Cosmetologists are experts in the art and practice of providing beauty and personal care services. They are responsible for working with clients to help them accomplish desired personal looks through the art of makeup, hairstyling and nail care and design.
A career in cosmetology can be a dream come true! Every day and client is different, so there are always challenges and motivation to learn new skills.
This career guide will provide all the information you need to start your career as a cosmetologist. Now, let’s take a look at the following resume formats so we can begin crafting your perfect resume!
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Job Duties of a Cosmetologist
The duties of a cosmetologist encompass a wide range of different responsibilities, such as hair styling and cross-contamination.
Answering client phone calls and emails and scheduling the appointments.
Offering skin care treatments such as shaving beards, shaping eyebrows and performing facials using various products.
Applying, recommending and selling quality cosmetic products.
Resolving clients’ and colleagues’ complaints and concerns.
Performing massages, beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures.
Applying makeup and creating different looks as per the request of the client.
Cosmetologist Median Salary
In 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyzed the median yearly wage between $27,630/year. There is a growth rate of 19% between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average of all other occupations.
Top Skills for a Cosmetologist
Cosmetology is an ever-growing market, where cosmetologists have to develop innovative solutions to establish a unique style to attract clients. Like in most beauty-centered professions, specialization in a particular technique earns you recommendations. Because service is one-on-one, excellent interpersonal skills are critical for winning loyal clients who essentially sponsor your business. The majority of cosmetologists are self-employed, which is a gratifying yet challenging path. Therefore, we’ve listed a blend of technical and soft skills to help you rise in your career.
- Manual dexterity: Performing as a cosmetologist means working with your hands day in and day out, executing your talent by expertly maneuvering through hair with combs, scissors and dryers, as well as gracefully applying makeup, be it eyeliners, mascara or lipstick. Agility and good hand-to-eye coordination are expected of a cosmetologist to guarantee people’s beauty care is in good hands and save time, money, and grow a solid positive reputation that will have your clients advocating for your services.
- Physical and mental stamina: Standing for hours, handling hair, makeup and performing skin care treatments can be incredibly tiring. Making a habit of exercising, doing yoga or simply stretching can make a world of difference to prevent muscle aches and cramps. Moreover, pleasing demanding clients can produce a lot of mental stress as sometimes you may have to do over hairdos or makeup to leave your clients satisfied while doing your best to uphold deadlines.
- Empathy and listening skills: Creating a long-lasting rapport and handling dissatisfied customers takes a sympathetic and attentive ear, one that will ensure your clients return and protect your company’s image. Even when it appears evident that the client is in the wrong, be it for lashing out or asking for unreasonable demands, you mustn’t choose to retort or dismiss their complaints. Instead, let your calm demeanor carry over to them, take a deep breath, understand what needs to be done next and reply slowly, whether it's apologizing for your mistakes or, to the client’s surprise, thank them for sharing their negative experience with you. Remember not to take things personally and ignore insulting remarks unless the situation seems unsolvable, in which case, know when to give in to the customer’s wishes. Nourish this skill by attending online workshops or practicing role-playing, adopting a mindset that assumes clients will repeat the conversation to other potential customers. Remind yourself and the customer that you are at their disposition to help them as best as possible and ease their concerns by explaining how you plan to resolve the issue.
- Cosmetology education: Your professional skills become evident when you demonstrate familiarity with the products you use and recommend to your clients. Undertaking a Color Theory Certification to amplify your knowledge is a great choice to boost your credibility and confidence when advising your clients on looking their best.
- Time management: Being on time for your next appointment directly impacts customer satisfaction, as no one likes to wait. This shows consideration of your customer’s valuable time. Procure appointment and time organization apps to help you schedule your appointments and keep track of how much time you’ve appointed for each client.
- Presentation: Because cosmetologists deal with people who care plenty about their physical appearance and have an appreciation for beauty, seeming presentable yourself is essential to establish a trustworthy first impression on your clients. Therefore, consider putting extra effort into your presentation for the workplace, dress neatly and check your hair and makeup before heading out.
- Problem-solving skills and creativity: As stated before, beauty is an ever-changing art that requires lots of trend awareness and commitment to learning so you can come out on top among many other passionate skin care professionals. Cosmetology education can aid with providing educated solutions to beauty problems, such as applying eyeliner in a way that will make your customer’s eyes stand out or creating the illusion of bigger lips. Displaying creativity in your solutions can positively increase your client’s opinion of your mastery, and they will certainly recommend you to others looking for a skillful cosmetologist. Creativity can also be applied when thinking of promoting your accomplishments through social media and decorating your salon so that it stands out, making your services memorable.
- Build a network: You could be the answer to many people’s search for the right haircut, hair coloring and manicure, but simply haven’t heard about you. Thus, building a network within the most popular social media can be a valuable tool to promote your talent to clients and beauty professionals alike. Showcase your works with professional photography, hone on a particular service or style or display a great variety of services to call attention. Dedicating time to making a well-rounded portfolio and connecting with renowned professionals will have potential clients associate your skills with the best cosmetologists out there.
Cosmetologists Education and Certifications
Practicing cosmetology without a license is illegal, thus opting for cosmetology training from beauty school, junior college or vocational school is the beginning of a successful career. Performing the duties of a cosmetologist is not only about being creative but one that requires formal certification and training to lawfully and personally progress in your journey to professionally aid people with the art of beautification and self-care.
A degreeIf you plan to start your beauty salon or opt for beautician as an occupation, then going for a degree program would be a sturdy stepping-stone. A high school diploma or equivalent is mandatory to enroll in a degree program.
