Starting a career in the beauty industry is many a creative person’s dream. There’s something so satisfying in shaping a client’s look, having the knowledge to expertly advise them on what would and would not work based on their appearance and lifestyle, and then having the skill to put that advice into action.
But where to start? How to acquire that knowledge and those skills?
Everyone knows that it’s nearly impossible to get a salon job, other than sweeping up with maybe the occasional shampooing, unless you have training and a license. Salon owners just don’t have the time or the number of employees that would be necessary to train you as you work your way up. Apprenticeships are few and far between, and many state licensing boards won’t accept apprenticeship hours in some concentrations. State Health Departments vary in their requirements, but all of them require a certain number of hours before you can sit for the licensing exam.
There are many schools out there for students who would like to enter this field. So many, in fact, that it is time-consuming to research each one. It is important that the school you choose meet the following criteria:
-Accreditation from the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS).
-Provide hands-on training in cosmetology, barber, esthetician, and manicuring.
-Have licensed instructors.
-Have financial aid available.
-Prepare students for the state licensing exam.
For example, the Academy of Hair Design is an accredited school, located in Springfield, MO, and Austin, TX, that meet these criteria. They also divide students into teams and simulate real life work situations, teaching students how to cope with the stressors of day-to-day life in a salon. Finding a school that offers services similar to these is crucial in creating your beauty industry career.
State Licensing Hour Requirements
Every state has its own requirements for cosmetology licensing. In Missouri, for example, the state licensing board requires:
-Esthetician: 750 hours
-Manicurist: 400 hours
Again, the Academy of Hair Design provides students with these necessary hours. However, you should always check your state licensing requirements before choosing a school.
Look for schools that offer financial aid. Education can be costly, but most schools that offer financial aid will help you seek out the best financing alternatives for you, including grants and student loans with low-interest rates and, in some cases, deferred payments.
If you find the right school, you will be well on your way to establishing yourself in the beauty industry. From a local salon to opening your own, or even becoming a beauty expert to the stars, the world is at your feet. All you have to do is take that first step.