Salary and Career Info for Beauty School Instructors

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a beauty school instructor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.

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Beauty school instructors work with aspiring cosmetologists, hairdressers and barbers at vocational and beauty schools. They are usually required to be trained and experienced in their field, and some may need to be certified by their state to teach these programs.

Essential Information

Beauty school instructors teach programs at beauty institutes and other vocational schools. They often have experience in the field and a cosmetology license as well as formal cosmetology training. Generally, however, they do not need to have a college degree. Certification requirements vary from state to state.

Required Education Cosmetology training, Instructor programs
Other Requirements State certification, cosmetology license
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 10% for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists
Median Annual Salary (2016)** $35,803 for cosmetology instructors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

Beauty School Instructor Salary

A beauty school instructor may choose to work for a smaller, independent school or a larger, national chain or network of affiliated schools. Beauty school chains may offer their instructors higher salaries than independent schools, as well as health or other benefits. According to data compiled by in October 2016, the median hourly wage of cosmetology instructors was $15.00. Most of these workers earned a salary of $24,318-$48,478.

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Beauty School Instructor Career Information

Beauty school instructors develop lesson plans, instruct students in all fields of cosmetology and prepare students for future careers as cosmetologists or estheticians. The instructor develops curricula, stays current on state laws and regulations and grades students via written and practical exams. Beauty schools may require instructors to be experienced beauticians and licensed cosmetologists.

According to the BLS, overall employment of barbers, cosmetologists and hairdressers was projected to grow as fast as the average for all occupations, at 10%, over 2014-2024 ( Employment of postsecondary vocational teachers, which includes beauty school instructors, was expected to have average growth over the same decade, adding about 33,600 new positions, according to O*NET Online (

Education and Certification for Beauty School Instructors

Several beauty schools offer instructor programs that teach students how to teach via textbooks, lectures and hands-on demonstrations. A student will also learn record-keeping, theory, classroom management and state regulations. Vocational curriculum for beauty schools focuses on skin, hair, nails and cosmetics.

Beauty school instructor certification is different in each state. Some states require cosmetology work experience and others simply require completion of the training program. Typically, beauty school instructors must possess a high school diploma, a cosmetology license, cosmetology work experience and roughly 500-1,000 hours of cosmetology instruction from an accredited program.

Beauty school instructors are often experienced and licensed in their field, and are responsible for developing lessons, leading cosmetology classes, and following state regulations. They can receive teacher training through formal programs, and teacher certification requirements vary across states. While employment of barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists is expected to grow quickly over the 2014-2024 decade, postsecondary vocational teachers are predicted to experience average job growth.

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