The Complete Guide to Becoming a Cosmetologist

Are you thinking about becoming a cosmetologist? If you’ve always loved trying out the newest hairstyles and showing off your unique look, then a future education in beauty could be a great path for you! Whether you’re just graduating high school or you’re making a career switch, chances are that you have a lot of questions about how to start this exciting new stage of your life. That’s why we created this complete guide on cosmetology to answer important questions you may be wondering when starting the application process. Read more to get started on your beauty journey!

What is a Cosmetologist?

Let’s start by explaining what a cosmetologist does. Many people assume that people in this career only learn how to do hairstyles, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While cosmetologists will normally focus on hair, they also learn a lot more and can even specialize in something entirely different. In addition to learning about the latest hairstyles and coloring methods, students in our cosmetology program also study techniques in skin care, makeup design, and nails. Cosmetologists can have a variety of skills in the beauty world and we want to make sure that our students can feel prepared to pursue a future in whatever area of cosmetology they’re most passionate about.

What Will I Learn in Cosmetology School?

As we’ve said, a cosmetologist can work with a lot more than just hair. What you learn and how these classes are structured will depend on the beauty school that you attend. At TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy, our 41-week cosmetology program is designed to teach students the basics of cosmetology and slowly build upon their beauty knowledge with additional techniques in makeup, skin care, business skills, and so much more!

In addition to teaching technical beauty and marketing skills, we also include lessons in preparing for the state board exam for licensing after graduation and extra opportunities for our students like participation in photoshoots and other creative projects. We know that there are so many opportunities available in the cosmetology world and we want to make sure that students can accomplish whatever they want in this industry. Our specialized program schedule is just one way we stand out as a beauty school!

Why Become a Cosmetologist?

You deserve to pursue an education that you feel excited about! Not only can a career as a cosmetologist allow you to do something you love, but there are a lot of other benefits that could come from a future as a cosmetologist.

Express Your Creativity

From dramatic haircuts to complete hair color changes, there are a lot of beauty transformations that allow you to show off your creative ability. With all the beauty trends that come and go, a future in cosmetology could allow you to challenge yourself every day while doing something you love. Every client will be different so it’s up to you to balance what they want for a new hairstyle and also incorporate your own personal style.

The Industry is Growing

When deciding on a future career, it’s likely that job security is one of the first things you take into consideration. People are going to need someone with a creative eye to provide them with a high-quality hairstyle, which is why this industry is expected to expand! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for cosmetologists is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028. Not only could a career as a cosmetologist allow you to do something you love, but the high job security can also be a huge advantage when entering the working world.

Help People Feel Amazing

As a cosmetologist, you’d be meeting new people every day and working with them to figure out which style best fits them. One of the most rewarding parts about working in this industry is giving someone a new style that gives them a confidence boost. Turning their chair around and watching them smile at what you did for them is a great reminder that you’re making a positive impact!

woman applying makeup on someone

Start Doing What You Love Sooner

As opposed to a traditional four-year education, attending a cosmetology school could allow you to start practicing what you love in less than a year. In our cosmetology program, students can complete their education in as little as ten months! That means you can start a career and make a name for yourself in the beauty industry soon after deciding this is the right path for you!

How to Become a Cosmetologist?

Now that you know more about cosmetology, it’s time to learn how you can begin this exciting journey. We understand that while starting something you love is exciting, it can also be stressful to pursue something that’s entirely new to you. We want to help! With our six steps below, we list how to begin and follow through on your career goals in cosmetology. Although the way to becoming a licensed cosmetologist varies by state, here is a general overview of what you might expect when preparing to become a beauty professional!

1. Research Beauty Schools

The first step to becoming a cosmetologist is researching different beauty schools to decide which one best fits your personality and career goals. Start by looking up the school’s website to get an overall view of the school and its culture. As a beauty school student, you’ll be spending a lot of time with the instructors and other staff members so it’s important that you feel comfortable with their mission as a school.

