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Online Beauty and Cosmetology Schools: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online beauty and cosmetology school. Keep reading to get an overview of the program options, course transferability factors, and common topics offered for the field of study.

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Crucial components to consider for online beauty and cosmetology programs include hands-on requirements and licensure and certification options. Course focuses range from physiology and anatomy to cosmetology law and business.

How to Select an Online Beauty and Cosmetology School

Students considering online beauty and cosmetology schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Fully online education programs specifically for entry-level beauticians and cosmetologists are not available because of the hands-on training that is involved in the field. Field-specific courses must be completed at a college campus or a specialized school. However, a few technical colleges and online schools offer some supporting coursework for cosmetologists that can be completed via distance learning. Students must then weigh the certification requirements.

On-Campus Requirements

Although prerequisites can be taken online, students interested in this field will need to attend an on-campus program in order to become a licensed cosmetologist.

Certification and Licensing

Students who wish to complete an online cosmetology or beauty program should be aware of licensing requirements in their state. Most cosmetologists must be licensed in order to work, and a common licensing requirement is graduation from an approved education program. Some online programs are not eligible for accreditation at all, especially those that do not have experiential components.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aesthetician and Skin Care
  • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
  • Beauty Salon Management
  • Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
  • Electrolysis
  • Facial Treatment Specialist
  • Hair Design
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing

Online Program Options for Beauty and Cosmetology

Physiology and Anatomy

Some of the most common prerequisite classes in beauty and cosmetology programs concern physiology and anatomy, and touch on subjects in dermatology and skin care. These courses, unlike the field-specific courses normally presented in a traditional setting, are sometimes available online. Students can find hybrid programs specifically designed to present the didactic portions of the program online. Students can also take these courses online from a university and then transfer the credits into a beauty and cosmetology program. These courses touch on:

  • Dermatology
  • Endocrine system
  • Skin conditions

Cosmetology Law and Business

Cosmetology law and business programs can be found online as entry-level education programs. These courses are for those who wish to go into management in the cosmetology field or as continuing education programs for current professionals. Degrees are specifically designed to give working cosmetologists the option to complete a degree while still working full-time. Subjects include:

  • Accounting and finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Cosmetology law
  • Management leadership

Schools with Online Programs in Beauty and Cosmetology

Mid-State Technical College's cosmetology technical diploma is not an online program, but it is a hybrid. One of the required courses - theory of general sciences - can only be completed in an online format. However, much of the training is hands-on and therefore requires attendance in person. To help, prior training and work experience can be transferred to cover some of the course requirements, and students can also test out of some courses as well.

Fully online beauty and cosmetology programs are extremely hard to come by. However, there are a few hybrid programs, as well as opportunities to apply professional work experience and developed skills to meet course requirements.

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