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Become a Beauty Consultant: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a beauty consultant. Research the training requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in beauty or cosmetology.

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Should I Become a Beauty Consultant?

Beauty consultants also are known as beauty advisors. These workers assist customers with cosmetics purchases and provide tips on how to apply makeup. Beauty consultants generally work in retail settings and might also be required to perform duties such as restocking and accepting payment from customers. These professionals must possess knowledge of cosmetology products and sales skills. The job might include working nights, weekends and even holidays, and it often includes long periods of standing or working directly with customers.

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

Career Requirements

Degree Level High school diploma
Experience Experience may be necessary for entry-level positions
Key Skills Communication, customer service/retail sales, organizational, technical skills with a cash register or point-of-sales system
Licensure Required if pursuing cosmetology
Training Cosmetology programs are available; on-the-job training
Salary (2014) $23,120 per year (Median salary for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job Listings (2012)

Step 1: Acquire Experience

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), retail workers from all industries generally learn sales procedures from on-the-job training, such as videos or hands-on demonstrations from vendors. Sales associates are expected to excel in customer service and be knowledgeable about products.

Beauty consultants will learn about similarities and differences between products and get customer feedback on the pros and cons of products. Consultants also learn what customers are looking for. Experience on the sales floor will help beauty consultants find areas where they would like to learn more or advance their career.

Step 2: Develop Business and Customer Service Skills

Successful beauty consultants often take business courses.. Some retail outlets look for freelance beauty consultants. Freelance beauty consultants may enjoy training on how to manage finances. In addition, licensed cosmetologists are often self-employed - according to the BLS, nearly half of all cosmetologists were self-employed in 2010.

Aspiring beauty consultants will find it beneficial to hone customer service skills. Dealing with the public requires a friendly and patient temperament. Learn to communicate with customers to identify their concerns and help them find a solution.

Step 3: Gain Experience for Advancement

Based on experience earned, beauty consultants may decide to pursue cosmetology. Having additional skills and specialized experience may make candidates more desirable for positions with elite department stores or cosmetics companies. Individuals with training may command a higher salary than those without specialized training. Coursework from a cosmetology program can help beauty consultants learn proper skincare techniques as well as makeup application tips. With the training, students can go on to pursue a license in the field, although a license may not be necessary for a beauty consultant position.

Success Tips:

  • Pursue licensing. All states require that practicing cosmetologists have a license, which can also give beauty consultants additional employment opportunities. This may include seeing clients and working one-on-one with customers for specialized skincare and makeup appointments.
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