Cosmetology is working with skin, hair and nails. Which includes things like hair styling, cutting, coloring, shampooing, manicures, waxing, facials, etc. “More than a half a million people work as cosmetologists.” (Careers For Woman Without College Degrees 254) It is a great profession for people who would like to have a career in the beauty industry. It’s a great career for a mother in a two income family or if you’re just living on your own. This career is not only for woman, it is also great for men.
The pay is not that bad, but usually wouldn’t work out for a single mother with more than one kid, unless she owned her own business. A beginner will make between $12,000 and $13,000 a year. After you are more experienced you could make between $18,000 to $24,000 a year.
There are not any benefits that are definite. When you find a salon to work at, you discuss benefits with the person who hires you, but if you own your own salon, you have no benefits, but you can decide your own vacations. As a cosmetologist you usually would work a full work day. Most people work 44 hours a week, but some work 48 hours or more.
There are many ways to get schooling to be a cosmetologist. You could go to either a public or private vocational school, which some high schools offer. You could also go to a beauty school. You must be 16 or older to go to a beauty school. In your classes your training courses may include lectures, demonstrations and practice. Students usually practice with mannequins. After schooling, you must take a state licensing exam consisting of written and practical parts. You renew that license every two years by taking the test again each time.
You get a lot of experience in the vocational school, but some shops still require some experience in a salon, but some will start beginners. Usually when they start beginners, they will start them with just shampooing, after a while you can do everything.
There are not many drawbacks in this profession, but there are a few. One risk is that with each customer you take a risk, if you mess up, people could end up losing their hair. Also you must do a lot of cleaning and sterilization. Many cosmetologist end up with arthritis, so you also have a chance of getting that, because you are always using your hands. If you like to socialize with people, you will like this job. If you have a great personality, it is definitely a plus. The customer likes a friendly yet professional person with a lot of good advice and a good attitude. You should also feel good about yourself after a major accomplishment. It seems really easy, but it’s not. There is a lot you need to remember. You should also stay educated with the new styles in hair and beauty. Also “you should always be tactful, courteous and in control of your emotions.” (Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance 217).
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