Even though cosmetology can be considered an artistic career, it’s also considered a skilled trade because it requires specific training and licensing.
Cosmetology is a career that allows for artistic expression. From perfectly coiffed hair to dramatic eyeliner wings, cosmetologists help people look their best by being creative, understanding the science behind the techniques, and keeping up with trends. But cosmetology is also a trade skill that requires state-specific licensing.
Trade school (also known as vocational school) is a form of secondary education (school after high school) that prepares students for specific professions. This training is a requirement prior to obtaining a cosmetology license. In general, trade school programs, like cosmetology programs, take less time to complete than traditional four-year college programs. For example, Delta Technical College (Delta Tech) offers a 13-month and 16-month* Cosmetology Program with daytime and evening classes at their Horn Lake and Ridgeland campuses in Mississippi.
What Is Cosmetology? What Does Cosmetology Entail?
Cosmetology is the professional care and beautification of hair, skin, and nails. But it’s much more complex than just three things.As a skilled trade, cosmetology entails:
- Hair styling: Cosmetologists cut, color, and treat hair. To do so, cosmetologists must understand or know what hair styles work for different face shapes and which products to use with various hair types and textures.
- Skin and nail treatments: Cosmetology services include basic and advanced facials, including deep cleaning services. Manicures, pedicures, and advanced nail services, like creating trendy nail shapes, fall into the cosmetology profession as well.
- Field-related science: Cosmetologists need to understand what chemicals are used in hair dye and bleach and what ingredients are in nail polishes and makeup. This knowledge helps them understand the science behind the products they’ll use regularly.
- Government regulations: To be licensed, cosmetologists must learn state regulations and rules related to cosmetology as they prepare for the licensing exam. Trade school programs will provide the proper instruction to help students pass their licensing exam.
- Salon management: Cosmetologists who hope to manage or own a salon one day should plan to learn salon management plus employee and customer relation techniques.
Who Might Enjoy a Cosmetology Career?
Cosmetology careers appeal to many individuals, especially those passionate about people and fashion.
- If you’re interested in beauty: Cosmetology may be a good career for you. You will likely enjoy styling hair and applying makeup in ways that make your clients look their best.
- If you’re a people person: Cosmetology could be a fit for you. In most cosmetology professions, you’ll have the opportunity to interact with many new people on a regular basis.
- If you’re a creative type: Cosmetology may be the right career for you. Cosmetologists often enjoy the opportunity to express their artistry through dye processes and makeup applications.
- If you like working with your hands: Cosmetology may fit the bill. Cosmetology is a trade skill that requires lots of hands-on work.
How Much Can a Cosmetologist Make?
Income for cosmetologists varies from region to region and salon to salon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for hairdressers, hair stylists, and cosmetologists was $11.95/hour  in May 2017.Cosmetologists also have the opportunity to earn tips by providing exceptional service and commissions by selling additional products and services to their clients.
Additional Benefits of a Cosmetology Career
Cosmetology is not just a trade, it’s a passion. It’s not just about hair, makeup, and nails, it’s about making people look their best.Here are some additional benefits of a cosmetology career:
- You can develop long-lasting relationships. Most cosmetologists interact regularly with a long list of individuals including peers, supervisors and clients.
- You’ll always be learning your trade. Keeping current with trends and capabilities is important for cosmetologists. Ongoing training is key to the success in this career that applies both art and science.
- It can be a flexible lifestyle. If you don’t want a traditional 9-5 or a Monday-Friday job, cosmetology can be an ideal alternative. Many salons offer flexible days and hours. And it’s often a possibility to work part-time as well.
- You’ll learn entrepreneur skills. When you learn salon management skills, you’ll be learning how to be an entrepreneur. Many cosmetologists use these skills to build their own client rosters and open their own salons.
- Cosmetology requires less schooling than a four-year degree. In fact, you can complete the Delta Tech Cosmetology Program in just 13 or 16 months.*
The Cosmetology Program at Delta Technical College provides entry-level hair, nail, and skin care skills with an emphasis on hygiene, sanitation, customer relations, and salon management. With theory and skills classes, the Delta Tech Cosmetology Program prepares you to take the Mississippi cosmetology licensing exam while training you on:
- Basic hair cutting, hair styling, hair coloring
- Basic and specialized facials, masks
- Manicuring, pedicuring, advanced nail services
- Industry sanitation and disinfection practices
The trade of cosmetology can be rewarding and fun. To find out more about the Delta Tech Cosmetology Program, contact the Admissions Team today.