Beautician: Educational Requirements to Be a Beauty Professional
Beauticians and beauty professionals offer personal care services that enhance physical appearance. Beauty professionals usually complete a training program before obtaining their license.
Education Requirements for a Beautician
Beautician education is available at community colleges and other postsecondary institutes that offer associate's degrees. Training programs can last for 9-24 months and cover one or more specific practices, such as cosmetology or hairstyling.
An associate's degree in cosmetology provides a well-rounded knowledge in hair, skin and nail care. Students learn how to cut, dye and style hair, as well as give manicures and pedicures. Programs also train students on skin treatments and makeup application. The beauty industry includes the use of several different chemicals and students receive instruction on using these chemicals safely. Cosmetology students also learn to identify different hair, skin and nail conditions and how to practice proper sanitation.
Because self-employment is common in the beauty field and employees of established salons may be responsible for acquiring their own clientele, cosmetology students may also consider taking classes in marketing, accounting and selling techniques. Communication classes may also help beauty professionals to develop their persuasive skills and sell specific products or treatments to their clients.
According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it's mandatory for beauty professionals to obtain licensure before they can begin practicing (www.bls.gov). All states set their own licensing requirements; however, in general, applicants must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, be of a minimum age, have graduated from a state-licensed training program and pass a state exam. The exam usually includes written questions in addition to practical portions that require applicants to apply their skills to real-life situations.
Although beauty professionals specialize in specific beauty practices such as nail care or facials, they can also perform a broad range of beauty practices. Beauticians style hair, apply makeup, analyze skin, prepare and apply skin treatments, give manicures and pedicures and provide clients with professional beauty advice.
Career and Salary Information
The BLS estimates a 16% job growth for cosmetologists, hairdressers and hairstylists in the years 2010 through 2020. These workers earned $22,700 as a median annual wage in 2012.
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