What does a Cosmetologist do?

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A cosmetologist, rooted in the Greek word for beautifying, offers various beauty treatments, from hair cutting and coloring to skincare, pedicures, manicures, facials, and makeup application. Some specialize in hair removal through waxing or more permanent methods like Intense Pulsed Light. In today’s digital age, social media has seen a surge in cosmetology influencers who create videos teaching hair, skincare, and makeup techniques.

Benefits of being a Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists relish a plethora of benefits that make their profession truly rewarding. Their work is infused with creativity, allowing them to enjoy their craft and have fun throughout the day. Moreover, these skilled professionals find immense satisfaction in helping clients enhance their self-esteem and confidence through their expertise in skin, hair, and nail care.

Cosmetologists experience instant gratification when their clients leave pleased with the results, fostering a sense of accomplishment. Interacting with customers and fostering lasting friendships with co-workers contributes to a supportive and enjoyable work environment. The flexibility of their work schedules enables a balanced life and career, a coveted aspect of their profession. Additionally, cosmetologists have ample opportunities for career advancement, with their experience affording them job prospects anywhere they choose.

Furthermore, they have the option to venture into entrepreneurship by starting their own business, although additional business courses are recommended for success. With competitive salaries and the potential for commission-based earnings in many salons, cosmetologists reap the rewards of both financial stability and personal fulfillment in their dynamic field.

How to Become a Cosmetologist

A cosmetologist must go to an accredited cosmetologist school and be licensed in the state that they practice. You may want to consider several different cosmetology schools before making a final decision as they may vary greatly. While in school, you’ll also learn all about skincare, such as wraps, facials, and hair removal. Along with classroom work, you’ll also receive hands-on training and you must pass exams. From there, you can then work on any specialization you may be interested in. This can give you a competitive edge when applying for jobs.

Watch a video to learn more about what a cosmetologist does:

Cosmetologists must have a license in order to work and the requirements vary by state. However, at a minimum each state generally has an age requirement of 16, ensures the person has earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and graduated from a cosmetology school that is state-licensed.

Job Description of a Cosmetologist

A cosmetologist may choose to specialize in various areas of cosmetology so pending on their specialty, their daily tasks will vary. All cosmetologists are responsible however to maintain a working environment that is clean, safe, and free of pathogens that may pass from one person to another. Cosmetologists should be able to give beauty and hairstyle tips to their customers, cut and style hair, and recommend products that would treat or help hair or scale conditions.

Cosmetologists are professional beauty consultants that communicate well and are creative in styling hair, nails, or qualified in recommending products. A cosmetologist salary may greatly depending on location. For example, a city may pay more than a rural area.

Cosmetologist Career Video Transcript

The people who cut, style, and color hair, and sell specialty beauty products are barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists. They creatively enhance each client’s appearance, and keep up with hairstyle trends. Hairstylists and barbers listen carefully to clients’ preferences and make sure they are satisfied with their results, while finishing in time for their next appointment. Barbers usually serve male clients for shampoos, haircuts, and shaves. Some fit hairpieces and perform facials. Hairdressers, or hairstylists, provide coloring, chemical hair treatments, and styling in addition to shampoos and cuts, and serve both female and male clients.

Cosmetologists perform scalp and facial treatments and conduct make-up analysis. While some barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists work in spas or hotels, most work in barbershops and salons. Some lease chair space from a salon owner, others open their own shops after gaining experience. These workers are on their feet for most of their shift, and often wear gloves or aprons when giving chemical hair treatments. Many work full-time, including nights and weekends. However, part-time positions are also common. Salon owners work long hours and manage employees, inventory, ordering, and bookkeeping. Barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists must complete a program in a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school and obtain licensure. Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last at least 9 months.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Barbers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists.

National Center for O*NET Development. 39-5012.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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