Is it too late to change my career by going to beauty school?
If you are thinking about a career change by going into the beauty industry, but wonder if it’s too late, we’re going to clear the air for you.
First of all, as long as you are physically able, we don’t see any reason why you can’t learn cosmetology skills in hair, skin, makeup, esthetics, or massage therapy. Now, massage might be tougher for some, because of the physical abilities that it can require… but there are many cosmetologists who work far past the normal retirement age, simply because they love it.
So, the short answer is…no!
Now, this doesn’t mean you should just go out on a whim and enroll in the first beauty school you see. This is a decision that takes thought and advice from professionals with experience in the industry, and advisors who can help you make the best decision.
One of the biggest factors will be the cost of beauty school. Where you are in your current career, and how you have handled your finances so far can sometimes impact your best options for paying for cosmetology school.
What’s the best way to know?
Let’s cut to the chase: Our first piece of advice to any student, no matter where they are in their current professional life, is to contact schools near you to learn more about starting a cosmetology career.
Our job is to provide potential cosmetology school students the best information we can about all aspects of beauty related jobs and the education you need to qualify. This means helping students of all ages, from all walks of life connect with the right programs.
If you’re ready to view your options, go ahead and narrow your search results by selecting your state in the box at the top of this page.
Otherwise, let’s keep talking about career changers thinking about taking a beautician course or cosmetology program…
What kinds of professionals are a good fit for a career change to cosmetology?
We know that there are many different kinds of professionals that choose a career in beauty. That’s because there are several reasons why people feel they can benefit from these types of occupations.
First of all, many salons and spas offer clients a relaxed, almost zen-like environment. Compared to working in an office, where the color schemes tend to be sterile and bland, and the dress code may not cater to your creativity (or blue hair), working in an atmosphere that rewards creativity can be a real benefit for many cosmetology professionals.
In cosmetology careers, you can really just be yourself. There is room in the industry for both the buttoned-up professionals and for those who want to rock a sleeve tattoo or piercings to work every day.
Do you picture yourself working in the ideal cosmetology career?
Cosmetology school programs can be completed in just a few months, or less than two years in more extensive programs. So, if it’s January now, for instance, you could take your New Year’s resolution to heart and technically be working by next fall, or sooner, if you get on the ball.
Let that sink in…
Many types of careers take at least four years of school just for a professional to be competitive on the market. So it’s not a stretch to start imagining yourself in your ideal role by the end of the year if you switch to beauty school.
You can narrow it down even further by asking yourself…
• What area am I most passionate about: hair, skin, nails, massage?
• Could I manage going back to school with my current career situation?
• How would I make sure I can handle the financial aspects of going back to school?
The first question will determine which kind of program you choose. If you want a variety of skills, then you will likely want a cosmetology program. That type of program will cover most areas, including hair, skin, and nails. Or, if you have one specific type of job you want in this field, such as makeup artistry, then you can choose a makeup focused program, which can probably be completed on a shorter timeline.
Many career changers are able to do so because they have a little nest egg built up. We have heard countless stories of people who were tired of working in a corporate climate, or taking orders from someone else, who decided they had finally had enough, and were going to pursue the working life that made them happy.
What are the prospects for professionals who change to cosmetology careers?
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?
How well will you do, will it pay off, and are there really any jobs near me?
Maybe you already have many of these questions figured out, and that’s why you’re here. You already have a vision for your perfect salon or day spa, and you just need the right training. In that case, then you should know to look for cosmetology school programs that include management courses. If your current job has given you leadership skills, then you already have a leg up.
But remember, you will be a new fish swimming in a new pond. Learn the ropes, and immerse yourself in the art and science of what you’re learning. And remember, no matter how much professional experience you have in your current industry, you don’t have real cosmetology experience yet. Learn as much as you can. Ask as many questions as you can. And actively listen to your instructors who have years of experience as stylists, makeup artists, massage therapists, nail technicians, or estheticians.
What is the growth like in cosmetology related professions?
To find out how the job outlook for your current career compares to the outlook for barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologist professions, we consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is the official government resource for occupational data and information.
They currently estimate the average job growth for all occupations to be around 7% from 2014 through 2024. But for cosmetologists, this growth is expected to pace at 10% during the same period. If your current career is showing sluggish growth or looks headed for a downturn, you might want to consider cosmetology career training.
What about the cost of beauty school?
We know, you may still have those other student loan bills coming in the mail every month. Or, you might be fresh out of high school, worried about how to choose the best financial options. Some people may think there are limited financial aid options with cosmetology training programs. However, many beauty schools help students make financial decisions that are realistic and work with their budgets.
Have a plan of action!
The bottom line, no matter what your age or career: You need to create a roadmap to success.
We can help you move to the next phase of figuring this whole following-your-dreams-of-going-to-beauty-school thing, okay? Just use the search box on this page to choose your state and check out your options.
Most schools work with students like yourself, who may be considering changing careers. They can answer your next questions and help you develop a realistic plan of action. And if you do start rocking a cosmetology career, please share your success with us on social media, so we can encourage others to follow their dreams too!