How Do I Become a Beauty School Instructor?

Explore the career requirements for a beauty school instructor. Get the facts about job duties, education requirements, licensure, salary, and job 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

Beauty school instructors teach specific subjects of cosmetology to prepare their students for beauty industry jobs. The table below provides a general outline of the job requirements for this field.

Education Required | high school diploma or equivalent

Training Required | cosmetology diploma, degree, certificate program

Education Field of Study | chemical handling, hair coloring, business skills, makeup skills

Key Responsibilities | teach a subject in cosmetology, create lesson plans, manage classrooms, evaluate student skills

Licensure Required | licensure is required for most states and employers

Job Growth (2012-22) | 13% for all barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists*

Average Salary (2014) | $27,940 for all hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists*

Source: *U.S. Labor Board of Statistics

What Will I Do as a Beauty School Instructor?

Once you're a beauty school instructor, your primary responsibility will be to teach students the trade you've mastered. You'll likely teach a certain aspect in the cosmetology field, such as nail, hair or skin care, since you'll already be licensed in that area. Along with basic skills, you'll provide students with an understanding of sanitation, safety, products, common diseases of the nails, skin or hair, treatments and human resource skills. You will come up with lesson plans, manage classroom situations and assess students on their skills. Your main goal should be to prepare students to go on and obtain their own certifications and jobs in the beauty industry.

What Training Do I Need?

Once you've completed high school or earned your GED, you can pursue a degree, diploma or certificate program in cosmetology. While enrolled in such a program, you can gain hands-on experience in mock classroom settings and eventually, with real customers. You'll likely learn a cosmetology specialty that interests you. Other common course topics you might study include chemicals handling, hair coloring, business skills, makeup application, salon business skills and eyebrow shaping. Upon completion of an accredited cosmetology program, you can seek licensure as a cosmetologist. Each state has its own licensing requirements for cosmetologists, but most will require you to complete an examination with both a written and a practical component.

How Much Experience Do I Need?

You might need two to five years of professional experience before you can seek a position as a cosmetology instructor. Because beauty school instructors are needed for all cosmetology specializations, it can benefit you to learn new specializations during this time. Working as a cosmetologist, hairdresser or manicurist also provides you with training in current trends, experience working with difficult customers, and other on-the-job training you may not receive in classes.

How Do I Advance My Education?

After you've become a licensed cosmetologist and gained professional experience, you can seek a degree or certificate as an instructor. Such programs are typically offered through community colleges and vocational schools. Specialized coursework may include thorough coverage of your state's laws, rules and regulations regarding cosmetology. You might also study bacteriology and hygiene in depth. Lesson planning, teaching techniques, testing and cosmetology lab management are covered as well. You'll likely complete an instructor practicum during this program.

You're more likely to get health and other benefits working for a public high school or community college, and these institutions often require 4-year degrees. An associate's or bachelor's degree in education, while not necessary, may open the door to more beauty school instructor and other teaching opportunities.

How Do I Get Licensed as an Instructor?

Find out if your state requires licensure to teach in a beauty school. Beauty School Directory provides links and information on each state's licensing requirements and state boards ( To get this license, you must be an experienced beautician. Check with your state before enrolling in a program. The U.S. Labor Board of Statistics reported that the job outlook for 2012-2022 was 13% for all barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists. In May 2014, the average salary for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $27,940.

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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