Hair Stylist Career Profile and Salary Information

Hair stylists perform a variety of services, such as coloring and cutting hair. They also recommend products and techniques that help with hair maintenance. While many hair stylists work in salons, employment opportunities are available in other industries. In addition to salary, these professionals may earn commissions.

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Hair Stylists Career Information

Hair stylists are the appearance professionals who cut and style hair. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hair stylists are sometimes referred to as cosmetologists, although cosmetologists may give additional treatments like manicures and pedicures (www.bls.gov). Hair stylists use a variety of styling techniques to change or maintain a client's hair style, such as straightening and highlighting.

Hair stylists often begin with a consultation to determine the needs of a client before deciding which treatment method to take. After styling, they may give advice on how to maintain the look at home. These individuals need to be able to market themselves to recruit and maintain a clientele base. The BLS indicates that hair stylists who open their own salon or mange have additional duties, including record keeping, ordering and supervising personnel.

Career Outlook

The BLS states that employment opportunities for hairdressers, hair stylists and cosmetologists were expected to increase 16%, which was about the average for all occupations. In 2010, the BLS indicated that a majority of these professionals are self-employed or work for barbershops or salons, but others work in hotels, spas or resorts. Increased demand for hairstyling services will lead to an increase in employment opportunities. Hair stylists may also find work in other appearance related industries like modeling and television.

Education Information

The BLS indicates that most states require hair stylists to graduate from an approved school. The curricula of hair styling programs combine traditional classroom lectures with hands-on practice. Coursework topics include popular techniques in haircutting, styling and coloring. After students have completed their coursework to a satisfactory level, they may practice on mannequins and live models.

Licensing Requirements

The BLS reports that all states have varying licensing standards for appearance industry workers. Many states have qualifying examinations and require applicants to serve as apprentices for a specified number of hours. Additional requirements may include a minimum age and education level. Some states require continuing education credits that may be offered in the form of approved courses.

Hair Stylists Salary Information

In May 2010, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of a hairdresser, hairstylist or cosmetologist was $22,700, while those in the top paying motion picture and video industries earned $65,160 on average. Hair stylists may earn additional income by selling products or bringing in new clientele. Experienced individuals may advance to higher paying management or lead stylist positions.

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Become a Stylist: Education and Career Roadmap

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Puerto Rico (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at D'Mart Institute include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Aesthetician and Skin Care
        • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
        • Hair Design
        • Nail Technician - Manicurist
        • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing
  • School locations:
    • Wisconsin (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Milwaukee Area Technical College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cosmetology and Related Services
        • Hair Design
      • Culinary Arts and Culinary Services
      • Funeral Related Services
  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Pharmacology and Toxicology
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Bioinformatics
      • Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
      • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
      • General Biology
      • Genetics
      • Microbiology and Immunology
      • Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • Physiology and Related Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics