Online Schools for Cosmetology Instructors: How to Choose

Many training programs to become a cosmetology instructor exist, but at this time, no such programs are available fully online. Learn more about the choices and considerations you have by continuing to read.

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Cosmetology instructors are required to learn a great deal of practical skills and fully online programs in this field are not generally available, although hybrid programs do exist. Consider what level of study is right for you and what specific skills you are looking to attain when applying to cosmetology instructor schools.

How to Select an Online Cosmetology Instructor School

Cosmetology teachers instruct others on taking care of and adorning the human face, hair, nails and body to enhance beauty. They work in a number of settings, such as community colleges, beauty schools and vocational schools. Although cosmetology instructor programs necessitate doing at least some of the work in person, there are a few on-campus programs that allow students to take some coursework online. Cosmetology business degree programs are also offered online. Students should then weigh the program type and format with the professional requirements.

Type of Program

Students don't currently have the option to complete cosmetology instructor programs completely online, since much of this profession's learning requires hands-on practice. Some distance-learning programs exist that may help licensed cosmetologists gain some insight and experience before pursuing a traditional cosmetology instructor course. One option for individuals to consider is an online Associate of Cosmetology Business.

Those who are already licensed cosmetologists can earn a cosmetology instructor degree through a program in which cosmetology classes meet on campus, and a few of the required general education classes occur online. This option may work for those who live within commuting distance of their school. Traditional cosmetology instructor certificate programs are also available, but they're completely on campus. Licensed cosmetologists should consider which option fits into their schedule and which degree designation helps them meet their professional goals.

Professional Requirements

Students should look for programs that require them to be licensed cosmetologists, since all states require cosmetology instructors to be licensed or certified as cosmetologists. Qualifications vary by state, with most requiring graduation from a licensed school. Other prerequisites may include a specified educational level, minimum age and years of professional practice. Prospective students want to be sure they are licensed as a cosmetologist in the state they want to teach in, since reciprocity agreements between states are uncommon. State licensing exams usually consist of written or oral examinations and sometimes a practical skills test.

Program Format and Equipment

Aspiring cosmetology instructors can expect to find cosmetology business programs in an entirely online format to accommodate working professionals. They should look for schools that provide technical support, library access and tutoring. Most schools use Blackboard or another learning-management environment.

Students can consider cosmetology instructor programs that allow certain general education classes to be taken online, with the same basic requirements as those stated above. The core curriculum takes place on campus, and it should include lab time to effectively demonstrate and teach hair and beauty techniques.

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

List of Online Cosmetology Instructor Programs

Associate of Applied Science - Cosmetology Business

Designed by cosmetology employers, this program offers a look at the business side of the profession. The program provides a perspective on the global business world, along with practice in the interpersonal skills needed in business relationships. General education courses, such as writing and business math skills, round out the degree. Previous cosmetology training may earn students credit towards the degree. Graduates are prepared to take on managerial roles or start their own cosmetology businesses. Students explore fundamental business topics that include:

  • Human relations
  • Organizing a small business
  • Communication skills
  • Accounting

Associate of Applied Science - Cosmetology Instructor

The cosmetology instructor portion of the program, which is taught on campus, includes such topics as managing and leading a classroom, teaching methods, communication skills, lesson planning and learning theories. Additional courses cover state laws concerning hygiene, safety and other aspects of working with the public. Graduates will be prepared to apply for entry-level teaching positions.

While courses on cosmetology-related topics are taught on campus, this program allows students the convenience of taking a few of the required education classes online. Topics among these may include:

  • Advanced cosmetology techniques
  • Instruction theory and clinical operations
  • English composition
  • Computer fundamentals

Schools with Online Programs in Cosmetology

A hybrid cosmetology program can be found at the Penrose Academy, offering students a thorough education into all technical skills required by cosmetology instructors, including hair styling, make-up application and manicure techniques. The online component of the program teaches students professional salon management, local laws and regulations and business skills, among other things. Students are provided with a kit containing all the tools that they will need over the course of their training.

La' James International College also offers a hybrid cosmetology certificate program, requiring students to spend three days per week on campus. Students will receive an education into cosmetology theory and practical training, covering topics such as skin care, nail art, makeup techniques and spa services.

Mid-State Technical College's cosmetology technical diploma is another option for those looking for a hybrid cosmetology program, with the barbering and cosmetology general sciences class offered solely online. Students in this program master salon services and gain a thorough overview of the theory and practices required to build a cosmetology career, including an education into salon safety and sanitation.

Online cosmetology programs may not be available, but students looking to balance online learning with real-life experience may choose from one of the hybrid classes available. Students will learn about the aesthetic techniques required within cosmetology as well as the safety and business regulations required to run your own salon.

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