Top 10 reasons to pursue a career in cosmetology

Everyone wants a job that is fun, emotionally fulfilling, and offers financial stability. Which is why so many people contemplate a career in the field of cosmetology!

There are countless reasons why you should consider becoming a cosmetologist. Not only is it a stable career choice, but it’s also extremely rewarding and it’s a great creative outlet for the artist-at-heart!

Though the reasons are endless, let’s go over some of the most beneficial aspects of being in the beauty industry and why you should become a cosmetologist!

#1: Cosmetologists are in high demand

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Cosmetology, as a whole, is a job that is in high demand. It’s been steadily growing in popularity ever since the early 2000s, and there’s more jobs to fill than there are people to fill them.

According to Chron.com, this is due in part to high turnover rates. Having a high turnover rate basically means a lot of employees are quitting relatively soon after they get hired.

This can be because people want to go into a new career, or perhaps they just realized that cosmetology is more stressful and demanding than they first assumed. Either way, it means there’s always new job openings waiting to be filled.

This is great news for soon-to-be cosmetologists, because it means you won’t be stuck spending countless hours searching for a position right out of beauty school. There’s plenty of jobs available, and you’ll most likely be able to start your new career right away!

#2: The job outlook for cosmetologists is strong

Another great aspect of cosmetology is the strong job outlook. Let’s face it, no one wants to start a career in a dying field. But thankfully, that’s not the case for cosmetologists!

From 2012 to 2022, the cosmetology profession as a whole is projected to grow 13%. To put that into perspective, that’s 2% more than the average job growth outlook for all occupations. Not to mention, this will create more than 77,000 new job openings in the field.

The reason for this significant growth outlook is mostly due to the growing beauty industry. The beauty industry is already a $532 billion industry, and its upward trajectory is predicted to continue for a couple of reasons:

  1. Traditional retailers are offering more beauty products (H&Ms assortment jumped up 94% from 2018 to 2019)!
  2. There’s been a shift in focus to specialize in more clean and sustainable beauty products.
  3. The rise of social media and online shopping has made knowledge of and ability to purchase new makeup brands much easier and accessible.

So, what does that mean for you, the (aspiring) cosmetologist? It means there’s never been a better time to enter into the beauty field! Your career will be steady and safe from fading out as time goes on.

#3: Beauty school is cheaper than college

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You’ve heard it all around you: from your friends on social networking sites to the news headlines. Student debt is a hot topic and a big issue.

As of 2019, there are 44.7 million Americans with student loan debt equaling about $1.56 trillion. It’s no wonder why costs play a key role when people choose between colleges and future careers.

The good news for cosmetologists is that beauty school is significantly cheaper than a standard public 4-year college.

The average cost of an accredited beauty school is between $5,000 and $15,000. If you choose to go to a top-rated school, you might pay up to $20,000.

Compare that to a public, four-year college, and you’re looking at about $25,000 for in-state tuition and $40,900 for out-of-state. Oh, and those numbers are per year, so you can double or quadruple that number to get a total.

The affordable price of cosmetology school also means taking out less student loans, and walking out of college with less debt. And that means you’re set up to start actually earning money and succeed instead of paying down huge loans!

Related Read: Should You do a Cosmetology Apprenticeship Instead of Beauty School?

#4: You can get into the beauty field quickly

Another reason to pursue cosmetology as a career is the minimal time schooling takes. While other standard degrees can take anywhere from two to four years, beauty school can be completed in an average of 12-14 months.

That means the time between you enrolling to the time you’re licensed and ready to start your career is only about a year. In fact, some schools can be completed in as little as 8 months! But you may be wondering why that’s an advantage.

The main reason finishing your schooling faster is an advantage is because you can start building your career sooner. The sooner you build up to a stable career, the sooner you can start earning money, paying off loans, saving to buy a house, etc.

Not to mention, you’ll probably be anxious to put all that business and beauty knowledge to good use as soon as possible!

Almost done with school? Take our free cosmetology practice test to see if you’re ready to pass the exam!

#5: You can make good money

Although cosmetologists’ income varies (a lot), when it’s all said and done, they have the potential to earn a lot of money.

General cosmetologists (like hairdressers) earned an average of $30,490 per year as of 2017; while estheticians and electrologists earned about $32,000 on average.

A lot of how much you make is mainly determined by three key factors:

  • Location: cosmetologists in urban and metropolitan areas tend to make more than those in rural areas.
  • Experience: the more experience you have – especially when you get to the five and ten year mark – the more you can earn and the more opportunities you have to work at upscale salons.
  • Industry: those working in the performing arts industry get paid significantly more than people working in general merchandise stores.

Regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall into, being a cosmetologist can provide a steady and sufficient source of income!

Here’s a great video from Seattle hairstylist Cindy, who shares her tips on how you can earn six figures in the beauty industry:

#6: How much you earn is directly related to your quality of service

Have you ever worked in a job where you had coworkers? If so, you probably know how frustrating it is to be the person doing all the hard work while your less-than-enthusiastic coworker does the bare minimum while getting paid the same amount.

