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Cosmetology, Barbering & Beauty Schools

Hairdressers, stylists and barbers play an important role in keeping people looking their best. Students who complete training programs at cosmetology schools or vocational schools for cosmetology often go to work in salons, where they rent stall space and more or less work as self-employed contractors doing haircuts, manicures, pedicures and skin treatments. Others find their niche working as professional stylists in luxury resorts, hotels and spas. A lucky few crack the ranks of the entertainment industry to command some of the highest salaries in the industry.

Specialty careers in the field of cosmetology

Working as hair cutters or barbers is a common career path for students who enroll in vocational schools for cosmetology, but there are several specialties in the field that students can pursue, including:

The most common educational path for students in each of these fields is to complete non-degree certificate or diploma programs at cosmetology schools and earn state licensure or certification, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) reports.

Cosmetology and hair cutting certifications and degrees

According to the BLS, every state requires cosmetologists to complete a state-approved education program and pass a licensing examination. The same was true as of 2014 for skin care specialists in all states except Connecticut, the BLS says. Students of cosmetology schools often gain valuable work and customer-service experience from school clients who enjoy the tradeoff of receiving beauty treatments and haircuts from students at rates much lower than upscale salons or hair-cutting retail chains.

Information for each state's licensing requirements can be found through the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology, the Professional Beauty Association and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, the BLS reports.

Curriculum at cosmetology schools typically focuses on proper ways to perform client services, such as hair cutting, shampooing and coloring techniques, among others. Coursework usually is a mix of classroom study and hands-on lab work. Students also should expect to learn about the physiological properties of the hair and scalp, as well as product and chemical knowledge. Curriculum for estheticians and other specialty fields is more specific to working in nail or skin care and the products used in those fields.

Cosmetology salaries and career outlook

Hairdressers and stylists earned national median hourly wages of $11.12 in May of 2013, the BLS reports. National average hourly wages were highest in the greater San Francisco Bay Area ($18.86) and the Greater Seattle area ($18.84). Areas and states with the highest average wages were:

  • Washington, D.C., $21.07
  • Hawaii, $17.35
  • Delaware, $17.16

Barbers earned national median hourly wages of $12.03 in May 2013. Employment is highest in the country's most populous states, such as New York, Texas and California, the BLS reports. Illinois, Minnesota and Colorado were the top-paying states for barbers.

Estheticians enjoyed national median hourly wages of $13.92 in May 2013, as reported by the BLS. Wages were highest in the following states during that time:

  • New Hampshire, $20.34
  • Washington, D.C., $19.14
  • Arkansas, $18.87

Students who enroll in vocational schools for cosmetology should enjoy helping people look their best. The job also requires knowledge of standard business management practices, such as scheduling, record keeping, inventory control and advertising.

Sources:

Barbers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes395011.htm

Barbers, Hairdressers and Cosmetologists, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm

Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes395012.htm

Skin Care Specialists, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes395094.htm

Skin Care Specialists, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/skincare-specialists.htm

Cosmetology, Barbering & Beauty Schools
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Matthews: 11032 East Independence Boulevard Matthews, NC 28105

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Bloomington: 9749 Lyndale Avenue South Bloomington, MN 55420

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Chandler: 2978 N Alma School Rd Chandler, AZ 85224

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Hyannis: 259 North Street Hyannis, MA 02601

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Framingham: 624 Worchester Road Framingham, MA 01702

Lawrenceville: 1455 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 105 Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Elizabethtown: 554 Westport Road Elizabethtown, KY 42701

Portland: 319 Marginal Way Portland, ME 04101

Paramus: Neptune Plaza, 332 Route 4 East Paramus, NJ 07652

Avondale: 9945 W. McDowell Rd (Gateway Shopping Center) Avondale, AZ 85323

Lisle: 2709 Maple Avenue Lisle, IL 60532

Brooklyn: 2384 86th Street Brooklyn, NY 11214

West Palm Beach: Cross County Plaza, 4258 Okeechobee Blvd., (Inters West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Astoria: 38-15 Broadway Astoria, NY 11103

Manitowoc: 1034 South 18th Street Manitowoc, WI 54220

Portage: 6091 Constitution Boulevard Portage, MI 49024

Waterville: 251 Kennedy Memorial Drive Waterville, ME 04901

Whitehall: 1634 Macarthur Road Whitehall, PA 18052

Bangor: 639 Broadway Bangor, ME 04401

Reading: 2302 N. 5th Street Highway Reading, PA 19605

Grand Rapids: 1735 4 Mile Road NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Harrisburg: 3941 Jonestown Road Harrisburg, PA 17109

Brentwood: 7106 Moores Lane, Ste A Brentwood, TN 37027

Shamokin Dam: 30 Baldwin Boulevard, Suite 50 Shamokin Dam, PA 17876

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City College of Florida is focused on providing the best in business and career education.

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