Career Advancement for Hairstylists

May 28, 2018

Hairstylists may cut, color, and style the hair of their clients to ensure that the hair's appearance and condition is the best it can be. Hairstylists may wish to advance their career by considering other positions that build on those skills.

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Career Growth Opportunities for Hairstylists

Hairstylists work directly with clients to help beautify their hair, including cutting, coloring, and perming. Hairstylists may wish to consider a variety of other careers that build on those skills, either in other specific beauty fields, or in managing or educating others in the industry.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)** Education
Salon Managers $35,867 (2018)* 15% (first-line supervisors of personal service workers) High school diploma
Cosmetology Instructors $36,742 (2018)* 4% (career and technical education teachers) Cosmetology instructor training program
Medical Estheticians $39,929 (2018)* 14% (skin care specialists) Post-secondary training
Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists $59,300 (2017)** 12% Current cosmetology license; possible theatre or drama classes
Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors $51,850 (2017)** 4% Associate's degree

Sources: PayScale*, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics**

Career Information

Salon Managers

A salon manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of a spa, salon, or other beauty establishment. The manager hires and trains the employees, and ensures that they are following appropriate procedures. The products used in the spa or salon must be ordered by the manager. In addition, the salon manager must handle any customer complaints. The most common path to becoming a salon manager is to become a licensed cosmetologist and gain on-the-job experience. Some larger employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in business administration.

Cosmetology Instructors

A cosmetology instructor helps students obtain their license to practice cosmetology. They will teach all of the skills of the cosmetology field, such as hairstyling and make-up, through hands-on techniques. Cosmetology instructors have highly specialized knowledge and skills in hair and makeup. It is important that students learn all regulations surrounding hygiene standards of the profession. Cosmetology instructors keep records regarding the instruction that was provided. They must assess students' progress through written tests and hands-on observations. Cosmetology instructors must have a high school diploma and a license to practice cosmetology. Most states also require the completion of a cosmetology instructor training program.

Medical Estheticians

Medical estheticians work with clients to ensure that their skin is as healthy and attractive as possible. These professionals work in hospitals, doctors' offices, and spas. They must have knowledge of medical conditions of the skin to refer clients to health care professionals if there is a health concern. Medical estheticians instruct their clients in techniques to clean and care for the skin, as well as administering procedures and services to treat the skin. Maintaining proper cleanliness standards is essential. Medical estheticians must complete a state-approved post-secondary program and achieve state licensure.

Theatrical and Performance Makeup Artists

A theatrical makeup artist helps performers do their hair and makeup to truly represent their role on stage. They must consult with the director and with the performers to ensure that the products being applied meet the theatrical needs and are appropriate for the skin and hair of the performer. Touch ups may be needed during the course of a performance. Typically, a theatrical and performance makeup artist will have a cosmetology license and experience doing these tasks for performances. Courses in theatre or drama may also be beneficial.

Morticians, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors

A mortician has various functions at a funeral home. One of the most important tasks is preparing the body of the deceased for burial through carrying out embalming functions and arranging hair and makeup so that the deceased looks much like they did in life. The mortician may also comfort the family and prepare and file death certificates. Morticians help to plan the clergy participation in a funeral. These workers earn an associate's degree in mortuary science and pass a state licensure exam.

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