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Cosmetology Business Management Degree and Certificate Programs

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.

Essential Information

Cosmetology business management 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. Moreover, some schools offer programs where students can simultaneously earn a cosmetology certificate and the associate's degree. 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 Levels in Cosmetology Business Management: Associate's degree
  • Prerequisites: State licensure, certificate or diploma in cosmetology; previous salon experience is recommended
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Online Availability: Online programs are available

Associate's Degree in Cosmetology Business Management

In an 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. Coursework may also include material covering industry-related software and technology so students can learn how to streamline daily activities. A typical program includes courses such as:

  • Business planning and organization
  • Mathematics for business and basic bookkeeping and accounting
  • Introduction to cosmetology
  • 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 employment options as well. Graduates may consider 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 (BLS), cosmetologists and hairdressers were projected to see a 10% increase in employment opportunities from 2014 to 2024. Nearly half of these workers were self-employed in 2014. The BLS also reported in May 2015 that hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists averaged an annual salary of $28,770.

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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