There is nothing like real life experience to get under your belt while still in cosmetology school. One of the best ways to understand a high-pressure and fast-paced situation involving beauty services would be to work as a hair and makeup artist for a live performance. We've mentioned offering cosmetology services to fashion shows, but your cosmetology school could also offer the services of its students to local theatre groups during their productions. This arrangement is a win-win situation; the actors will look great in specific period looks and the cosmetologists can practice with time constraints under pressure. The school should reach out to local high school theatre departments as well for even more opportunities for cosmetology students.

Submitted by Elizabeth on 05/02/2012 - 13:16
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A cosmetologist needs many hours of training and hands-on practice on real clients before you can get your cosmetology license. This is a fast growing career where the competition is tough, but there is faster then average growth expected when compared to other jobs according to statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor . In fact, these statistics also state that job prospects are quite high thanks to people retiring or changing careers. Cosmetologists are also able to be self-employed with much more flexibility in their schedules compared to other careers. The median salary for the top ten percent of cosmetologists was around $44,000 in early 2010.

Early experience working in situations where hair and makeup need to be perfect can help prepare future cosmetologists for their careers. They can get a first-hand knowledge of working under pressure with not much time. Their work needs to be flawless and unique to the setting of the performance. For example, the cosmetologists may need to study the plot of the play to better understand how the actors need to look and be portrayed to the audience. A 17th century woman can not look like a disco queen! It is important for the cosmetologists to have done their homework in order to provide a realistic or accurate look for their actors.

There is an added bonus for learning stage makeup and hair - more money! Cosmetologists and makeup artists who specialized in this theater makeup, stage makeup or special effects makeup for theater and film earned close to $30 an hour compared to the national average of $13 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. You could make nearly $65,000 a year working behind the scenes on Broadway or off. You need to be very good at your job and able to replicate any look from various eras. This is why practicing your skills at local or high school productions can help cosmetology students hone in on their skills.

The Department of Labor estimates that due to the rising demands found in television and film that cosmetology (including hair and makeup) will grow eighteen percent by 2018. This could mean more jobs and higher salaries for those at the top of their game. In short, offering services for local productions is only the beginning in what could be a long and successful career in cosmetology for you - so put yourself out there and get the experience!