How to Become a Cosmetology Instructor
Before you can become a teacher in the field of beauty, you first need to have a proper cosmetology license and some real-world experience in areas like hair styling, nail technology, makeup, and skin care. And that generally means you need to have already completed a one- to two-year cosmetology program, passed your state board exam, and now work within the industry.
So if you are currently an experienced cosmetologist, then you may be able to take the next step toward becoming a cosmetology instructor. Many people in the field would probably agree that going back to school to get teacher training makes the most sense. That way, you get the benefit of learning how to teach aspiring cosmetologists in a structured and supportive setting.
After completing that short amount of continuing education, the next step is often to earn any cosmetology instructor license or certificate that is required by your state. Such requirements vary from state to state, and not all states require teacher licensure. But those that do often require you to have a few years of full-time work experience as a cosmetologist and/or a teaching certificate from an approved beauty school. Once you meet those qualifications, the last step is usually to pass a cosmetology teacher licensing exam.
You can find more details about the licensing requirements where you are by contacting the board of cosmetology (or similar department) in your state.
What Is a Common Cosmetology Instructor Salary?
As of 2017, the average reported salary for cosmetology instructors in the U.S. is $38,899, according to PayScale. But what you can make really depends on the school you work for and the city you live in. Given those variables, it's possible to make more than that median. For instance, Occupational Employment Statistics program data shows that in 2018, the average salary of all vocational education teachers at the post-secondary level in the U.S. was $58,520.
How Does the Future Look for Cosmetology Instructors?
The outlook for cosmetology educators looks bright. According to the Professional Beauty Association, more than 1.2 million Americans already work in some type of personal appearance occupation. And the salon and spa industry often experiences growth at a higher rate than the overall economy.
Next, consider that Census Bureau data indicates the U.S. is home to more than 1,860 cosmetology and barbering school establishments. Collectively, they employ more than 20,260 people, including many teachers.
Finally, keep this fact in mind: The number of cosmetology jobs in the U.S. is projected to rise by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026. All of the people who will fill those new jobs will need to be trained by somebody!
How Long Does a Cosmetology Teaching Program Take?
Most programs are very short. In fact, it's easy to find programs that take as little as 20 to 36 weeks to complete.
Find a cosmetology teaching school near you right now! Simply search by your zip code using the convenient school finder on this page.