2. Tour Beauty Schools

Researching online is a great start, but there’s only so much you can learn about a school from their website. The next step is to schedule a tour! This is your opportunity to ask questions about your unique cosmetology education and receive immediate answers. You might have specific questions about scheduling options or which financial aid options could be available to you. Meeting in person with those who are most qualified to answer these questions is the best way to move forward in your beauty education. Here are some questions that might be important to ask on your tour:

  • Do you offer financial aid?
  • What will I learn in your cosmetology program?
  • What is your school’s culture like?
  • Do you offer multiple scheduling options?
  • What are your school’s values and mission?

These are just some examples of questions that could be beneficial for your specific cosmetology journey. For a more comprehensive look at how you can prepare for a beauty school tour at TONI&GUY, click here to read our blog!

3. Start the Application Process

After doing all the research, you’re now ready to begin the application process for the beauty school that’s right for you. At TONI&GUY Hairdressing Academy, you can learn more about how to get started by going on our website and clicking on the “Request Info” button in the upper right-hand corner. After that, you just need to answer a few questions and someone from our team will be in contact with you shortly!

4. Complete the State Licensing Requirement

As we said, there are some variations between state licensing requirements. Where you want to practice cosmetology will determine how many hours of training are necessary for you to begin your career. At TONI&GUY, we’re committed to providing our students with an education that prepares them for a future as a licensed beauty professional. Our cosmetology program teaches a variety of techniques to help students prepare to specialize in any area of beauty they’re most excited about. If you have any questions about the state licensing requirement, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone on our team!

student applying hair dye

5. Pass the State Licensing Exam

Once you’ve graduated from an approved beauty school’s cosmetology program, you’re ready to take the state licensing exam! No matter which state you want to practice in, this exam is required to become a licensed beauty professional. This test contains both a written and practical portion to make sure that you can apply a variety of techniques in hair, skin care, and more! After passing both sections of the test, you’re now qualified to apply for your cosmetology license. Congratulations, this is an amazing accomplishment and you’re now ready to start practicing what you love!

6. Find Out What You Want to Do

Now comes the most exciting part of your cosmetology journey! Once you’re a licensed cosmetologist, you can start researching the beauty industry to find out what could be available to you for a future career. With the industry continuing to grow, it all depends on you and what you most want in a future occupation!

Where Can I Work as a Cosmetologist

It’s time to start the exciting process of deciding where you want to work. With so many new trends in this industry, there are even career paths that have only become possible in recent years. Your personality and what you want most in a career will determine which working environment is best for you. Maybe you want to specialize in something unrelated to hair like makeup or nails. Or you might want to incorporate business into your career and eventually own your own salon someday. The possibilities are endless! Here are some career opportunities that you could pursue as a cosmetologist:

  • Salon stylist
  • TV and film hair stylist
  • Makeup artist
  • Platform artist
  • Spa owner
  • Cosmetology instructor

What Could a Job a Cosmetologist Look Like?

Cosmetologists have the amazing opportunity to use their creativity to help clients feel better. With all the different career directions you can go with your cosmetology license, your job will likely not look exactly the same as someone else. Here are some things that could apply to multiple careers in this industry to give an idea of what you might experience during an average day as a cosmetologist.

male stylist doing hair

Flexible Scheduling

It can feel stressful to try and fit your daily life responsibilities around your career. A future as a cosmetologist could be a great option for anyone who’s not looking for a typical 9-5 job. Often, cosmetologists will be able to set their clients’ appointments around their own schedules. You may even get to decide if you want to work full-time or part-time.

Chance to Travel

If your dream is to help clients with their beauty needs, then you could have the opportunity to do that in whatever area of the world you most want to visit. Maybe you want to work as a platform artist to help with beauty shows and high-profile industry events. Traveling while doing something you love could be a dream come true!

New Experiences Every Day

As a cosmetologist, you’d often work with new clients every day. Everyone has their own unique style they bring to the appointment, which means that you’ll always be challenged to stretch your creative beauty skills. This can be a great opportunity to see what styles and techniques you can accomplish in your own career!

Want to Start Your Beauty Education?

Now that you’ve heard all about a career in cosmetology and what that could look like, it’s time to begin your beauty journey! If you have any more questions about the process, then feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to tell you more about our cosmetology program and how you can start the application process. We can’t wait to help you get started!