Beauty Education & Career Guide
Get answers to your frequently asked questions.
Here you can get answers to the most commonly asked questions about the beauty and cosmetology industry. Whether you are unsure about how to pay for school, whether the beauty school you're considering is a good one, or what it takes to get a license in your state, use this page to learn more about education and careers in the beauty arts and sciences.
We've got tons of information about all the essential beauty services: cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, nail technology, barbering, hair design, teaching cosmetology, makeup artistry, electrolysis and laser hair removal, salon management, hair braiding, fashion design and massage therapy! Check out the Q&As below to find information about everything from enrolling in cosmetology school to finding the perfect beauty career once you've graduated.
Don’t see the answer to your question on this list? Contact us. We're here to help! And check back often, because we're always adding new questions and answers.
According to the Professional Beauty Association, the salon and spa industry is growing! They estimate that there are more than 1.1 million salon or spa establishments in the U.S. that offer beauty and cosmetology services, and that the industry is worth more than $44 billion now. Independent salons or beauty professionals grew more than 92% in the last decade, and employment-based salons grow 16 percent.
- In 2013, the PBA analysis estimated more than 1.1 million salon establishments nationwide.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 13% growth in cosmetology, barbering and hair jobs through the year 2022.
- Job demand for estheticians and skin care specialists is projected to grow 40% through the year 2020, much faster than average, according to the BLS.
- The BLS also estimated an 16% growth in job demand for nail technicians, manicurists and pedicurists through 2022.
- When the U.S. economy was in a recession between 2000 and 2010 with a 3% decline and seeing almost 3.4 million job losses, the cosmetology industry instead grew 7% and added more than 70,000 jobs.
- The cosmetology industry is known for being flexible. In fact, on average, almost 1 in 3 personal appearance workers – especially barbers - choose to be self-employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
- The business can also be a shot at entrepreneurship. 61% of salon businesses are owned by women, compared to just 30% of private sector businesses nationwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Is Beauty School Right for You?
- How do I know if cosmetology school is the right choice for me?
- Is beauty school easier than a four-year college or university?
- Is it too late to change my career by going to cosmetology school?
- Am I too old for cosmetology school?
- What is the most important cosmetology information I need to know?
- Where can I find beauty schools and cosmetology schools?
Choosing the Right Cosmetology School
- How do I find beauty schools and cosmetology schools?
- How do I choose a beauty school?
- What's the difference between the cosmetology programs?
- What do top cosmetology schools have in common?
- Should I visit the cosmetology school before choosing?
- Should I only search for cosmetology schools close to where I live?
- What is the difference between beauty school and cosmetology school?
- What is the difference between beauty school and hair school?
- What is the difference between beauty school and barber school?
- What is the difference between beauty school and makeup school?
- What is the difference between a beauty school, college or academy?
- Do beauty schools have dorms or student housing?
Beauty School Requirements
- Do I need a high school diploma or GED to attend cosmetology school?
- How old do I need to be to enroll in cosmetology school?
- Can I attend cosmetology classes while I'm still in high school?
- What are the application deadlines and enrollment dates for beauty school?
Beauty School Programs
- How long will it take to complete a beauty program?
- What training programs do beauty schools offer?
- What do you learn in cosmetology school?
- What do you learn in esthetician school?
- What do you learn in barber school?
- What do you learn in nail tech school?
- What do you learn in makeup school?
- What do you learn in hair braiding school?
- What do you learn in electrology or laser hair removal school?
- What do you learn in permanent makeup school?
- What do you learn in cosmetology instructor training?
- What do you learn in salon management training?
- What do you learn in massage school?
- What do you learn in fashion design school?
- What are advanced beauty courses?
How to Become a Beauty Professional
- How to Become a Cosmetologist
- How to Become an Esthetician
- How to Become a Barber
- How to Become a Nail Technician
- How to Become a Makeup Artist
- How to Become a Cosmetology Instructor
- How to Become a Salon Manager
- How to Become a Permanent Makeup Artist
Beauty School Tuition and Financial Aid
- How much do beauty schools cost?
- Do beauty schools offer financial aid?
- Where can I find a list of beauty school scholarships?
Cosmetology School Accreditation
- What does it mean for a cosmetology school to be accredited?
- What are the benefits of attending an accredited beauty school?
- Which beauty schools are accredited?
- What agencies accredit beauty schools and cosmetology schools?
Beauty Career Options
- Cosmetologist Job Description
- Barber Job Description
- Esthetician Job Description
- Nail Technician/Manicurist Job Description
- Permanent Makeup Artist Job Description
- Ethnic Hair Braider Job Description
- Electrologist Job Description
- Makeup Artist Job Description
- Cosmetology Teacher Job Description
- Massage Therapist Job Description
- Salon & Spa Manager Job Description
- Fashion Designer Job Description
Beauty Industry Jobs, Salaries & Networking
- What are my career options after attending beauty school?
- Will my beauty school help me find a job after I graduate?
- How do I find a beauty school's graduation rate or job placement rate?
- How can I network in the beauty business to find work?
- How do I put together a cosmetologist resume?
- Do I need a portfolio of my work?
- How can I ace the job interview?
- Where can I find cosmetology jobs?
- What is the average cosmetology salary?
- Which professional beauty associations should I join?
Cosmetology Licensing and Laws
- What are the cosmetology licensing laws, rules and regulations?
- Once I finish a beauty program, will I immediately get my cosmetology license?
- What are the cosmetology licensing and certification requirements for my state?
- What is cosmetology license transfer, reciprocity or licensure by endorsement?
- Where I can I find information about the state cosmetology examinations?
- What are the cosmetology license renewal laws in my state?
- What if my cosmetology license is expired?
- What if my state doesn't offer a certification for the specialty I want?
- Can I take my cosmetology license exams in Spanish?
- In which languages does my state board allow me to take the cosmetology license exam?
Beauty School Curriculum
- Can I attend online cosmetology school?
- Can I attend any classes online?
- What technology is used in the beauty school classroom?
- What is the cosmetology school curriculum?
- What is Milady?
- What is Pivot Point?
- What is the CLiC Certification Program?
- Are there bilingual cosmetology schools that teach classes in Spanish and English?
Cosmetology School Tools and Supplies
- What comes in a standard student kit?
- Does the beauty school provide student kits to complete my program?
- What textbooks will my school use?
- What are mannequin heads?
- Can I use my student kit for my board exams?
- Will my salon or spa employer provide tools and beauty products, or do I supply my own?
FAQ Quick Links
- Vital Statistics
- Is Cosmetology School for Me
- Choosing the Right School
- School Programs
- Tuition and Financial Aid
- School Requirements
- Finding Your First Job
- Professional Careers in the Cosmetology Industry
- Laws and licenses
- State-by-State License Requirements
- Cosmetology School Tools and Supplies