The great news is, with cosmetology, that’s not always the case! How much you make is directly related to the quality of service you provide – and that’s because cosmetologists earn 15-20% of their overall income from tips.

The standard etiquette on tipping for the beauty industry is 20% of the total cost of services rendered. However, experts suggest cutting that number down to 10% if you had a bad experience and upping it to a generous 25-30% if your stylist went above and beyond.

That means there’s basically a built-in rewards system in cosmetology: you do a great job, you earn more money than those who don’t.

#7: You get to use your entrepreneurial talents

An entrepreneur, or someone who starts their own business, is a well-respected and commonly sought-after title, and for good reason.

Maybe you’re creative, and you don’t like being bound to a regular nine-to-five schedule. Or maybe you don’t like others telling you what to do, and you want to be your own boss.

Regardless of the logic behind it, lots of people strive to become entrepreneurs – and cosmetologists are no exception. In fact, about 43% of cosmetologists are self-employed!

Most self-employed cosmetologists own their own salon. That means they can create their own hours, market themselves how they want to, and have more control over the trajectory of their career path.

Cosmetology goes hand-in-hand with being an entrepreneur, and if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’ll be in a great position to do it!

#8: You benefit from a flexible schedule

Even if you don’t start your own salon right away, most cosmetologists have a lot of control over their schedules.

When you go to find work in a salon, you’ll typically find two options: renting a booth or working on commission. If you want flexibility in your schedule, you can (and should) choose to rent a booth!

When you rent a booth, you’re essentially “leasing” it from the salon, in the same sense that you would rent an office space or an apartment.

You pay a monthly fee and get to keep the rest of your earnings. Among other benefits, you get to be your own boss, which means setting your own schedule!

And of course, if you ever do decide to start your own salon, you’ll still have full control over the days and times that you work. Whatever path your career takes, cosmetology offers flexible schedules as a staple benefit.

#9: There’s a huge range of specialties to choose from

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As you may or may not know, cosmetology is a broad term that covers three general areas: hair, skin, and nails. And within those three categories are countless subsections of specialties.

For example, a cosmetologist commonly focuses his or her work on hair. Now you could be a general cosmetologist, or you could specialize in an area you were especially talented in, like a hair colorist or a men’s stylist.

Estheticians also have a long list of sub-specialties under their belt. These can range from waxing experts to electrologists to medical esthetics! Even nail technicians have their own sub-categories.

Related Read: What’s the difference between a cosmetologist and an esthetician?

The point is that cosmetology is a broad license that allows you to practice a number of different things. It’s also one of the few jobs that allows you to pick a specific aspect that you’re particularly interested in, and pursue it exclusively.

By becoming a master in your own niche, you’ll be able to open the doors to more job opportunities and higher paying clients!

#10: Cosmetology is a never-ending creative outlet

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Last but not least on our list is the creativity involved in the field. Let’s face it, not everyone is cut out to sit in an office all day.

If you find yourself itching to get out of the “average” nine-to-five lifestyle, you might want to look for a job with a creative outlet. And cosmetology fits the bill perfectly!

What other job allows you to paint one person’s hair gorgeous shades of carmel and honey; and then paint someone else’s neon purple all within the same day? And what about those times someone comes in and says, “What do you think will look best?”

And that’s not to mention the artistic freedom you have when doing makeup artistry or painting mini-masterpieces on tiny acrylic nails.

Let’s be honest, 99% of jobs don’t give you that freedom, but cosmetology does. So, if you find yourself looking for a job that you can enjoy – one that gets your creative juices flowing – then look no further.

Bonus reasons!

There’s just so many great reasons to become a cosmetologist, that we couldn’t just stop at 10. Here are two bonus reasons why you should pursue a career in cosmetology!

#11: You can use your skills to help people

Being a cosmetologist gives you plenty of opportunities to help people! It’s a very emotionally satisfying job.

Not only do you boost people’s confidence when you style their hair, make up their face, or polish their nails; but you can take your abilities to the next level and go above and beyond the call of duty.

Take for example this esthetician. She volunteers regularly at women’s shelters to give facials to women who were domestically abused. She helps restore their confidence not only in the way they look, but also in the idea that a touch can come from a caring, loving place.

She’s not the only one who has taken her skills into her community – there’s been plenty of others. Cosmetology gives you the opportunity to reach out and volunteer in a unique way that other jobs don’t.

#12: Get involved in people’s most important life events

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As a cosmetologist or a beautician, you also have the unique opportunity to be an integral part of some people’s most major life events.

Take the obvious one for example: a wedding. It’s a woman’s “big day,” she’s nervous, and she wants everything to go flawlessly.

Enter: you, the cosmetologist or makeup artist who will be working for hours to style her hair and make sure her cheeks are the perfect shade of soft, shimmering rose. You’ll be boosting her confidence and calming her nerves up until the minute she leaves your salon and heads to the venue.

You have an extremely important job, because not only will it matter on that day, but every time she sees her wedding photos in the years to come. And when she sees her hair and makeup done for the first time and gets teary-eyed, you’ll know your mission was a success.

Being involved in major life events is a wildly rewarding experience, and one that cosmetology can offer quite frequently, depending on your specialty.