Are you considering a career in the beauty industry? If you’re someone who thrives on creativity and making personal connections, a career in cosmetology may be right for you. To become a licensed cosmetologist, you’ll need to complete a series of steps that begin with a comprehensive education. From completing the required number of training hours to passing the state licensing exam, Inspire Greatness Aveda Institutes takes a closer look at the typical journey to become a cosmetologist.

Finding a Cosmetology School

Begin by researching schools throughout your area. While some schools accept students as young as 16 years old, others require a GED prior to enrollment. For students working their way through school, many programs offer a combination of day, evening, and online classes. Flexible classes and opportunities for virtual learning can help ease the challenge of fitting an in-depth education into an already packed schedule.

If the initial investment is a challenge, look to the admissions counselors for help. Scholarships, grants, student loans, and other financial aid programs are available for qualified students, making it that much easier to fund a rewarding future.

Mastering the Curriculum

Coursework includes classroom and practical learning, providing a well-rounded educational experience. While the curricula may vary depending on school and location, cosmetology coursework typically includes:

  • Shampooing, cutting, and styling
  • Perms
  • Hair coloring
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Waxing techniques
  • Makeup application
  • Hygiene and sanitizing procedures

The length of time between enrollment and graduation varies largely by state. Students must complete a minimum number of hours in training to qualify for licensure, which could range anywhere from as little as 1,000 to over 2,000 hours. Most states have their own board of cosmetology, making it easy to learn how much time completing your education could take. Checking in with your State Board of Cosmetology or school of choice can give you an idea of how long the journey may take.

Receiving Your Cosmetology License

All U.S. states require cosmetologists to be licensed. After completing the required number of classroom and training hours in the program, students must pass their state boards to qualify for licensure. Exams generally include written and practical portions. While taking your state boards may sound challenging, a well-rounded education with extracurricular experiences can help you feel prepared. Once you’ve passed, congratulations! You’re eligible to practice in a salon or spa.

Just as licensing laws vary by state, so do transfer regulations, fees, renewal processes, and other requirements. If you’ve received your license in one state, you may need to prove your credentials to practice in another state. While uncommon, some states have reciprocity agreements that do not require additional training or testing.

Finding Your Niche

One of the best parts about cosmetology school is the hands-on portion of the curriculum. It can help you hone your craft and find a specialty that suits you best. Training in a spa where you take care of guests under the guidance of a licensed instructor provides valuable real-world experiences you just can’t get in the classroom alone. Licensed cosmetologists can find job opportunities throughout the industry, such as:

  • Salon stylist
  • Business owner
  • Makeup artist
  • Event stylist
  • Sales representative
  • Social media influencer

From crafting sleek cuts for clients on the salon floor to becoming an entrepreneur, a cosmetology license can fuel your dreams for a bright future.

Enroll in Cosmetology School

Take the first step toward your career in cosmetology. Our Dream Makers are ready to help you get started. Reach out to us today to learn more about enrollment, financial aid, and other important information.