Atlanta Cosmetology Schools with Career Training Summaries

Research cosmetology education in Atlanta, GA, which currently has at least seven public colleges offering programs. Read an overview of diploma and certificate programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 20 miles of downtown Atlanta and decide which program is right for you.

Cosmetology School Options in Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta area has several accredited public schools that offer cosmetology programs. All programs are offered by technical colleges and are similar in their curricula. They qualify graduates to take state licensing examinations. This article looks at three schools within 30 minutes of the downtown area and the programs they offer. Prospective students can use a table of data to compare the schools and arrive at an informed decision about their education. There is also a little information at the end of the article about some other cosmetology schools in the Atlanta area.

  • The school closest to downtown Atlanta is Atlanta Technical College, about four miles from the city center. It offers a cosmetology diploma and a relevant certificate program.
  • Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC), 11 miles away in Clarkston, has a cosmetology certificate program.
  • Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC) in Marietta, about 19 miles from downtown Atlanta, also offers a cosmetology diploma program. CTC is the only one of these schools that has a student salon that's open to the public.

Atlanta Technical College

Individuals who wish to enroll in the cosmetology or shampoo technician program at Atlanta Tech need to be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED. This school is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Cosmetology Diploma

The cosmetology diploma program is designed to prepare students to take the state licensing exam for cosmetology by teaching them about state regulations, safety, cleanliness and personal care techniques. To graduate, students must earn 54-55 credits and take classes in hair care, skin care, nail care and salon administration. Hands-on training is acquired through 4 practicum classes.

Shampoo Technician Technical Certificate of Credit

This program requires students to earn 11-12 credits and doesn't prepare them for cosmetology licensure exams. However, the program does teach students about state rules and regulations regarding cosmetology and goes over how to maintain a sanitary work environment. Courses include hair care and treatment, salon management and cosmetology theory.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

GPTC is formerly known as DeKalb Technical College and is one of the oldest technical colleges in the state. The cosmetology program here helps students build employment skills and meets state licensing requirements.

Cosmetology Diploma

This program requires students to earn 54 credits, 8 of which come from general education courses related to math, English and professional skills. Classes teach various hair care concepts, including hair treatments, hair cutting, hairstyling and hair coloring. Students also might learn to give manicures and pedicures, facials and other skin care treatments. Four practicum courses provide students with the hands-on experience required to sit for the state licensing exam.

Chattahoochee Technical College

CTC has several campuses in Georgia; in addition to the Marietta location, there are campuses in Acworth, Jasper and Canton. However, not every campus offers all programs so students should check with the admissions office to see which campuses offer their desired program. The 54-credit diploma program in cosmetology meets the State of Georgia Board of Cosmetology's eligibility requirements for the Master Cosmetologist exam.

Cosmetology Diploma

General education classes in math, English, psychology and professional skills are included in this program. Students take a class about the business aspects of owning and operating a salon, as well as classes regarding beauty and personal care. In the 4 practicum courses, students receive practical training in hair removal, hair coloring, hair cutting, nail treatments, make-up application and many other cosmetology-related tasks. The practicum courses also give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of safety and sanitation regulations. CTC reported a nearly 94% job placement rate for graduates of this program.

Comparison of Schools

Students should consider many factors, such as tuition and school size, when choosing where to get their training. This table offers a quick way to compare these three schools.

Atlanta Technical College Georgia Piedmont Technical College Chattahoochee Technical College
School Type Public, 2-year technical college Public, 2-year technical college Public, 2-year technical college
Total Enrollment (2011) 4,491* 4,308* 11,564*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Annual Tuition and Fees (2011-2012) $2,052 in-state; $3,852 out-of-state* $2,246 in-state; $4,046 out-of-state* $2,122 in-state; $3,922 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2010-2011) 98%* 97%* 91%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2010-2011) 50% for full-time students; 35% for part-time students* 46% for full-time students; 34% for part-time students* 49% for full-time students; 36% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2008) 31%* 25%* 17%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other Schools

Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville and Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin, both of which are around 30 miles from Atlanta, offer cosmetology diploma programs that students may wish to consider. Individuals in the Oakwood, GA, area, which is about 44 miles from Atlanta, can find a cosmetology diploma program and shampoo technician certificate program at Lanier Technical College. Finally, West Georgia Technical College in Waco, which is about 50 miles from Atlanta, offers several cosmetology-related programs. Here, students can find cosmetology and barbering diploma programs, as well as esthetician and shampoo technician certificate programs.

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