Beautician: Job Duties, Career Outlook, and Educational Requirements

Research what it takes to become a beautician. Learn about job duties, training requirements, salary, and job outlook to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Beautician?

Beauticians are responsible for enhancing their customers' appearances by offering a variety of services. They may be tasked with styling hair as well as providing other services such as manicures, pedicures and hair removal. When working with clients they often inspect a person's skin, hair and scalp condition. If they find anything that needs to be addressed they will make recommendations for treatment. The table below highlights the general requirements for becoming a beautician.

Degree Required High school diploma or equivalent
Training Required Every state requires completion of a program at a state-licensed school
Licensure/Certification All states require licensing
Key Responsibilities Cuts and styles hair; provides a wide range of services; may provide other services such as manicures, pedicures, and facials
Job Growth (2014-2024)*10% for barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists
Median Salary (2015)*$23,660 for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Job Duties Might I Have as a Beautician?

Beauticians are responsible for enhancing their customers' appearances by offering their clientele a variety of services. After consulting with your clients and analyzing their beauty needs, you will provide appropriate treatments.

You might style hair by cutting and tapering, blow drying and suggesting flattering styles that best match the facial features of your customers. You could suggest the use of cosmetics and skin care products, depending on such factors as whether a client has dry or oily skin. You can also provide other services as needed, such as massages, hair removal, manicures and pedicures. In addition to being well-groomed yourself, you'll need to follow current hairstyles and fashion trends, and you should possess creative and artistic abilities so you can continually provide your clientele with cutting-edge styles.

What Educational Requirements Must I Complete?

If you intend to become a beautician, you should plan to attend a school of cosmetology that has been licensed by your state. Other cosmetology programs may be available through community colleges or vocational schools. Such programs may award certificates or diplomas, and many can be completed in about nine months. Associate's degree programs or cosmetology apprenticeships are other options. Cosmetology programs offer classes in topics such as product knowledge, hair design, computer principles, sanitation techniques, nail care and chemical processes.

Upon completion of your training, you must acquire a state license to practice as a beautician. This is a requirement of all personal appearance workers in every state, but you may find that not all states have the same requirements for licensing. Typically, you should have a high school diploma, and you must be at least 16 years of age. Licensing also requires a diploma, certificate of completion or degree from a state-approved cosmetology program. If you qualify, you can then take a licensing examination that includes oral, written and practical sections. A passing score means that you officially become a licensed professional.

What Is the Career Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected job growth of about 10% in the hairstylist and cosmetology industry between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov).

The industry in general could be spurred by the increasing popularity of hair care services and skin relaxation treatments, as well as the growing number of full-service salons and day spas. The BLS reported that, as of May 2015, hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists earned an average annual salary of $28,770.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Those interested in a career as a beautician may also be interested in other related careers including manicurist, pedicurist or skin care specialist. While beauticians may be trained to providing manicures and pedicures, manicurist and pedicurist specialize in them and helping clients maintain the health of their finger nails and toe nails. Skin care specialists provide a variety skin treatments to help enhance a client's beauty.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates
    • High School Diploma

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Schoolcraft College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Livonia
  • Ohio State Beauty Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • Ohio: Lima
  • Oakland Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Bloomfield Hills
  • Northeast Alabama Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Alabama: Rainsville
  • Mott Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Flint
  • Delta College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: University Center
  • State College of Beauty Culture Inc

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Wausau
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford