Cosmetology Information & FAQ

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If you’re considering pursuing a career in cosmetology or related profession, it’s normal that you would have some questions. That’s why we’ve compiled an FAQ that deals with some popular queries that will hopefully address any questions you have about pursuing a degree or career in cosmetology, barbering, hairdressing and skincare. Let’s take a look…

How long is cosmetology school?

The length of cosmetology programs will vary depending on the school and your specialization. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last at least 9 months.[i]

How much does cosmetology school cost?

Tuition costs will vary depending on the school you choose to attend and where it is located. According to the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS), a school in or around a major metropolitan city may cost at least $10,000 for a full cosmetology program, while it may be as low as $6,500 in a rural area.[ii]

What is the state board of cosmetology?

State boards of cosmetology are responsible for licensing and regulating cosmetologists, barbers, hairdressers and skincare specialists for each state. Specific rules, regulations and requirements between states may vary.

What is the difference between a barber school, cosmetology school or hair school?

Generally cosmetology schools and hair schools are relatively similar. However, barber schools include programs specifically for students who want to become a barber, while other schools may offer a mixture of programs for a variety of different specializations.

What are the cosmetology school requirements?

Requirements will vary depending on the state that you live in. For example, some states require that you earn a high school diploma or equivalent before entering cosmetology school, while others may not.[i]

What are some important qualities for cosmetologists, barbers, hairdressers and skincare specialists?

The important qualities for the above professions are basically the same, and they include:

  • Creativity: You should be able to experiment, adapt and keep up with the latest trends.

  • Customer service skills: You should be pleasant, friendly and good at interacting with clients on a personal level.

  • Physical stamina: You need to be able to be on your feet for long time periods.

  • Listening skills: You must listen carefully to what clients want in order to meet their needs.

  • Time management skills: You must be good at scheduling appointments and managing your time with clients.

What are some options for job advancement?

The best way to advance your job (and potentially your earnings) is to effectively build your client base.  You should not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth when it comes to finding new clients.  If you have the experience, you may decide to manage a salon or eventually open up your own. Teaching in barber or cosmetology schools could also be an option if you earn the credentials.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm#tab-4 | [ii] beautyschools.org/careers-in-beauty/getting-started/