Working in the beauty field as a lifestyle and job is not for everyone. However, if you are creative, outgoing and have a flair for art you might just be a good fit.
As a field of employment beauty is quite flexible. You can work for a spa or salon. You can choose to be self-employed. You can be a freelancer. You can even start your own business.
Some people are unhappy if they are at a desk all day. As a cosmetologist, you will have a lot of movement, and often standing, as part of your day. You’ll also need to do plenty of communication with clients as they decide on their hairdo, manicure or makeup; if you love meeting people you’ll make a great hairstylist.
Part of the flexibility of a beauty career is that you can choose to work evenings and weekends as well. Many women work 9-5 jobs and can’t get their hair done during the day, so they can only visit a cosmetologist night on weekends.
It is always a good idea to talk with experienced beauticians so that you know what to expect. They can answer your questions much better and maybe with less bias than an administrator at an institute who wants you to attend their classes!
You’ll have to get some training before you start work. Almost every US state requires those that offer beauty services to be licensed as well. Often some of that training can be learned online.
How long is the training? That varies but is usually in the 1,000 to 1,500-hour range. So, you should expect to spend about one year both in the classroom and practicing skills.
Academy costs range from a few thousand dollars at a community college in a rural community to $20,000 or more at high-end schools. Sometimes, though, the cheaper colleges can give you a better education. You never know for sure! So much depends on the instructor(s). If they are good and you get along well with them you will learn the tricks of the trade much more readily.
If you choose to start your own business you can make more than $60,000 since you might then start gathering employees. But being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. You might also need to go through more red tape and licensing in order to own your own salon. There is more risk in having your own business and more stress too.
So What Are The Requirements?
If you’ve finished high school and are in good health you can apply to schools and get your cosmetology training started. Some high schools even let you get a head start by partnering with vocational colleges to train you before you graduate. In that case costs are way lower as well as all your equipment and supplies are provided. You will be loan-free!
All in all, you can expect a rewarding and fulfilling time in the beauty industry and there are so many different prospects and continuing education possibilities that you can keep experimenting until you find your niche.