Cosmetology Questions & FAQs

What Is Cosmetology and Other FAQs

Confused about the difference between beauty school and cosmetology school? Do you wonder what an esthetician does? Concerned about how to pay for your cosmetology education?

You have questions, and we have answers!

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Answers to Frequently Asked Cosmetology Questions.

Following are answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about cosmetology and other beauty industry issues.

Q. What is cosmetology?

A. Cosmetology is the skill or practice of beautifying the face, hair and skin. It’s a broad term that covers everything from the selection and application of makeup to hair styling and skin rejuvenation.

Q. Do cosmetologists need professional training? Are they licensed?

All states require that professional cosmetologists be licensed. To take a licensing exam, you must have graduated from a state-approved cosmetology-training program. Some community colleges offer cosmetology education programs. Cosmetology training is offered as a specialty by thousands of vocational schools and career colleges through the country.

Q. How can I become a cosmetologist?

As stated above, the first step to becoming a professional cosmetologist is to complete a state-approved education and training program. You must then pass your state’s licensing examination. Once you have your license, you can apply for work at beauty salons, resorts, and other places where cosmetologists are employed. Some cosmetology school graduates work independently, simply renting space at established salons.

Q. How long is cosmetology school?

According to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, most cosmetology training programs take 1,400 to 2,100 hours to complete or as little as eight months up to two years depending on if you decide to pursue your education full-time or part time.

Q. How much money do cosmetologists make?

Annual income for cosmetologists varies depending on city, facility and years of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists was, as of 2014, $11.12/hour, or $23,120/year. Nationally, those in the bottom 10 percentile made an average $71,200 per year, while those in the top 10 percent made $45,800 annually. The BLS also projects more than 220,000 job openings in this field over the next 10 years.(1)

Q. What is beauty school?

“Beauty school” is a more traditional, generalized term for cosmetology school.

Q. What is the difference between beauty school and cosmetology school?

The terms are interchangeable. They mean the same thing.

Q. How much does beauty school cost?

The cost of going to beauty school can range from as low as $5,000 to as high as $20,000, depending on the school’s location, reputation, and whether it is part of a public community college program or offered through a private training school.

Q. What is an esthetician?

Esthetics is a sub-specialty of cosmetology that focuses principally on applying makeup and administering aromatherapy.

Q. How do I become an esthetician?

Many beauty schools and other career colleges now offer dedicated esthetician career training programs.

Q. Where do estheticians work?

Estheticians work in beauty salons, resorts and at department store cosmetic counters. Some even work in health care facilities.

Q. How much money do estheticians make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, skin care specialists (estheticians) had a mean salary of $13.97/hour, or $29,050/year nationally as of 2014. The average salary for those in the bottom 10 percentile was $17,700 per year, while those in the top 10 percent made $58,900 per year. The demand for estheticians will be “higher than average,” according to the BLS, the economy generating more than 21,000 new esthetician jobs over the next 10 years. (2)

Q. How do I become a hair stylist?

Hairstyling courses are offered by many community colleges as well as through private beauty schools and hairstylist training academies, some bearing the names of the some of the most famous names in the fashion industry.

Q. How can I pay for cosmetology school, esthetician classes or other beauty career courses?

There are many ways to pay for your cosmetology career training. If you don’t have your tuition fees readily available, low-cost student loans, scholarships and even grants are available from many training institutions. Check with the beauty schools near you for more information on student funding.

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