If you have a love of beauty and a keen sense of style, then cosmetology may be the right profession for you. Not only does cosmetology offer you a way to share your passion and help others express their true beauty, but it is also a reliable and safe career path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologist jobs are expected to grow at a rate exceeding the national average for all professions.
If you are considering embarking on a journey into this potentially rewarding career, it pays to arm yourself with some knowledge before you begin. Keep reading to learn about the first steps you should take on your path to becoming a practicing cosmetologist.
Determine Your State Licensing Requirements
Cosmetologists must be licensed, but the licensing requirements are not federally mandated and vary from state to state. Every state requires some form of licensing, however, and though the specifics of the requirements differ, they all share a number of common traits. In general, all states have a minimum age and formal education requirement. Additionally, most states require that applicants attend a minimum number of hours at a licensed beauty school. Some states will waive the beauty school requirement if the applicant meets a minimum number of hours in an apprenticeship.
The National Association of Complementary and Alternative Medicines maintains a list of state-by-state cosmetology license requirements. Consult this list to find the details of your particular state.
Choose Between Beauty School or an Apprenticeship
If your state requires that you attend a beauty school, then this choice has already been made for you and you can safely move onto the next step. If your state offers the possibility of an apprenticeship, then you will need to decide which is the right training option for you. As a general rule, apprenticeships are a good idea if you will need the money from working right away or if attending beauty school will be financially difficult. Apprenticeships let you get your foot in the door immediately so that you can gain real-world experience, and that isn't a benefit to be taken lightly.
On the other hand, beauty schools offer formalized education in cosmetology and complete training programs that have the potential to open more doors later. Since not all states have transference agreements for cosmetology licenses, this will also allow you to more easily obtain a license should you move to another state in the future.
Decide on a Beauty School to Attend
If you have decided to attend a beauty school, then you will need to choose one to attend. After narrowing your list to those schools that are within your budget, you will want to carefully examine their curricula to choose a program that is a good fit for you. Many beauty schools offer more general programs, while others will offer specializations in certain techniques. If there is a particular aspect of cosmetology that appeals to you, be sure that your school includes in it! Cosmetology is a profession filled with workers who are passionate about their jobs, so it is important to choose a school that speaks to your particular interests.
For more information, contact a local beauty school like Cannella School of Hair Design.