Cosmetologists

Cosmetologists practice hair-care skills (including washing, cutting, coloring, perming, and applying various conditioning treatments), esthetics (performing skin care treatments), and nail care (grooming of hands and feet). Barbers are not cosmetologists; they undergo separate training and licensing procedures. There are approximately 351,960 cosmetologists, hairdressers, and hair stylists employed in the United States.


Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Beauticians, Stylists
Duties Recommend hair, face, and scalp treatment; discuss hair and skin care options; apply shampoo, conditioner, and color to hair; cut, dry and style hair; process payments; clean and sanitize tools and work area
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $50,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) All regions, with greatest opportunities in cities
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Some Postsecondary Training
School Subjects
  • Art
  • Business
  • Speech
Experience Completion of a cosmetology training program
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Hands On
  • Social
Skills
  • Business Management
  • Drawing/Design
  • Interpersonal
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must be 16 years old for license
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Salon Owner
  • Shop Manager
  • Cosmetologist
  • Shampooer

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