Working to become a beautician can be an excellent decision. Those people who work in this field are outgoing, creative, and great with working with others one-on-one. Though you should love to style hair, it can be even more important to be a people person. This allows you to create a strong following of clients that come back for your services each month. The steps to becoming a beautician can range significantly from one state to the next. However, there is some basic information that applies to most states.
Job Overview $22,500
A hairdresser, or beautician, works with individuals to cleanse, style, and color hair. USNews.com notes that this is one of the best paying and most in demand positions today. Individuals who work in this field will style hair according to the client’s wishes. Most advise the client on options and offer advice on how to care for hair. Additionally, many will become trusted confidants to their clients. Clients often trust that their beautician will ensure their hair looks beautiful and stylish. The job can also include other services, including manicures, pedicures, and facials. These individuals will use chemicals, styling tools, proper cutting methods, and styling products to create the desired look for the client.
Requirements and Qualifications
To work as a beautician in most states, individuals must earn a license. The State Board of Cosmetology is often the governing board in most states that both issues the licenses to individuals who meet requirements and puts in place licensing requirements. Individuals will need to study for a set number of hours prior to earning the ability to sit for a state board test. Once the required practical and floor hours are earned, the individual will sit for the exam. Individuals will then need to maintain this license by taking continuing education courses, attending seminars, or filling other state-mandated requirements.
Typical Education Required
Most students can begin education in cosmetology at the age of 16 or 17 through vocational programs. However, other programs are available for students who are older and wish to learn to do hair. Many states require individuals to have a high school diploma or an equivalent in order to maintain a license. Other states do not.
The amount of education required may take from nine months to 18 months to complete, depending on full or part time status and the state’s required hours. The training involves the student of science, the body, and some math. Students learn how to perform various haircuts in a lab and then continue those skills working directly with customers in a teacher-led clinic. Students may then continue to take courses to further educate themselves on the latest trends.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median pay for someone working as a full time beautician was $22,500 or $10.82 per hour. Some work in more exclusive salons and earn substantially more than this. Many work in franchise stores earning a base wage and tips. The job outlook for those people in this career is good. From the period of 2010 through 2020, it is estimated that a growth rate of 14 percent will occur, adding more than 100,900 jobs to the country’s current 712,200.
There are various types of beauticians and opportunities for individuals to advance in this field. Barbers receive additional training and obtain a different license to provide not only hair cutting for men, but also shaving. Many beauticians also provide manicures and pedicures, which also requires additional training.
Individuals can advance to earn a license to operate a salon as a manager as well. Individuals can further train and continue their education to work as a cosmetologist trainer.