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How to Become a Cosmetologist

how to become a cosmetologistIf you love bringing out the best in someone’s unique look – and enjoy working with people – you may want to consider a field in cosmetology.

Once you understand how to become a cosmetologist, you’ll know if this is the right career path for you and what will be required in order to pursue it.

What Is a Cosmetologist?

Once you become a licensed cosmetologist, you could fill any of a number of different roles. This title covers a broad field, as cosmetologists are considered anyone who studies and applies beauty treatments to their clients.

The different branches of this job include:

  • Cosmetics
  • Manicures/Pedicures
  • Skincare
  • Styling hair
  • Waxing

There are also countless specialties, as well. For example, you could take your expertise with cosmetics and work with individual clients or on behalf of a cosmetics company as a sales rep. You could also work as a makeup artist at your local theatre or for a movie production company. The list goes on and on.

Cosmetologist Job Description

As such, there’s no one cosmetologist job description that fits everyone. The most accurate summation of your job as a cosmetologist will be helping people to look their absolute best.

However, if you already have an idea of the specific branch of cosmetology that you hope to enter (e.g. skincare, nail care, spa treatments, etc.), it might be worth doing a little research to see what kind of cosmetologist job description is offered by employers in these fields.

While every company will have their specific requirements, you should find enough overlap to give you a good idea of what you’ll be required to do on a regular basis.

Cosmetologist Education Requirements

Speaking of which, let’s talk about what’s required of you to actually become a cosmetologist first.

Before you can actually work professionally as a cosmetologist, you’ll need to be formally certified by the state in which you hope to practice. Cosmetology training in Colorado requires 60 credit hours, which is the equivalent of 1800 clock hours.

No matter where you live, you’ll need to take an exam before being approved to work in this industry.

Here in Colorado, you must also graduate from high school or earn your GED before you can begin your training.

Training to Become a Cosmetologist

Even if you already know what field you plan to work in after completing your coursework, you will most likely receive training in every area that falls under the cosmetologist job description.

Some of the most important aspects of your training will include:

  • Hands-on Experience: While it’s important that you learn the theory behind different practices, it is absolutely vital that you actually apply them to see how they work. Your cosmetology school will have its own salon where you can work with actual clients.
  • Guidance from Industry Veterans: Likewise, there’s only so much you can learn from books and videos. You will also receive training from people with years of experience working as cosmetologists.
  • Training in Interpersonal Skills: Without the right interpersonal skills, your success as a cosmetologist will always be limited. A big part of what you do will require communication with clients, which is why these are skills you will cover in cosmetology school.

You will find all of these essential aspects covered in the Cosmetologist Certificate course offered at IntelliTec Colleges.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Cosmetologist?

There are also laws regarding how long it takes to become a cosmetologist. A good school program will meet the state-mandated requirements, ensuring that you receive sufficient training in every area covered by the cosmetology licensing exams.

In Colorado, the hundreds of hours of training you must receive covers:

  • Laws, Rules & Regulations
  • Management, Ethics, Interpersonal Skills & Sales
  • Disinfection & Sanitation
  • Shampooing Rinsing & Conditioning
  • Haircutting
  • Hairstyling
  • Chemical Texture services
  • Hair Coloring
  • Facial & Skin Care
  • Facial Makeup
  • Hair Removal
  • Manicure and Pedicures
  • Application of Artificial Nails

Taking Your Cosmetology Exam

In Colorado, the exam you must pass to become a cosmetologist has written and practical portions.

The former is self-explanatory: you will need to sit down and answer multiple-choice questions covering everything you’ve learned over the preceding 15 months.

For the practical portion of your exam, you will be required to actually show what you’ve learned. A common practice is to cut and style the hair of a mannequin and to work on the nails of a mannequin hand to prove you understand how to apply all that you’ve learned.

After you earn your license, you’ll need to renew it on an ongoing basis, as well. This is usually required every two years but doesn’t require much more than paying a nominal fee.

Keep in mind that if you move to another state, you will be required to seek licensure there even if you earned it elsewhere first. This generally doesn’t involve going through another exam, though, simply proving you have your license and paying a small fee to transfer it to the new state.

Finding Your Specialty

As we touched on early, the job description for cosmetologists is a broad one. You will most likely want to find your specialty at some point, as this will involve spending your days doing the tasks you love most. Specializing generally means making more money, too, depending on the area on which you focus.

Obviously, this can add years to your plans, though. For example, if you’d eventually like to work as a theatre makeup artist, you’ll need to first get some experience under your belt while you also making connections with people who are already in that field (if you don’t have them already).

Do You Want to Become a Cosmetologist?

Now that you understand how to become a cosmetologist, you should have a much better idea of whether or not this profession is for you.

If you’re convinced that this is your calling, we can help. At IntelliTec Colleges, we have locations in Grand Junction and Pueblo, Colorado where you can train to become certified cosmetologists under the guidance of experienced specialists.

Contact us today and we’ll send you all the information you need to take the next step.

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