Demand for Cosmetologists in the Future

The number of cosmetology jobs available is growing fast. Careers in the field are projected to grow by 13%, manicurist and pedicurist jobs are expected to grow by 13%, and esthetician jobs are projected to grow by 14% by 2026. Compared to an average growth rate of 5-9%, cosmetology and related fields are experiencing rapid growth. Because of this, cosmetology has a very low unemployment rate. Many people consider beauty school a good investment for future opportunities.

What to do After Cosmetology School

As the demand for cosmetologists in the future grows, beauty school can prepare you for many different career paths. Cosmetologists can choose to become business owners, creative artists, skilled educators, and more.

Be a Business Owner

Many beauty students have a dream of opening their own salon and being their own boss. After working at a salon and building a clientele, some stylists go on to start their own business. If a stylist already has loyal clients, opening their own salon gives them more creative freedom, choice of products to use and sell, and flexibility. However, starting a business can be a more expensive and riskier choice than working for someone else’s business, so stylists turned salon owners are usually experienced with industry connections.

If your dream is to open your own salon, you can start preparing now by gaining loyal clients who would follow you to a new salon. It’s also important to build your own brand. If you go to different salons you can see that each has a different vibe: some salons are modern and edgy, others are upscale and classy, while some have a casual, urban-chic feel. Developing a style now can help ensure your brand is strong and recognizable when you’re ready to open your own salon.

You can start developing a brand with social media, like Instagram. It’s a great way to make industry connections and show off your work. The best time to start building a brand on Instagram is during cosmetology school. A good first step is connecting with students and instructors at school and posting your classwork.

Become an Editorial Stylist

While some stylists love to help ordinary people become their most beautiful selves, others want to experiment and push the boundaries of style. Editorial stylists create avant-garde looks for the fashion industry, advertisements, and sometimes even just for the purpose of creating art. While editorial looks are not traditionally pretty, they are often designed to symbolize something else or tell a story with shape and color.


McKell Hird, a student who attends Aveda Institute Provo, won Student Hairstylist of the Year at the 2019 North American Hairstyling Awards. She created this editorial collection to contrast the delicate pastel hair and clothing with the models’ fierce expressions. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the collection is meant to show women can be both pretty and powerful.

At a fashion show, the hair and makeup of the models has to further the designer’s vision and aesthetic. Next time you are looking at pictures from a high fashion runway, take a look at the models’ hair and makeup. Are the shapes continuing the lines of the clothing? Is the designer contrasting the style of clothing with the hair to make a statement? How does color coordinate between the clothing and the hair or makeup? Understanding why stylists and designers make their editorial decisions is the first step to becoming an editorial stylist.

If you want to practice coming up with creative ideas but you don’t have a model and photographer, you can try sketching out some looks on paper. There are resources available online for face charts and body outlines, so you don’t need to be a professional artist to sketch out your editorial ideas! Recording your ideas will help you exercise your creativity and prepare you to make great designs.

Freelancing and Working from Home

Many students choose cosmetology because they want flexibility in their career. Unlike some jobs, cosmetologists do not necessarily have to work for a specific company from 9-5 each day. Even stylists working at a salon often have the flexibility to work part-time or choose nontraditional hours.

A stylist can also operate a salon out of their home if they follow the relevant licensing procedures. This is attractive to people like moms who want to be at home with their kids or part-time stylists who have a different day job. They get to enjoy the convenience of taking clients throughout the day without having to drive to work.


Besides working from home, cosmetologists can also freelance for fashion, film, or the wedding industry. In the wedding industry, there is a demand for cosmetologists skilled in multiple areas like hair styling, makeup, nails, or lashes. Brides and wedding parties are willing to pay generously for a cosmetologist who can come to the venue and take care of all their beauty needs.


If you are interested in working in the wedding industry, it’s a good idea to diversify your skills. You can start making connections by collaborating with wedding photographers, dress shops, accessories stores, and florists. Many of them are also looking to build a portfolio and they appreciate the help. To get in touch you can always start simple and send out Instagram direct messages. Not everyone will respond, but many of them will be in great need of a stylist for their next shoot and they’ll be glad you reached out.

This is another reason it’s a good idea to start growing your Instagram now because your profile will become a portfolio people will look at when deciding whether they’d like to collaborate with you. Use pictures of the best work on your feed, and try to only post photos and videos that you would want a potential client to see.


Are you wishing cosmetology school would never end? After you get some experience working in the field, you can come back and learn to become an educator. You will get to teach and inspire the newest generation of cosmetologists. Instilling your creative passion and skills into the students can be a very rewarding career.

Interested in a Career in Cosmetology?

These are only a few of the many career options in beauty. One great benefit of cosmetology is the variety of career choices available to you. If you have a passion for cosmetology and want to work in a growing field, beauty school may be for you! At each of our locations (Aveda Institute Provo, Aveda Institute Denver, Aveda Institute Phoenix, and Aveda Institute Tucson) we want to give you an education designed to set you up for success. Let’s get in touch about your future cosmetology options!