How Do I Choose a Beauty School?

Choosing a beauty school doesn’t have to be overly complicated. What you first need to understand is the difference between the terms ‘beauty school’ and ‘cosmetology school,’ because they are both used interchangeably. This is not a big deal, in most cases. But we want to show there can be a contrast between the literal meaning of these two common phrases. Beauty schools can offer cosmetology programs, as well as individual programs in the various areas of cosmetology, such as hair design, nails, makeup, etc. Cosmetology schools may only focus on cosmetology, but can offer additional programs as well – or not.

Point being, we’re going to talk about how to choose a beauty school that offers all types of programs. Do you already know what kind of beauty school training the career you want requires?

If so, then we’re here for you too. We love to offer helpful information about all things beauty. But we also know that you need to move on with your life – which may include training and education to meet your state’s requirements in a beauty related occupation. That’s cool. You can check out your options now by using the search box up there (look up!) and when you are finished requesting information from beauty schools, you can keep reading…

Types of beauty school programs

“What kind of cosmetology schools near me can help me accomplish my goals?”

To answer this question, you need to figure out what kind of program would be best for you. From there, look at the options for training in your state. Even if a school does not offer a specific program that you’re looking for, it can be a good idea to contact them. They may offer another program or course track that can help you earn the license requirements and skills you want to work with.


If you want to take an all-encompassing program that will teach you hair, skin, makeup, nail, and esthetician work, then look for beauty schools with cosmetology programs. Earning your cosmetologist’s license can help you qualify for a wide variety of jobs in the beauty industry.


To become a master barber takes great training. Cutting men’s styles and offering grooming services is coming back in style. If you dream of opening your own barber shop, or working at an existing one, then check to see if your state offers a separate barber license.

Hair design

For stylists who just want to focus on hair, then a hair design program is ideal. Some state’s offer a beautician license or equivalent. This can be a much quicker path than having to go through a complete cosmetology program.

Makeup artistry

For students who just want to focus on makeup, you might be able to earn your license in this area in your state. Some states do not have an official licensure. But if you want to be the best special effects artist, or offer the most stellar bridal makeup services, you should seek the best training you can find.


Most states offer esthetician training as an alternative to cosmetology licensure for students who want to focus on facial skin care. A lot of times, makeup artist professionals will use this form of training and licensure to work in their state; since esthetician training usually requires fewer hours of education and clock hours.

Nail technician

Nail artistry is a skill that is quickly getting recognized as an awesome form of art in the beauty industry. Whether you want to offer nail services in addition to your other skills, or work at a nail salon, many states have nail tech licensure. If this is your goal then you should narrow your options to beauty schools that offer nail tech programs. However, it can also be a good idea to consider cosmetology programs. They typically include nail technician courses, and can help you qualify for additional career opportunities.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy programs are often an option at beauty schools. But there are also many options for schools that just focus on massage therapy training. If your goal is to become a licensed massage therapist, look at both types of schools. You will want to compare the curriculum to be sure the type of massage you want to practice is offered.

It doesn’t matter what type of career you want to pursue in the world of beauty, when comparing schools, you have to look at all of your options.

Figuring out what’s in store after graduation

Don’t wait to talk about what comes after graduation until you’re about to finish school. When you enroll, make sure you are on the same page with your counselor or advisor as far as career outcomes and possible places that hire their graduates. You should also have regular check-ins to make sure you are meeting goals and keeping up with your training requirements. Having good relations with your school can also help you build a solid support system while you gain the confidence to work in a real professional environment.

Gearing up for professional success

Another thing to look for when choosing a beauty school are opportunities for professional development. Some cosmetology programs offer information and curriculum about managing salons and doing freelance work. It can be a lifesaver to learn the basics of accounting, and keeping track of your business expenses. This information can be helpful to salon workers as well, since you may wind up working as an independent contractor, and responsible for reporting the correct income and deductions.

Learning strong communication skills

Having good people skills is also important to cosmetologists. Look for a curriculum that includes coursework about how to conduct yourself in the most professional way in your workplace. This doesn’t mean you have to be stoic and hide your personality. But you must learn to strike a balance between staying focused on your job and connecting with your clients on an appropriate, yet personal level. A quality cosmetology program will include some of this information; even if it’s through one-on-one consultation with your advisor or counselor.

The freedom of flexibility

Many beauty professionals enjoy the freedom of being their own boss, and working their own hours. What’s also nice about these occupations is the flexibility that they can provide for students who want to continue their education. Many states require professionals to take continuing education courses between periods of renewal. When you speak with schools, you need to bring up the topic of licensure. If the program you are looking at isn’t equipped to help you pass the required examination and training hours then you should consider other options.

“I want to find a beauty school near me!”

You don’t say… That’s perfect because we happen to know beauty schools in every state who can answer your questions, and potentially help you enroll in a program that will result in a career in the world of beauty.

Check out your options, and be sure to keep us up with your success. Let’s connect on social media and help inspire others to work in the beauty industry!