Pasadena City College in California has a 1,600-hour program achievable in one year if done full-time. Once all courses are complete, students will receive a Certificate of Achievement that will allow them to apply for the State of California Cosmetology Exam to become licensed cosmetologists. Pasadena City College also offers licensed cosmetologists a 600-hour/12-month certification to become eligible for the California State Board Instructors Examination for licensure as an instructor.
The Isothermal Community College gives the option of pursuing a 76-hour degree, a 48-hour diploma and a 34-hour certificate in Cosmetology. Upon successfully passing the State Board of Cosmetic Arts exam, graduates will be issued a license. The requirements will vary per state. The Southern Careers Institute has a Cosmetology Operator program where all salon services performed by students are supervised by SCI’s expert instructors. Program completion prepares students for the professional exam administered by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Nicolet College’s Cosmetology program is a three-term, 12-month cycle that has students who have achieved the required competencies practice their skill by performing customer service to the public and makes them eligible to take the Wisconsin Cosmetology License Examination. Similarly, Florida’s Technical College has a 12-month Cosmetology Diploma Program of 240 lecture hours and 960 lab hours that prepares you for the State of Florida License in Cosmetology.
Associate DegreeTechnical universities such as Surry Community College, Texarkana College, Randolph Community College and many others provide two to three years of associate degree certificates in cosmetology that qualify you for this occupation. An associate degree in cosmetology furnishes valuable and in-depth learning of haircutting, styling, salon management, state regulations and health and safety. Consider undertaking various master classes in cosmetology and a Certificate of Achievement in Cosmetology, both designed to meet the State of California Barbering and Cosmetology Act requirements.
Vocational trainingYou can start as a qualified cosmetologist after completing vocational training, typically taking 12 to 18 months. Skill centers and private beauty schools offer vocational training programs that include lessons in caring, styling, cutting, setting, dyeing and curling hair, and performing facials, pedicures and manicures, among other necessary skills to become a licensed cosmetologist in the states.
CertificationsCertifications amplify a cosmetologist’s ability to undertake particular jobs. Online organizations such as Udemy offer multiple certifications preparing students to take the Kansas Board of Cosmetology written and performance exam.
Cosmetology videosSkillShare offers six free educational videos on haircutting and makeup application ranging from 16 minutes to 40 minutes.
Free Study has a list of Online Cosmetology Courses on beauty therapy, basic and master makeup art, hairdressing, advanced skin science, nail technician training, lash and brow, and beauty industry essentials, with duration ranging from 25 hours to two months, to self-paced.
LicensureIn the United States, cosmetology is regulated under state law; therefore, permission guidelines for a legal license differ from state to state. As of now, the only minimum requirements that apply to most states are: you must be above 16 years of age, and you must have completed a high school diploma or a vocational training certificate from an approved institute. A 10th-grade education is accepted in some states. According to the Department of State of NY, any person practicing cosmetology is required to have a cosmetology license, as a separate piece to having a business license to run your salon.
Cosmetologist Resume-Writing Tips
Whether you are an aspiring stylist or a proficient cosmetologist, you require a resume to unlock plenty of opportunities in your career. Since cosmetologists are familiar with a wide range of skills, it is imperative to show them in your resume, along with your experience and education. Moreover, sharing work experiences with clients and employer increases the visibility of your resume.
- Focus on the working area of potential employers: Know your employer before applying for the requirement. Because the beauty industry is versatile, not all beauty salons and spas deal with similar client services. Some salons provide skin care treatment, while others specialize in hair styling. Therefore, personalize your profile according to the requirement suited to the potential employer. Moreover, advertising the required skill and considering the employer's wants enhances the distinctness of your resume.
- Showcase your value in your resume: Use crisp sentences and small paragraphs to demonstrate your value in the opening section. This is the first section that employers want to see in your resume, so make precise use of words and mention your experiences with glimpses of your previous adventures. However, if you just came out of college, then discuss your training experiences. Furthermore, illustrate how you can contribute to your anticipatory role.
- Acknowledge your relevant education & training: In addition to the innovative mind, a professional cosmetologist also possesses relevant educational insight. The proper mentioning of education and training in the resume strengthens your professional experience. Education certifies that the candidate holds other skills, book-keeping, management skills, knowledge of chemical products, and hair and skin science. This increases the possibilities of gaining employment in multiple folds. Moreover, clients trust more educated cosmetologists, and it also helps in obtaining the license for starting a business.
What is a cosmetologist?
A beautician is an additional title for a cosmetologist specializing in providing beauty treatment. Cosmetologists are proficient in hair, face and skin treatments. Some specialize in a specific discipline of cosmetology, like nails, makeup or hair.
What is the career path after studying cosmetology?
The cosmetic industry is so diverse that multiple career opportunities are available right after completing schooling and training. A graduate can start as a specialist in hair-coloring, texturing, cutting, styling and treating pigmentation. Moreover, a certified cosmetologist starts as a salon trainer, educator, distributor, sales consultant and cosmetology instructor.
Is cosmetology a secure career?
The cosmetic job outlook keeps thriving as a trillion-dollar market with national and international opportunities. Every day new inventions and development in the cosmetic industry themselves prove employment security in the future. This means that the requirement of a hard-working cosmetologist is endless. Numerous opportunities are waiting for a beauty professional who has a strong sense of personal integrity. Moreover, an experienced cosmetologist can continue under another employer or set up their parlor or spa to become an entrepreneur.