How To Become A Cosmetologist

As a cosmetologist, you will provide a variety of beauty treatments for your customers. Most often cosmetologists are licensed as hairstylists, in which they perform haircuts, color treatments, highlights, barbering services, and other services.

Often cosmetologists are also trained to do makeup. They may be trained to perform nail services such as manicures and pedicures as well. In order to become a cosmetologist, a person must complete a cosmetology program and become licensed in their state.

Why Become A Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists have a wide range of duties. They give consultations to customers, discussing with them their needs and what they would like to achieve during their visit, whether it is a simple haircut or an entirely new look. They use their expertise to recommend what options would be best for the customer.

They provide a variety of services to customers, including haircuts, color treatments, barber services and more. They advise customers on the types of products to purchase in order to keep their hair in excellent condition, and what steps they should take to maintain it. They book customers future appointments to maintain their look.

Cosmetologists may also perform other services, such as makeup applications, waxing, or nail services. Because of the nature of their job, cosmetologists are often requested for special events such as weddings, proms, and other occasions.

Almost half of all cosmetologists are self-employed. This can be an excellent career choice if you have always wanted to run your own business. There are many business skills needed to be a cosmetologist. A cosmetologist must be able to promote their business, bring clients in, and get them as repeat customers who keep coming back on a regular basis. They must be able to attract new clientele while keeping a loyal fanbase of repeat customers.

Cosmetologists may also have other business responsibilities, such as checking inventory, ordering new supplies, stocking shelves, answering phones, booking appointments, and other tasks.

This is a good career choice for people who enjoy being creative, like the beauty industry, and want a career that involves working directly with people.

A Cosmetologist should possess the following qualities and skills

Cosmetologist Work Environment

Cosmetologists work in salons, spas, barber shops, hotels, resorts, and similar environments. Many cosmetologists are self-employed, either working out of their own homes or renting spaces from a local salon.

People in this profession work directly with customers. They should be comfortable with engaging in pleasant small talk while performing their services. They will be required to stand for long periods of time while in this position.

Many of the services that cosmetologists perform require the use of chemicals and dyes. They will also be standing under lights for long periods of time. Cosmetologists often are expected to work weekends, which are the busiest times for their profession.

Cosmetologist Salary

Cosmetologists are typically paid an hourly wage, rather than an annual salary. The median hourly wage for cosmetologists was $11.68 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Many cosmetologists work full-time, while others work only part-time. Approximately one half of all cosmetologists are self-employed. Cosmetologists often rely on tips in order to earn an additional income.

Tips and gratuities are an important form of revenue for people in this career field. Cosmetologists often receive a commission for the work that they do. Higher priced services result in higher revenue for cosmetologists. They may also earn commission on any retail items that they sell, such as shampoos and conditioners, hair styling tools, and other products.

Average Cosmetologist Annual Salary


The average annual salary for cosmetologists is $30,490 a year. Salaries start at $18,170 a year and go up to $50,670 a year.

Average Cosmetologist Hourly Wage


The average hourly wage for a cosmetologist is $14.66. Hourly wages are between $8.73 and $24.36 an hour.

Stats were based out of 351,910 employed cosmetologists in the United States.

Highest Paying States For Cosmetologists

Top Paying Cities For Cosmetologists

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Cosmetologist Career Outlook

Employment for cosmetologists is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is a faster rate of growth compared to other jobs within the United States.

Cosmetology is a career path that is considered to have higher turnover than most other professions. Many people in this profession choose to transfer to another company, choose another occupation, retire, or move on for other reasons.

Because of this, there will be a high number of job openings available for people looking for employment. The beauty industry is one that people will always spend in, even in times of economic difficulty. People will still want hairstyles and other beauty treatments and will be willing to spend their income on these treatments.

Cosmetologist Degree

Read more below about learning how to become a cosmetologist.

Step One: Cosmetology School. After receiving a high school diploma, students must attend a cosmetology program. These programs can be found in many vocational and training schools. In the program, students will learn about hair cutting, hair design, color and texture, makeup, and the business and retail components of cosmetology. At the end of the program, students will earn a certificate of completion.

Step Two: Licensure. Cosmetologists must receive a license in order to work in their profession. At the end of cosmetology school, students will take a state licensing exam that includes a written test and a practical examination.

After passing the exam, cosmetologists are granted a license in their state. Once they have been licensed, they are allowed to work in a variety of settings such as salons, spas and more.

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