As a cosmetologist, you’re there for some of your clients’ biggest life events. You’re the expert they turn to for a fresh cut before a job interview and a full makeover on their wedding day. You’re also the one clients seek help from to turn a home haircut gone wrong into the latest and greatest trend. But what exactly is cosmetology, and how do you get to a professional level? At Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes, we explore how long it takes to become a cosmetologist and what the journey from student to professional could look like for you.

What Is Cosmetology?

As the study of hair, skin, and nail treatments, cosmetology is a profession that balances science, skill, and artistry to deliver results to meet the needs and expectations of each client. A cosmetologist is licensed to perform several services, such as:

  • Haircutting, coloring, and styling
  • Makeup application
  • Nail art
  • Waxing

Some cosmetologists choose to apply everything they learned in school professionally, while others focus on select specialties in the field. In any case, becoming a professional who can do the job – and do it well – takes training and experience that begins in cosmetology school.

Cosmetology School Length and Coverage

Along with your personal goals, the road to becoming a cosmetologist depends largely on the school and state law. Ranging anywhere from 1,000 to just over 2,000 hours, students are required to complete a set number of clock hours (training hours in and out of the classroom). Your State Board of Cosmetology and particular school can outline the requirements specific to your location. Courses at Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes cover broad areas, including:

  • History and aesthetics
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry of cosmetics
  • Haircutting and styling
  • Chemical treatments
  • Waxing and skincare
  • Makeup application
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Hygiene/sanitization
  • Safe work practices

Pairing coursework with hands-on training, cosmetology schools across the country help make the transition from student to skilled professional feel positive and engaging. Our students train with real guests at the Aveda Salon and Spa. Under the supervision of licensed instructors, they learn how to connect with clients, master their skills, and more.

Résumé-Worthy Electives

The lessons learned at cosmetology school often go beyond the basics that can get you through the state licensing exam. Many programs also incorporate industry-specific business strategies, such as:

  • Clientele building
  • Guest relations
  • Salesmanship
  • Time management
  • Product knowledge

What’s more, many schools offer advanced training opportunities through extracurricular experiences, workshops, and additional coursework outside the curriculum. While these electives may lengthen the amount of time taken to complete your education, they could prove to be rewarding additions to your résumé in the end.

Earning Your Cosmetology License

By the time you graduate from school, you’ll be ready to sit for your state boards. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all states require cosmetologists to be licensed. Licensing exams generally include written and practical portions, ensuring proficiency in both areas. Once you’ve passed, you’re ready to move on to the next step: landing that first job as a professional! As a licensed cosmetologist, you have the opportunity to bring out the best in your clients, customize your schedule, and more. Contact us to learn more about our cosmetology schools in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.