Cosmetology School FAQs and Answers
If you are considering cosmetology school, but have some questions about where you can enroll, what you will study, or how long it will take, you've come to the right place. Below you'll find some of the most commonly asked questions (and answers) surrounding cosmetology careers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What careers can I train for at cosmetology school?
By attending a cosmetology school, you can train for a variety of careers. You could become a cosmetologist, with skills in all areas of cosmetology, or you could pursue a career as a hairstylist, makeup artist, nail technician, or esthetician—just to name a few choices.
There are also many specialized beauty careers to consider, including permanent makeup artist, beauty writer, and paramedical esthetician.
What can I learn at cosmetology school?
Depending on the program you choose—a general cosmetology program or one that concentrates on a specific area of the beauty industry—you can learn how to cut, color, and style hair, apply makeup, perform facials, and much more.
Is there a difference between cosmetology and beauty schools?
No. A cosmetology school and a beauty school are the same thing. These words are often used interchangeably, and both can prepare you for a number of careers in the beauty industry.
Do I need a high school diploma to get into cosmetology or beauty school?
Not all schools will require you to have a high school diploma to enroll. However, in many states you must have a high school diploma or GED in order to obtain your cosmetology license. You'll want to check with your state licensing board to find out what the requirements are in your area.
Do all cosmetology careers require licensing or certification?
Yes. All states require licensing to practice in this field. Nearly all personal care workers (excluding shampooers) are obligated to go through some type of certification process, often including a written exam and a practical testing component.
Exam preparation, and sometimes the cost of the examination itself, can be included in your program. This is something you'll want to consider when researching potential schools for your education.
How do I choose a cosmetology school?
Check out the facilities and instructors, as well as the accreditation of the school. By enrolling in an accredited program, taught by experienced instructors in an industry-current salon setting, you will be setting yourself up to start your career on the right foot.
In addition, take a look at the available programs. Make sure they include the areas of cosmetology that interest you. If you want to become a hairstylist, it would be important to find a program that has a heavy focus on hair, including cutting, coloring, and styling. This article, "Cosmetology Training: Finding the Right Beauty School" can offer you some deeper insight on making this decision.
How long does cosmetology training take?
This can vary depending on the type of program that you choose and what your career goals are. Certificates, diplomas, and associate's degrees are all options for training and usually require different time commitments. Overall, you can expect your education to typically last anywhere from nine months to two years.
Where can I find cosmetology training?
You can find cosmetology schools in this helpful directory.
Are there cosmetology schools that offer online training?
Yes, you can study online. This can be a great option if you want to pursue a career in this field, but don't have the time to attend regular classes. You can use this directory of online cosmetology schools to find a program that fits your needs.
How much can I expect to earn after attending cosmetology school?
This depends greatly on which of the available cosmetology careers that you decide to pursue, but typically professionals in this field can expect to earn an annual wage of between $15,980 and $43,250, with the median annual income coming in at $23,330 in May 2009.*
There are additional opportunities in the motion picture and film industry, or in certain states where there is an increased demand for beauty services, where the wages are significantly higher.
The Next Step
Now that your questions surrounding a cosmetology career have been answered, take the next step and find the program that matches up with your career goals.
Check out this great directory of cosmetology and esthetics schools today!
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, web site accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
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