What Are Some Entry-Level Cosmetology Jobs?

Cosmetology professionals help others with their personal appearance by working with make-up or hair styles. Read on to learn about some entry-level jobs in this field for those who have completed a cosmetology program. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Possible Entry-Level Cosmetology Jobs

For those who have been through cosmetology school but are not sure where to begin a career, several professional opportunities await. Below are a few descriptions of entry-level jobs including shampooer, makeup artist, hairstylist, nail technician, skin care specialist, and beyond.

Important Facts About Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists

Median Salary (2014) $23,120
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 10% growth
Entry-level Education Postsecondary non-degree certificate
Licensure Required in all 50 states
Work Environment Salons, spas, resorts

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


As a shampooer, you would assist the hairstylists by shampooing clients' hair before they get a haircut or style. Once clients are ready, you would escort them to a sink and ensure they're comfortable before you begin shampooing and rinsing. You need to pick the right shampoo and conditioner products that match your customers' preferences and hair type. When you've finished, you use a towel to dry off the customer's hair. This is an entry-level position that generally does not have any educational requirements.

Makeup Artist

As a makeup artist, you apply makeup to the faces of your clients. You first discuss what colors or cosmetic products best suit the customer. You may find entry-level vocational openings at many malls or retail stores. The entertainment industry also uses makeup artists to apply makeup to actors in movies, television shows and theater productions. These positions may not be entry-level, requiring additional education in specialized makeup applications.


After listening to the preferences of your clients, as a hairstylist, you then cut and style their hair. You might make recommendations to your customers based on the shape of their face and head along with the condition of their hair. Other hair care duties may include hair coloring, perming, beard trimming and scalp treatments. If you exclusively work with male clients, you're known as a barber.

Nail Technician

You might specialize in working with hands as a manicurist or feet as a pedicurist. Alternatively, you might work with both hands and feet as a nail technician. In this job, you clip and file nails as requested by the client. You might also massage and apply lotions to hands and feet. You have to be familiar with nail polishes and lacquers. Doing nail extensions may require additional education.

Skin Care Specialist

Skin care specialists focus on giving massages, waxing treatments and facials. You must be knowledgeable about several beauty techniques, like using wax strips, lotions, oils and facial masks. With additional training, you might use laser treatments to remove hair.

Considering Going Beyond Entry Level? Be an Educator!

After you've gained some experience in one of the above positions, you might choose to advance to a role as a cosmetology educator. This job requires additional education to develop your teaching skills. As a cosmetology educator, you can work at a community college or a technical or cosmetology school. You will prepare future cosmetologists by hosting classes covering different cosmetology specializations, like hair care, skin care and makeup artistry. In some cases, you might just work for a cosmetology company or business and seek to educate your clients on the services or products offered by your 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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