Definition of Cosmetologist
A cosmetologist is a beauty specialist who works to make the hair, nails and skin look good. Cosmetologists offer advice about hairstyles, cosmetics, skincare products and even do therapeutic treatments. There are several specialties within cosmetology including beauticians, hair stylists, estheticians, barbers, manicurists, pedicurists, electrologists, and shampooers. Cosmetologists perform tasks like • trimming, cutting and styling hair, beards, and wigs • perms and straightening hair • bleaching, highlighting and dyeing hair • hair, scalp and skin treatment • manicures • pedicures • facial and body hair removal like waxing, shaping eyebrows, etc.
Educational Requirements to Become a Cosmetologist
Becoming a cosmetologist requires attendance at a state licensed secondary, trade or vocational school. Training generally takes at least nine months but in some cases can lead to a two year associate degree. Cosmetologists are required to pass state licensing exams which vary between states. Generally the test has a written part and a practical part. Once they are licensed, cosmetologists are required to take continuing education classes each year.
Skills Necessary to Become a Cosmetologist
Because they work so closely with their clientele, cosmetologists need excellent listening and communications skills in addition to the obvious trade skills. They also need business skills for keeping financial records and making material and equipment purchases for their business. Physically, cosmetologists must be able to stand for long periods of time as well as bend and maneuver in sometimes awkward positions. Cosmetologists should also have a neat, fashionable personal appearance.
Job and Career Outlook for a Cosmetologist
The job outlook for cosmetologists is excellent and by the year 2018 there are expected to be another 150,000 workers in the field. Cosmetologists advance by increasing their clientele and by starting their own private businesses. They also advance through promotions to managers of general salons or sales representatives. Some cosmetologists go on to teach in barber/cosmetology schools, work for the state as test administrators or become fashion consultants. Income for cosmetologists is high variable but usually averages anywhere from $11-$20.00 an hour.The average cosmetologist can expect to earn around $23,140 annually.