Cosmetology: Common Cosmetologist Adult School Programs

A certificate from an accredited school of beauty or cosmetology can get you started on an exciting career as a hair stylist, manicurist, makeup artist, aesthetician or beautician. With one to two years of study, you can be on your way to entering the beauty industry.

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This article will inform you of some of the things you can learn at a cosmetology school, as well as how long it takes to complete a program, what you may get out of it and the coursework involved. It then discusses salary and job prospects for cosmetologists.

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

Program Information

If you are interested in hair and makeup and you love to make your friends (and yourself) look beautiful, then a career in the cosmetology industry may be for you. In just one to two years, you could be trained in all aspects of hair care (including cutting, styling, and coloring), nail care (including manicures and pedicures), facial treatments and makeup selection and application. Cosmetology classes offer students the opportunity to learn from professionals and gain valuable hands-on experience. When you have completed the program, you will be prepared to take the licensure exam and become a licensed cosmetologist. More information is detailed below.

Program At a Glance

  • Most cosmetology programs last 1-2 years and are licensure prep programs.
  • Classes are held on campus, where instructors may work with students.

Coursework for Cosmetology Adult School Programs

Coursework for cosmetology adult school programs varies by program. However, students will find a common thread with course topics such as basic cosmetology, hair care, hair styling, hair coloring, nail care, manicuring, skin care, makeup application, and salon management. Instructors may lead students through interactive demonstrations, which helps them complete hand-on applications of what they learn.

Most states require cosmetologists to be licensed, and the knowledge you will need to pass your state's exam will be taught to you in a good cosmetology program. You will also gain experience working in a salon setting and will learn about the commercial aspects of the beauty business. Students will also learn the fundamentals of salon management, which will help you should you decide to go into business for yourself. You will also be able to explore other career options including working at a spa, on a cruise ship, in a department store or in a hospital.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in 2016 was $24,260. The top 10% earned $49,050 or more annually. The top-paying industry was offices of other health practitioners, where employees made an average annual wage of $41,460. States who had the highest paid hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists were the District of Columbia, Washington, Hawaii, New Jersey and Virginia.

The BLS projected that barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists would have a job growth rate of 10% from 2014-2024. The best jobs will go to cosmetologists with the most skills and training, so graduates of good beauty and cosmetology schools should continue to be in high demand.

A cosmetology school or education program offers 1- to 2-year programs that include courses in hair cutting, nail services, chemical processes and business. These programs offer hands-on training that will prepare students for state licensure exams and a successful career.

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