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Cosmetology Business Management Degree and Certificate Programs

Find out how an associate's degree program in cosmetology business management can prepare you to manage a salon or work in another aspect of cosmetology. Get an idea about coursework, potential salaries and job growth for cosmetologists.

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Essential Information

Although a degree is not a common requirement to advance in the cosmetology industry, a 2-year associate's degree program that covers cosmetology business management can be helpful for finding employment and gaining the appropriate skills. These degrees may include an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Salon Management Training, AAS in Cosmetology Management or AAS in Cosmetology Business. These programs offer training in all aspects of running a salon, such as scheduling employees, interviewing and hiring, product purchasing, marketing, client relations and business transactions. Programs may be offered online or on-campus.


Students entering a cosmetology business management program may need a certificate or diploma in cosmetology, as well as a state board-issued license in cosmetology. Some programs may require or recommend professional salon experience prior to admission as well. Some schools offer programs where students can simultaneously earn a cosmetology certificate and the associate's degree.

Program Coursework

In the associate's degree program, students take business courses common to any business management program; however, emphasis is also placed on how course topics relate specifically to cosmetology and the salon environment. A typical program includes courses such as the following:

  • Business planning and organization
  • Mathematics for business
  • Introduction to cosmetology
  • Basic bookkeeping and accounting
  • Salon computer and software usage
  • Sales, marketing and advertising
  • Human relations

Popular Career Options

Although many degree holders become salon managers, there are several other career options as well. Graduates may consider jobs in the cosmetology industry careers such as:

  • Salon owner
  • Product line expert, salesperson or teacher
  • Independently contracted hairstylist
  • Marketing for cosmetology related brands and products
  • Salon administrative assistant or bookkeeper

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists and hairdressers were projected to see a 16% increase in employment opportunities from 2010-2020. Nearly half of these workers were self-employed in 2010. In May 2012, hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists averaged $26,790.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates from an associate's degree in cosmetology business management programs can go on to participate in a degree completion program to earn a bachelor's degree. There are some bachelor's degree programs in business that emphasize cosmetology; however, there may be a limited number of these programs.

It is more common to find programs in business or business management. Some programs can even be completed online or throughout the course of several weekends. With an associate's degree, most bachelor's degree completion programs take about two years to finish.

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