In today’s economy and job market, it seems that few careers are guaranteed to withstand these uncertain times. Despite recessions and economic shifts, jobs that involve providing a helpful service to others, such as stylists and manicurists, offer a measure of security not seen in other career fields. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the reason for this stability is simply that these service-oriented jobs cannot be outsourced abroad or accomplished by automated machines. As noted by 37-year old Manhattan barber Israel Kakuriev, no one is heading to India or China to get a cheaper haircut.
This is not to say that everyone who enters the field of cosmetology will find and retain the perfect job. It still requires hard work, good cosmetology training, marketing yourself and being good to your clients. However, cosmetology students and professionals need not fear that their positions will be filled with robots that cut and style hair like some other types of workers dread.
People value their appearance and are often willing to pay more for the look they want. Those who can afford beauty services typically feel that their appearance is crucial to their image, making them more likely to cut back in other areas, thus carving a secure niche for cosmetologists who provide quality services.
Another reason that cosmetology can be a lucrative career in a recessed economy is because it is quality-based. Someone who is extremely proficient at his or her job can build a larger network of loyal clientele and ensure a strong word-of-mouth promotion, which serves as free advertising for services.
In addition, most cosmetologists earn a large portion of their income from tips, meaning that there is always a possibility of increasing your income based upon excellent performance. This gives cosmetologists a unique advantage over strictly salary-based jobs, which are subject to the ups and downs of the market and do not always reward employees for doing their job well.
Highly equipped and well-trained cosmetologists provide a both a pampering and functional service that people will continue to need and want. (Almost everyone has a head of hair that needs maintenance.) As the general public searches for ways to trim budgets and eliminate expenses, personal appearance will still fall under the category of necessary expenditures.
While some people may opt to try their hand at more do-it-yourself (DIY) stuff in the down economy – like repair work around the house – most people lack the necessary skills and confidence to cut their own hair. Services offered by cosmetologists are not likely to get pushed to the DIY project list. (Fortunately, consumers know the very real risks of messing up trying to cut their own hair!)
According to a study compiled by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the number of clerical jobs available increased only five percent between 1989 and 2007. In contrast, personal service jobs, such as hairdressers and estheticians, increased by a whopping 36 percent. And even in the thick of the recession and economic downturn from 2007 to 2010, these types of jobs were still in demand, showing a two percent increase.
The takeaway for students and professionals is that cosmetology careers are among the most secure jobs in an uncertain economy, and don’t let fears of a down economy and recession troubles stop you from pursuing your dream of becoming a cosmetologist.