Are you ready to start a cosmetology career program? If you're not sure whether a cosmetology career is the right option for you, take a look at the questions to ask right now.
Do You Have a High School Degree or Equivalency?
The licensing requirements for cosmetologists and related beauty industry professionals differ by state. If your state requires all working cosmetologists to have a high school diploma or an equivalency, you'll need one of these options before you take the next step. Talk to the career program's staff or an admission representative about your state's requirements.
Why Do You Want to Work in Cosmetology?
Do you already have the educational credentials to start cosmetology school? Now that you know you can start school; you need to decide if you want to. Ask yourself why you want to go into this field. There are several possible reasons why people choose to start a career as a cosmetologist or beauty professional. If you spend your free time browsing online for makeup, haircare, and other similar products, offer free makeovers to your friends, or just enjoy anything related to beauty, then this is the business for you.
Do You Feel You Can Make a Livable Wage in the Industry?
Even though you want an enjoyable career, your soon-to-be new job needs to support you—and possibly your family. In 2019 the median pay for cosmetologists, barbers, and hairstylists was $26,270 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The median pay figure includes new cosmetologists who have entry-level positions and seasoned pros. This means you may make more or less than the median number. Salaries may also vary by region. To better understand what you can expect from your first job, talk to an experienced industry professional or the admissions counselor at your potential future school.
Do You Enjoy Being Around Other People?
You've reviewed the educational qualifications, taken stock of why you want to go into the beauty business, and are comfortable with your earning potential. Even though the bulk of your beauty-related job revolves around processes and procedures, you also need to communicate with your customers.
If you're not comfortable being around other people, you may find cosmetology a challenging career choice. But if you enjoy talking to friends, relatives, and just about anyone else, you may feel at ease in a customer-facing cosmetology job. Again, professionals in the field and cosmetology program staff can answer questions you may have about this aspect of the industry.