If you want to move your cosmetology career forward and run a salon or spa, the next logical step would be to become a salon manager. In this profession, you will have the opportunity to manage the beauty salon the best way you know how, make it grow and address the concerns and needs of your customers. You will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the establishment. You will ensure that the salon is following the laws and regulations of the state and that the staff you hire possess the necessary licenses and know what they are doing. You will provide new employees with the training necessary so they operate the salon in accordance with your own house rules.
A very important part of your job is to ensure that the salon or spa is operating at a profit. This entails establishing relationships with clients so they will continue patronizing your business and referring others to your salon. This could also mean coming up with programs such as loyalty cards and other perks to encourage repeat business.
As a salon manager, the skill sets you need are going to be quite different from those you used when you were working as a cosmetologist or makeup artist. While you will certainly still be employing the knowledge you possess on making people look beautiful—especially if you will be taking the place of a worker who will be absent—you will need to possess decision-making, problem-solving and organizational skills. As the manager, you will have to address customer complaints in a professional manner any time they come up. You also have to think of ways to address business issues, such as a dip in profits, so that the salon continues to make money. If there are employees who are not performing their jobs, you will have to make the difficult decision of letting them go after repeated violations.
You will be the leader of team. As such, you need to posses good people skills. You also need to know how to listen to the needs of the people under you and be able to motivate them to do their jobs well. It’s a stressful job but you should know how to keep things in stride.
Why Become A Salon Manager
For beauty professionals who have the entrepreneurial spirit, opening their own salon and managing it is only a natural career progression. Even those who have been working fulltime for years as licensed cosmetologists, barbers or hairdressers in an established salon will find that moving up the ranks and finally getting promoted as a salon manager is a goal to strive for. Aside from the glamour that comes with the job, holding a managerial position also translates to better pay.
Salon Manager Work Environment
Salon managers work in beauty salons, spas and other beauty establishments. They generally follow 40-hour work weeks, although the schedule can include evenings and weekends as these are the busiest times for salons and spas. Salon managers can put in longer hours if they are covering for an employee who has taken the day off because of personal or health reasons.
Salon managers have to make periodic inspections of the establishment to ensure that everything is in order and the equipment and work spaces are clean and hygienic. Since they will be running the financial operations of the business, making calculations and keeping track of product inventories are also going to be a regular part of their job.
Salon Manager Salary
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have specific data on the annual wages of salon managers. It collects salary information on other kinds of managers but since these are not related to the beauty industry, it would not be wise to use them as a gauge. However, industry figures gleaned from private websites that happened to have surveyed the salaries of salon managers revealed that the lowest paid get $20,000 a year while the average salaries can range from $30,000 to $46,000 annually. The more experienced ones get anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 yearly.
The salary of salon managers depend on such factors as the size, overhead costs and the number of employees of the business, years of work experience as a beautician and manager and the area of the country where the salon or spa is located.
Again, no government data exists on the projected job outlook of salon managers. However, it does have the employment outlook of barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists. From 2012 to 2022, these beauty professionals can expect to grow 13 percent, a rate that is about the same as the average for all job types. Thus, from the 663,300 barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists employed in 2012, their number will increase to 746,600 in 2022. If we employ logic, the demand for salon managers would also grow at about the same pace as they will be needed to run these salons.
Salon Manager Degree
The road towards becoming a salon manager starts right after one has graduated from high school. It’s important to understand how a salon business works from the ground up so it’s necessary to complete a cosmetology program in a vocational school licensed by the state. These nine-month programs can lead to an associate degree. After graduating from the cosmetology program, it’s important to get certified by passing a written and practical test.
Getting work experience in a salon, spa or beauty shop is a must. This is only way for aspiring managers to become acquainted with the day-to-day management of this kind of establishment. Working in the industry is also necessary for one to continue to be updated on the latest beauty trends.
Those who are interested in becoming salon managers can then prepare for it by taking business courses in a local college while they are working. They can also opt to enroll in a spa and management training course for a more focused education. These courses can be offered online or in traditional schools. Another entry point towards becoming a salon manager is to take a four-year bachelor’s degree in business management.