, there are countless opportunities to boost your income. You can sell products and subscriptions with your services straight from your PocketSuite booking site. Or, you can become a hair influencer and earn money from brand endorsements. 

Cosmetology School

It’s Time To Take The Next Step

We know you’re ready to take your cosmetology skills to the next level. (And we want you to succeed!) So, why not invest in your education and enroll in a cosmetology course? Cosmetology school gives you fundamental training to impress your clients with A+ hair, skin, and nail services. 

And PocketSuite has all the tools you need to manage those clients.

PocketSuite allows cosmetologists to run their businesses in one app. You can book clients, send contracts and receive payments in just a few clicks. We have dynamic features to help you make more money doing what you love!