Cosmetologists practice hair-care skills (including washing, cutting, coloring, perming, and applying various conditioning treatments), esthetics (performing skin care treatments), and nail care (grooming of hands and feet). Barbers are not cosmetologists; they undergo separate training and licensing procedures. There are approximately 683,800 cosmetologists, hairdressers, and hair stylists employed in the United States. Cosmetologists are also known as beauticians and hair stylists.
Minimum Education Level
Cosmetologists can make a decent living in the beauty/hair care industry, but as in most careers, they don't receive very high pay when starting out. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that cosmetologists working full time had an annual median income of $24,730 (excluding tips) in May 2018. The top 10 percent earned $50,110 or more and the lowest 10 percent earned less than $17,980 in that sa...
Those employed in the cosmetology industry usually work a five- or six-day week, which averages approximately 40–50 hours. Weekends and days preceding holidays may be especially busy. Cosmetologists are on their feet a lot and usually work in a small space. Strict sanitation codes must be observed in all shops and salons, and they are comfortably heated, ventilated, and well lighted.
The future looks good for cosmetology. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is expected to increase 8 percent from 2018 to 2028, or faster than the average for all careers. The growing U.S. population and changes in hair fashion (including rising demand for hair coloring, hair straightening, and other advanced hair treatments) ...