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.

What Is a Beauty School Instructor?

Beauty school instructors teach specific subjects of cosmetology to prepare their students for beauty industry jobs. This job requires you to not only perform basic cosmetology services, such as cleaning, cutting and stylizing hair, but also to impart these skills to students. You need to be able to instruct students on how to inspect hair and scalp conditions, how to choose cosmetology products for clients, and how to select the right styling technique for different hair types. You also need to emphasize the importance of keeping tools clean and disinfected. The table below provides a general outline of the job requirements for this field.

Education Required Cosmetology program and cosmetology instructor program
Training Required On-the-job cosmetology experience is common
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
Projected Job Growth (2014-24) 10% (for all barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists)*
Median Salary (2015) $23,660 (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. 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 2014-2024 was 10% for all barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists. In May 2015, the median salary for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $23,660.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Careers related to beauty school instructors and beauticians include those of manicurists, pedicurists and skincare specialists. All of these careers have a similar goal of enhancing a person's appearance, but focus on different aspects. While beauticians focus on a person's hair, manicurists and pedicurists specialize in finger and toenail treatments. Skincare specialists help clients with skin care issues. Licensure and vocational training are the key requirements for entry to these career fields.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Empire Beauty School

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

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • High School Diploma

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Owings Mills
  • Fortis College

    Fortis College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Fortis College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Pensacola
  • 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

  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

    View All Locations
    • Arizona: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson
    • Colorado: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster
    • Connecticut: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport
    • Florida: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach
    • Illinois: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet
    • Maryland: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum
    • Nevada: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum, Las Vegas
    • Pennsylvania: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum, Las Vegas, King of Prussia
    • Texas: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum, Las Vegas, King of Prussia, Arlington, Richardson
    • Utah: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum, Las Vegas, King of Prussia, Arlington, Richardson, Orem, Salt Lake City
    • Washington: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Aurora, Westminster, Newington, Westport, Maitland, Pinellas Park, Pompano Beach, Joliet, Linthicum, Las Vegas, King of Prussia, Arlington, Richardson, Orem, Salt Lake City, Federal Way, Seattle
  • Woodward Beauty College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Woodward
  • Western Technology Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Burns Flat
  • West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Kalamazoo
  • Weatherford College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Weatherford
  • American Career College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Berwyn
  • Waynesville Career Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Waynesville