How to Become an Image Consultant: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become an image consultant. Learn about the job description and read the step-by-step process to start a career in image consulting.

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Do I Want to Be an Image Consultant?

Image consultants help people cultivate a professional or updated appearance. They may work with businesses and/or individual clients to make changes to their looks, communication skills and behavior. Many consultants specialize in a certain area, such as clothing, social etiquette or public speaking. A large portion of these consultants are self-employed and must spend a great deal of time marketing themselves and finding new clients.

Job Requirements

People in this position typically have relevant formal training and certifications offered by product vendors and a variety of image consulting associations. The following table outlines the core requirements for image consultants:

Common Requirements
Degree Level No standard education requirements; training programs are available*
Degree Fields Image consulting, marketing or public relations*
Experience Experience varies by position; some jobs may be entry-level**
Key Skills Ability to understand clients' needs**

Sources: *Association of Image Consultants International, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Step 1: Complete a Training Program

No standard education requirements exist for image consultants, but training programs are available in the field. These programs may cover certain aspects of fashion, such as colors and business wear, as well as areas such as nutrition and communication. Some image consultants may pursue a degree in mass communication or public relations, which provide information on effective interpersonal communication, public speaking and relaying a specific message. Additional courses in marketing and finance can help independent consultants effectively promote their services to clients and operate a budget.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Prospective image consultants may first gain experience working with a public relations or fashion marketing firm to understand how image affects the overall branding of a client. These opportunities can also help consultants to learn about targeted audiences and how companies and people project a certain image.

They may also start their careers by working as part-time consultants until they can create a portfolio and build their clientele. Potential clients include businesses looking to improve the quality of their workers' dress style and celebrities who need styling services for an event. Public figures such as politicians may also hire image consultants to develop a presentable look before an appearance. Any company that deals with fashion may use image consultants for various projects.

Success Tip:

  • Join a professional organization. Groups such as the Association of Image Consultants International offer networking, continuing education and certification opportunities to their members.
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
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    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
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    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

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    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

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    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
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    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Undergraduate in Graphic Design

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Illinois (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Graphic Communications
        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
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        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
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        • Printing Management
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    Areas of study you may find at Texas State University include:
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      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
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      • Communication Studies
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        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
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    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Rochester Institute of Technology include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • American Sign Language - ASL
      • Communication Studies
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      • Foreign Language and Literature
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        • Animation, Video Graphics, and Special Effects
        • Computer Typography and Composition
        • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operations
        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
        • Printing Management
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