Interested in becoming a cosmetologist? What does a cosmetologist do? Learn the skills that a cosmetologist will need to be successful including stamina and dexterity, interpersonal skills, customer service, creativity, product knowledge and good grooming habits. Become familiar with the job outlook of the cosmetology industry, what cosmetology program to graduate from, the licenses and certifications that are offered to practice cosmetology by state government organizations, associations that a cosmetologist can join, and how to get a job as a cosmetologist. This is what I wish I knew before becoming a cosmetologist.
What Do Cosmetologists Do?
Cosmetologists provide hair, scalp and facial treatments and makeup analysis, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ultimately, they provide beauty services to their clients. The cosmetologist is someone that is an expert in the care of hair, makeup and skincare products. Most cosmetologists also actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products.
- Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
- Discuss hairstyles with client
- Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
- Chemically change hair textures
- Cut, dry, and style hair
- Protect client from chemicals and excess hair
- Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas
Skills of a Successful Cosmetologist
A successful cosmetologist will have the right set of skills. Some of the more important skills include stamina and dexterity, interpersonal skills, customer service, creativity, product knowledge and good grooming habits. With the right set of skills, you can be a successful cosmetologist.
Stamina & Dexterity - Cosmetologists spend most of their time on their feet, so stamina is an important skill for a cosmetologist to possess. Salons are open weekdays, evenings and weekends, so a cosmetologist may work long shifts. A cosmetologist’s most important tools are their hands. Manual and finger dexterity is important while a cosmetologist is styling a client’s hair. A cosmetologist will manipulate small tools, hair dryers, curlers, combs and other small appliances and dexterity will allow them to use proper technique when styling hair.
Interpersonal Skills & Customer Service - Cosmetologists work with clients regularly so good interpersonal skills and customer service are important to keep them happy. The cosmetologist will want to assess the client’s hair, meet their quality standards and evaluate the client’s satisfaction. Many cosmetologists will rely on repeat business so offering good customer service to all clients will encourage those clients to give free word of mouth advertising.
Creativity – a client may ask a cosmetologist to give them a trendy hairstyle or new hairstyle that fits their face. The cosmetologist must keep on top of trends in haircuts, colors and styles and be creative enough to adapt those trends to a client’s unique facial structure.
Product Knowledge – part of the job of a cosmetologist is to offer clients the products that will allow them to keep their professional looking style at home. The cosmetologist may have a quota to fill or want to make some extra money. Either way, the cosmetologist will need to become familiar with the products sold in the salon and which one will be best for their client’s needs.
Good Grooming Habits - The cosmetologist is highly scrutinized for their grooming habits, so they must take care of their hair, clothes and hygiene. A good cosmetologist is well groomed and has a fashionable hairstyle. Staying clean and sanitary is not only good for the cosmetologist’s appearance but is a requirement for the health and safety of clients.
Employment of barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026. Also, 72% of barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists are self-employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some work in a salon, spa, hotel or resort and others lease booth space from a salon owner.
Graduate from An Accredited Vocational School
It is important to attend an accredited vocational school that offers a Cosmetology Certificate program. Mildred Elley is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). The Cosmetology program is approved by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Cosmetology Certificate program at Mildred Elley qualifies and prepares its graduates for successful passage of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cosmetology licensing examination, administered by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists. It also prepares graduates for successful practice in the field of cosmetology and appearance enhancement. Cosmetology students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 hours distributed among fields required by the Board in order to be eligible to register for the Board licensure examination.
Licenses & Certifications
Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists must obtain a license in order to work in the state they practice in. After graduating from an accredited cosmetology program, a cosmetologist will need to obtain a license from Massachusetts to practice as a cosmetologist in the state. To become licensed to practice as a cosmetologist and learn more about becoming licensed, visit the Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering.
There are a handful of cosmetology associations since the merger of many industry associations into the Professional Beauty Association.
Professional Beauty Association - The Professional Beauty Association is the largest trade organization representing licensed cosmetologists, salons, spas, schools and independent practitioners. The PBA was formed by the merging of many other associations including American Beauty Association, The Salon Association and National Cosmetology Association.
Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals – exists to promote and support members in the Cosmetology, Esthetics and Nail industries. Membership is open to licensed salon professionals and students.
Get a Job in the Cosmetology Field
The school faculty and staff of Mildred Elley are committed to assisting graduates in securing the best possible employment opportunities available in their chosen professional career fields. The career services team is the primary contact for students who have career-related issues. Students learn job search techniques, resume writing, interviewing skills and specific career-related strategies. The Office of Career Services also develops and maintains close relationships with local employers, many of whom list their job openings with Mildred Elley.
Did learning about becoming a cosmetologist interest you? Ready to start a Cosmetology program? The Cosmetology Certificate program at the Pittsfield, MA campus of Mildred Elley qualifies and prepares its graduates for successful passage of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Cosmetology licensing examination, administered by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists, and successful practice in the field of cosmetology and appearance enhancement.
Contact us to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist today.