Cosmetology & Beauty Colleges

At Cosmetology & Beauty school you’ll learn how to improve personal appearances through hairstyling, skincare treatments, makeup application and more. Most of your school courses will be held in labs that resemble salons or spas or at on campus training salons to give you the hands-on experience you need to succeed.

Most students in Cosmetology & Beauty school enroll in certificate programs lasting 9 months or less depending upon the specialty you choose. A few students choose to earn an associates degree or bachelors degree. Programs are available at technical schools, career colleges, online schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges or universities.

If you love art, fashion and design or obsess over the latest hair and makeup looks worn by celebrities, Cosmetology & Beauty school may be for you. You should also have a desire to make people look and feel beautiful. Good people skills and sales skills can also be valuable since you’ll need to build up and maintain clients.

Within Cosmetology & Beauty, you can pursue a variety of more specific majors including Barbering/Barber, Hair Styling & Hair, Cosmetology, Barber/Styling, and Nail Instructor, Electrolysis/Electrology and Electrolysis Technician, Esthetician & Skin Care Colleges, Facial Treatment Specialist/Facialist Colleges, Laser Therapy Technician, Make-Up Artist/Specialist, Manicurist/Nail Specialist, Permanent Cosmetics/Makeup and Tattooing and Salon/Beauty Salon Management/Manager.

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Choosing a Cosmetology & Beauty School

You can find technical schools, career colleges, community colleges, online schools, 4-year colleges and universities nationwide offering Cosmetology & Beauty programs. Choose your college or university according to the specialty you wish to work in from hairstyling to skincare. Instructors and labs are also important—both should be up to date. Schools with on-campus salons will give you more opportunities for hands-on experience. Also, be sure to check that the prospective schools will qualify you for a license in the state you plan to practice in.

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Cosmetology & Beauty Degree Programs

Most Cosmetology & Beauty majors pursue degrees through 9-month certificate programs at career colleges or technical schools. With a certificate, you can work as a hairstylist or makeup artist. If you want to give manicures and pedicures, or work as a skincare specialist, your certificate program may take less time, but you may also earn lower wages.

All Cosmetology & Beauty degree programs will include plenty of hands-on coursework in salon style labs and sometimes at on-campus salons. Classes depend on your specialty, but may include makeup application, hair coloring, permanent hair waving, hair cutting, waxing, facial treatments, nail techniques, sales, marketing and salon business practices.

Cosmetology & Beauty Degree Programs:

Online Cosmetology & Beauty Degree Programs at Online Schools

While online school isn’t available for all Cosmetology & Beauty majors due to the necessity of hands-on experience, some online degree programs are available. Salon/Beauty Salon Management majors for example, can benefit from the flexible schedule and flexible work environment of an online school. Other online degree programs require some coursework to be completed in person.

Online Cosmetology & Beauty Schools:

High School Preparation

If you’re interested in Cosmetology & Beauty, fill your high school schedule with art, art history and fashion classes. You’ll benefit from color theory and design principles. Any other fashion or beauty activities can be beneficial. Consider looking for part time receptionist jobs at local salons and spas, or volunteer to do hair and makeup for school or community shows.

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Popular Careers in the Field of Cosmetology & Beauty

The field of Cosmetology & Beauty includes a variety of careers, most of which should have plenty of entry-level jobs. The highest paying jobs are found at high-end salons and those jobs will be competitive. Experience, higher degrees and knowledge of many Cosmetology & Beauty specialties can give you an edge.

The demand for skincare specialists, manicurists and pedicurists will increase as the nail salon and spa industry grows. You can expect wages around $13 for these careers. Barbers, hairstylists and hairdressers generally earn between $8 and $14 per hour with tips included, but careers for barbers continue to loose steam as fewer salons want stylists who focus only on men’s hair.

Most Cosmetology & Beauty degree-holders are self-employed and work flexible schedules, including night and weekend hours. You can find more job opportunities and higher salaries with experience and education in a variety of specialties. Managerial, teaching and image consultant roles offer advancement as well. And entrepreneurial Cosmetology & Beauty degree-holders take their careers to the next level by opening their own salons.

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Read More About Cosmetology & Beauty Colleges

Top 10 Most Popular
Cosmetology & Beauty Colleges


Instituto de Banca y Comercio, San Juan

Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Aveda Institute, Covington

Covington, Louisiana

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Olympian University of Cosmetology

Alamogordo, New Mexico

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Make-up Designory

Burbank, California

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Empire Beauty School, Manhattan

New York, New York

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Texas Barber College and Hairstyling School, Houston

Houston, Texas

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Jean Madeline Aveda Institute Queen Village

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Advance Beauty College

Garden Grove, California

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


Beauty Schools of America, Miami

Miami, Florida

College degrees offered: Certificate Program


The Paul Mitchell School, Bradley

Bourbonnais, Illinois

College degrees offered: Certificate Program

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What is This?

To provide you with the most accurate and helpful facts, our Top 10 Most Popular results are based on a combination of program or major graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education, and the popularity of a school on our web site.