Is Going to Cosmetology School Worth It?

Is Going to Cosmetology School Worth It?

In California, you need to be licensed to practice as a cosmetologist or barber. Is cosmetology school worth the investment in time, effort, and money?

Before you choose to enroll in beauty school it’s worthwhile to contemplate what a cosmetology career might look like for you.

Pros and Cons of Cosmetology

If you’ve been considering working in the beauty industry as a cosmetologist, you are probably weighing the pros and cons of attending cosmetology school. There are many upsides to attending cosmetology school and get the training you need to succeed in the beauty industry.

Are there drawbacks to being a cosmetologist?

There are a few things to consider as a cosmetologist. The hours can be long, you spend all day on your feet, and some customers can be a bit demanding. But if you can live with those negatives, there are many positives.

Get a Comprehensive Education, Learn Valuable Skills

In cosmetology school, you will learn everything you need to know about hair styling, coloring, and hair care. Being a good cosmetologist is not merely about one set of skills. You’ll need a combination of practical, business, and soft skills to reach your full potential. Here are some of the things you will learn:

  • Hair cutting techniques
  • Hair coloring procedures
  • Hair styling and treatments
  • Nail care and artistry
  • Skin care techniques
  • Advanced makeup techniques
  • Managing clients and customer service
  • Salon best practices
  • Health, safety, and sanitation
  • Passing the state licensing and certification exam

Your cosmetology training will prepare you for real-world clients, teaching you all the skills and strategies you need to start your career successfully.

Job Prospects and Earning Potential

Is cosmetology education a valuable investment? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetologists and hairdressers are projected to have 11% job growth from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average of all professions.[1]

What's the Average Salary for Cosmetologists?

Cosmetologists and hairdressers in California in 2022 had a median annual mean wage of about $45,020. These numbers may not include tips. Some salons may also offer additional benefits.

As your cosmetology career progresses, you may move into other cosmetology related careers such as salon manager, independent beauty consultant, or product sales manager.

Different Beauty Styles Emerge Constantly

New hairstyles, makeup ideas, hair coloring techniques, and beauty trends appear every year. As people try out new hairstyles and looks, they need cosmetologists to create those unique looks and make them look beautiful.

There is plenty of room for cosmetologists to flex their creative energy learning new techniques and styles for clients. A world-class cosmetology program will help you learn the fundamental skills you’ll need to create new hair, makeup, and nail styles and bring those to life.

One of the biggest drivers of new beauty trends, beauty products, and interest in cosmetology techniques are online beauty influencers. These are personalities that focus their social and online platforms around creating beauty content. While you can learn basic techniques from TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram, going through a fundamentally sound cosmetology program will give you the refined skills you need to succeed as a licensed cosmetologist.

In California, you must be licensed to work as a cosmetologist for paying clients, and you must attend cosmetology school to become licensed. Getting hands-on experience from trained professionals, and salon hours for real clients will also help you hone your skills. You can also use what you learn in beauty school and as a licensed cosmetologist to promote yourself as a beauty influencer if you choose.

Program Lengths Are Reasonable

How long does it take to finish a cosmetology program?

Most cosmetology programs are about 6 months to under a year in length.

Paul Mitchell the School at Campus, located in Sacramento, offers a Cosmetology program that is 30 weeks in length and a combined Cosmetology and Barbering program that is 36 weeks long.

In California, 1000 training hours in an approved program is required to take the Cosmetology Board licensing exam.

If you study in another type of vocational program, you might have to spend more time completing the program in order to be fully trained, and to graduate or get a certificate.

Cosmetology school allows students to complete a program in reasonable amount of time and get working in a salon or spa.

You Can Focus on Learning a Skill

Most hairstylists, makeup artists, and nail technicians became cosmetologists to express their creativity. Cosmetology school allows you to quickly learn skills to earn a living without having to take redundant classes. Some educational degrees require you to take math and English to graduate. Cosmetology school allows you to focus only on learning things you are passionate about, without the fluff.

Gaining Hands-on Experience

A big part of cosmetology school is getting hands-on experience in the student salon environment. Most beauty schools allow students to get practical training on real customers, under careful supervision. The only way to get better is to practice, and cosmetology school allows students to build confidence and gain experience. This also helps students learn how to build rapport with customers, grow a client base, and make clients feel welcomed.

Most student salons offer cosmetology services like haircuts, hair styling, hair coloring, perms, chemical relaxing, box braids, makeup application, facial hair removal, and basic manicures.

You’ll Make Industry Friends and Connections

The students in your class have the same goals you do, to excel at cosmetology and turn it into a career. These classmates, and your instructors will be some of your first industry connections, and potentially your friends. Just as iron sharpens iron, you and your colleagues in hairstyling and cosmetology can help each other grow and learn as your careers progress.

You’ll Learn How to Build a Client Base

Every successful cosmetologist has learned how to build a loyal customer base. Hairstylists, nail technicians, and skin care specialists all make their clients feel welcome and cared for, encouraging them to return as repeat customers. A good cosmetology instructor can help teach you tips on customer service and building return clients, which will help you thrive in your career.

You Must Get a Cosmetology License in California

If you want to get paid as a cosmetologist in California, you must be licensed. Before taking the licensing exam, you must complete 1000 hours of training in cosmetology school. If you’re unlicensed, you won’t be able to get insurance or set up a salon, or work in a salon. The formal training from cosmetology school will also help you immensely.

Financial Aid and Enrolling is Easier Than You Think

If you need to figure out how to pay for cosmetology school, or how to enroll, we can help.

Financial aid options are available, including federal loans and grants. We can help you with that process.

Enrollment is also available throughout the year. We have new classes starting about ten times a year. If you have questions, you can speak to our Admissions department, and they can help you through the process.

Pick a Good School Where You Learn Real World Skills

Choosing a cosmetology school can be a big decision, especially if you have lots of options. There are some questions you can ask to make sure you’re making the best decision.

What is the curriculum? Who are the instructors and what is their experience? What is the job placement rate of the cosmetology school in question? How much training will you receive during the program? What do past students think about the training? How much does the training cost relative to other beauty schools in your area?

By getting answers to all these questions, you can make informed decision about which cosmetology school is best for your needs.

Start Your Cosmetology Career with Professional Training

Does the idea of working with hairstyles, nails, and beauty energize you? If you want to pursue a career in cosmetology, you can earn your cosmetology certification at Paul Mitchell the School at Campus, formerly known as MTI College, in about 30 weeks. Our students receive world-class training from professional cosmetologists with vast years of experience in the industry. We will help you learn the skills you need to start a successful cosmetology career and build your clientele.

To take the first step towards a cosmetology career, contact our Admissions department for more information.

[1] Note: The data provided above are from a source unaffiliated with Campus, formerly known as MTI College, are for informational purposes only and represent the employment field as a whole. They are not solely specific to Campus graduates and, by providing the above information, Campus makes no representation, direct or implied, or opinion regarding employability.