Cosmetology Instructor: Career, Outlook and Education Information

Explore the career requirements for cosmetology instructors. Get the facts about education programs, job skills, licensure and employment outlook to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Cosmetology instructors are licensed beauticians who've received the additional training needed to help students prepare for their own cosmetology careers. Take a look a the following table to get a brief overview of this career's education and employment info:

Education Required Cosmetology instructor certificate program
Key Skills Communication and organizational skills, problem-solving abilities
Licensure State licensure required
Job Growth (2012-2022) 12% (for all postsecondary vocational education teachers)*
Median Salary (2013) $48,300 (for all postsecondary vocational education teachers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are a Cosmetology Instructor's Duties?

Cosmetology instructors are licensed beauty professionals who work in vocational and technical schools instructing students how to perform cosmetology practices. If you're an instructor, you'll typically have extensive knowledge of these practices, such as facials, body waxing, hair removal, skin rejuvenation and nail care. A cosmetology instructor must have these skills in order to lecture about cosmetology and to perform tasks required by entry-level beauty shops and businesses.

What Is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that job opportunities for all postsecondary vocational education teachers would grow 12% between 2012 and 2022 ( Instructors with related work experience and those living in rural areas or regions with higher enrollment rates should face the best employment prospects.

What Are the Educational Requirements?

Cosmetology instructors must possess at least a GED or have a high school diploma. Most cosmetology schools offer a cosmetology instructor training certificate, which typically takes two to four academic semesters to complete. A certificate program may include courses in lesson planning, oral presentations and visual equipment operation, as well as evaluation and testing methods. The primary emphasis in these programs is giving future instructors the tools to teach, since you'll be an experienced and licensed cosmetologist before enrolling in the program.

After completing the certificate program, you must be state licensed to teach. Requirements vary by state, but most include completing a specific number of credit hours in a licensed instructor program and taking an exam. In Michigan for instance, you must complete 500 hours of a licensed school of cosmetology instructor program and complete a registration exam. Additionally, some states require proof of experience in the form of documented work with an employer.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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