According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be above average job growth through 2018 for cosmetologists and related fields, making a career in cosmetology a solid training option for many people. Before you choose a cosmetology school, however, there are several factors to consider and learn about first; cosmetology is more than just styling hair, and will require serious dedication, schooling and a passion for customer service.
Looking at Cosmetology:
Most apprentice cosmetologists complete a two year Associate Degree or specialized training at a licensed beauty college or vocational training facility. Many people have the misconception that the field mainly involves styling hair; while hair care does play a large part in a general cosmetology career, there are many other skills and branches that are involved in the field.
Nail technicians and manicurists work almost specifically on a customer’s nails to repair damage, trim, buff and apply sometimes complex and expensive nail paints and lacquer. This is a very technical skill that is part of general cosmetology training. Once a student has finished general cosmetology classes, they can specialize in nail technician licensing and begin work as an apprentice manicurist.
Skin care specialists are also a branch of cosmetology that require a student to learn all aspects of how to properly treat dry skin, assist with skin problems such as acne, and know a multitude of skin care products and procedures. Understanding the functions of skin from a scientific point of view is also a must to become a professional skin care specialist. Hair stylists, likewise, must understand more than how to cut a person’s hair and make it look good; they must learn product information and learn how to treat different hair types and problems.
Choosing a Cosmetology School:
It’s important to select a cosmetology school that has been licensed by the state you will be attending school in for several reasons. Licensed beauty colleges and programs will help a student prepare for that particular state’s exam by offering appropriate classes. These colleges and programs are the only ones recognized by that specific state, meaning if a student enrolls in a program that has not been licensed by the state, that training will not be formally recognized. Having licensed training is key to beginning an apprenticeship, internship or beginning an entry level job in the cosmetology field.
Compare several cosmetology schools before you decide which to attend, and always ask about financial aid, loans and grants that may be available to help pay for your training.