A cosmetology instructor teaches in schools offering cosmetology courses. You will teach the methods and skills that those who wish to work as personal appearance workers need to learn in order to make their clients look and feel beautiful.
You will be teaching the students about the science and art of cosmetology and guiding them in the various lessons and coursework that would ultimately enable them to practice in the real world. You will be discussing anatomy and physiology in relation to cosmetology. Aside from teaching them the different principles, topics and skills that would allow them to pass the board exams and work in various beauty establishments, you will also be covering lessons regarding the safety practices that they should observe so that accidents can be prevented that could potentially injure the cosmetologist and their client while a procedure is being carried out.
As a teacher, you will be preparing lesson plans before each class so that you won’t forget all the topics that you need to cover for the session. You also need to prepare all the materials you need if you will be doing demonstrations for a particular lesson. All the lessons and coursework that you teach should be aligned with the state-approved curriculum. You will also be answering questions that students may have during the discussions.
As part of the requirements, you will be preparing a proposed yearly budget for the school’s cosmetology program. You will also be doing an inventory of the materials and supplies that you have and requesting for additional ones for the upcoming school year. You could also be asked by the school to form linkages with salons and other companies operating in the beauty industry so that the school’s students will be able to work with and get hands on experience with professionals in the industry.
Part of your responsibility is seeing to it that the textbooks, tools and other materials that you are using are up-to-date so that students can be properly prepared for their licensure exams. You will also be recording the performance of your students and identifying the areas where they need improvement so that you can give them the necessary support. You should also know how to give constructive criticism to your students so that their skills can be improved.
To succeed as a cosmetology instructor, you need to be creative and resourceful. You have to find ways to let students understand the skills and knowledge that you are trying to impart to them by using a variety of techniques and methods. Good communication skills and patience are also important to become an effective cosmetology instructor.
Why Become A Cosmetology Instructor
A career as a cosmetology instructor is for those who want to take their beauty profession to the next level. One reason to pursue a career as an educator for aspiring beauticians is that it allows you to pass on your knowledge to those who have the passion to make people look and feel their best. Another reason is that it puts you in an educational setting where you will be working with other co-teachers who share the same passion as you do. On the more practical side, you are bound to get higher pay as an educator compared to what regular cosmetologists are getting. There are also chances of advancement in the school where you are working in.
Cosmetology Instructor Work Environment
Cosmetology instructors work in junior and community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools and cosmetology schools. The classrooms are usually air-conditioned. Although instructors will be leading the lectures inside the classroom, they may also turn to online beauty courses to supplement their curriculum, a practice that is now accepted in an increasing number of states. They will also be teaching the students the skills they need to learn in a salon-like setting.
Instructors can expect to spend long periods of time on their feet as they deliver lectures and do demonstrations. Instructors who are working together with other cosmetology teachers may have to meet regularly to ensure that their lessons are synchronized and are on the same wavelength as far as the topics that students need to know to be able to pass their licensure exams.
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that postsecondary vocational education teachers, cosmetology instructors included, received a mean annual wage of $52,680. This is lower than the $63,770 received by recreation and fitness studies teachers. Comparatively speaking, the mean annual wage of hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists is $27,530. Barbers received $27,710.
Cosmetology Instructor Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that the employment of personal appearance workers is expected to increase 13 percent in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. This is fueled by the burgeoning population who will need these beauty care services. While they don’t have specific numbers for the employment outlook of cosmetology workers, it is expected that the demand for barbers, hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists will also spawn the growth of cosmetology instructors who will be training these aspiring beauty workers.
Cosmetology Instructor Degree
Before anyone can work as a cosmetology instructor, they will first need to be a licensed cosmetologist. All states require a high school diploma and completion of a cosmetology program approved by the state. After obtaining their license, they will first have to obtain several years of work experience as a cosmetologist in a professional setting. States have varying regulations when it comes to licensing cosmetology instructors. Some require education units and the completion of a specific number of hours of training and the passing of an exam before licensing applicants to teach other students in the art of beauty.
In a number of cosmetology schools, aspiring instructors may take the cosmetology instructor training certificate to prepare themselves for this career. The lessons covered include lesson planning, evaluation and testing methods and oral presentations, among others. The program can last anywhere from two to four academic semesters.