How Long Does Cosmetology School Take?

If you are an advocate for beauty and see yourself in a career that would allow you to improve the physical appearance of people then you are most likely interested in a career as a cosmetologist. It’s a fulfilling profession especially if you are passionate about hairstyles, makeup and skincare. You will be working in a salon or spa. With sufficient experience, you may even have the chance to open your own salon one day.

Before you can become a cosmetologist, you need to get training at a cosmetology school. Graduating from a state-approved cosmetology program is necessary so that you can apply for licensure. This is a requisite before you can practice this profession.

A cosmetology program can last for as short as nine months to as long as two years. The average length for completion of a cosmetology course ranges from one year to 14 months. Two-year programs lead to an associate’s degree. Siena Heights University in Michigan offers a bachelor’s degree in cosmetology program. Four-year programs in this course aren’t so common.

The length of time that you will spend on a cosmetology program also depends on the number of hours that a state requires to for licensure. In the state of Tennessee, for example, students must complete 1,500 hours of cosmetology training to be eligible for licensure. A program of this length will take about a year to complete while programs that are shorter, say 600 to 750 hours can be completed in five to six months.

Golden West College in California offers a cosmetology program that can be completed in 1600 hours. It takes five sessions to complete the program, with fulltime schedules from Monday to Friday. Students usually finish the program in a year and are awarded a certificate of specialization in cosmetology. At the San Diego City College, they also make their cosmetology program available in the summer. This session lasts for nine weeks.

It is possible to attend a cosmetology program part-time. This is a convenient arrangement especially if you are working in order to finance your tuition and other fees. However, a word of caution is in order: You need to check with the licensure requirements in your state to determine if it requires a maximum time frame for you to finish the program.

After graduating from a cosmetology program, aspiring cosmetologists can apply for a licensing exam in their state. The test is typically a written exam. There are some states that also include a practical skills test as well as an oral exam.

If you are already a licensed beauty professional and simply want to enhance your knowledge about the latest beauty trends, there are advanced courses that you can take. At the Paul Mitchell Academy, for example, they have Advanced Academy courses that can last for anywhere from three to five days. The Academy describes this program as a multi-tiered curriculum that is taught by artists and educators who are recognized nationwide.

Career Spotlight: Cosmetologist

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