Becoming A Cosmetologist
Readers planning on becoming a cosmetologist often write in and ask, “How do you get a degree in cosmetology?” The answer is actually very simple, although the phrase “degree in cosmetology” can be somewhat misleading.
A degree in cosmetology suggests that the student has attended a four-year college. This is not usually the case, as most cosmetologists either attend a community college or beauty school. When students have completed their coursework (usually takes around a year), they take a state exam to become a licensed cosmetologist.
While most cosmetologists specialize in hairdressing, others may provide nail, skin or makeup services. In some states, a licensed cosmetologist can provide all services with a single license, while other states require an individual license for each service offered.
Getting A Cosmetology Degree
- First, the prospective cosmetology student must meet the minimum requirements for attending a beauty school. This differs from state to state. In some places, you’ll need to have your GED. In others, you’ll need to be a certain age. A few states also have additional requirements.
- Make sure you’re familiar with the licensing requirements in the state where you plan on working as a cosmetologist. That way, if separate licenses are required for working on hair and nails, you’ll know in advance and can work towards them.
- Next, you’ll need to select a cosmetology school which fits your needs.Hairstyling is always in high demand, so there’s a good chance that a beauty school is close to your present location.Name brand cosmetology schoolslike Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sassoon will cost more money to attend, sometimes in the range of $10,000 for a year. Smaller schools provide much of the same training at a lower price.Be sure to check your local community college, as many offer cosmetology classes through vocational/technical programs. You can also get a list of schools by visiting the website for the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences. Their site is located at naccas.org.
- Work as an intern. In some cases, you can earn extra course credit by working as an intern at a salon. This is an excellent idea, as things move much faster than in a classroom setting. This is a perfect way to make sure that the life of a cosmetologist is right for you.
- Study hard.At school, you’ll learn the basics of working on hair, nails and skin. Students will start by working on the heads of mannequins and then slowly progress to working on real people.Such skills as cutting, perming and coloring will be covered, and students will also learn how to do permanent waves. Treating and waxing the skin will be covered in the classroom, as will manicures and pedicures.Students should always work hard and attend their classes on time. This is probably the greatest key to answering the question, “How do you get a degree in cosmetology?”
- Once you’ve graduated from cosmetology school, it’s up to you to become licensed by the state. This state board examination is part written and part practical (meaning you’ll be performing skills you learned in the classroom). Many beauty schools will go over the exam prior to graduation in order to help their students be successful.
- Once you’ve passed the state examination, it’s now time to find a job as a cosmetologist.Your school may help graduates get jobs within the field, or you can always use the Internet or local newspaper to find openings.When applying for a job, be sure to bring a portfolio showing some of your work. These photographs should be as professional as possible and neatly displayed in a suitable photo album.