What Are Popular Careers in the Beauty Industry?

Manicurist, pedicurist, hair stylist and barber are among the popular jobs in the beauty industry. Learn about education, training and licensure requirements for careers in this industry. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Essential Information

Professionals who offer beauty treatments to skin, nails and hair are called cosmetologists. Specific jobs in the cosmetology industry include nail technician, hair stylist and aesthetician. Cosmetologists can work in beauty salons, hotels, spas and resorts, cruise ships and even medical practices such as outpatient care centers. Vocational schools, community colleges and other educational institutions offer popular training programs to get you started in this field.

Important Facts about this Occupation

Manicurists and PedicuristsHairdressersAestheticians/Skincare Specialists
Median Pay (2014) $19,620$23,120$29,050
Job Outlook (2012-2022)16% growth in employment (faster than average)13% growth (average)40% growth (much faster than average)
Key SkillsBusiness savvy, creativity, customer service skills, good at working with handsCreativity, customer service skills, listening skills, physical stamina, time management skillsBusiness savvy, customer service skills, initiative, physical stamina, time management
Work EnvironmentJob involves a lot of sitting and handling chemicals; May work weekends and eveningsJob requires a lot of standing and handling of chemicals; May work weekends and eveningsJob requires a lot of standing and handling of chemicals; May work long hours, evenings and weekends

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nail Technicians

Manicurists are nail technicians who care for the hands and fingernails, while pedicurists are nail technicians who care for the feet and toenails. Manicurists shape and polish nails, and they apply artificial fingernails. Pedicurists soften the skin, sand down calluses and shape and paint the toenails. Completion of a state-approved cosmetology or nail technician program is required to work in this field. Nail technicians must also obtain a license; specific requirements for this license vary across states.

Hair Stylists and Barbers

Hair stylists and barbers shampoo, color, cut and style hair. Barbers, who usually focus on men's hair care, also trim and shave beards and mustaches. Hair stylists and barbers can complete certificate or diploma programs, which usually take about nine months. These workers are also required to be licensed by the state in which they work.


Aestheticians are skincare specialists who provide skincare advice, makeup applications and hair removal services. They may offer advice on makeup choices and techniques. Medical aestheticians work in medical practices and hospitals and help burn victims, people undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and other patients with skin or appearance issues connected to medical problems or treatments.

To work as an aesthetician, one must complete a certificate or diploma program and some on-the-job training. Licensure is required to work in this field.

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

  • Cortiva Institute

    Cortiva Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Cortiva Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Maitland, Pinellas Park
  • 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

  • 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
  • State College of Beauty Culture Inc

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Wausau
  • Delta College

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: University Center