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Beautician License

If beauty, style, fashion, and looking your best inspire you, obtaining a beautician license may be the best fit for your career path. Whether you enjoy makeup application, giving pedicures, hair styling, or aesthetics, all of which are aspects of a career as a beautician, your own philosophy and understanding of beauty must shine through your work, giving it a personal touch. This understanding will develop over time and with experience in the field, however, before you can practice as a beautician, you must have a beautician license.

Currently, beauticians (or cosmetologists) are in high demand, as per a 2003 Cosmetology Job Demand Survey administered by the National Accredited Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). As the economy has suffered in the past few years, many people are foregoing expensive vacations and instead are splurging on beauty treatments. Every state requires cosmetologists or other personal appearance workers to be licensed (the only exceptions to this rule are shampooers or makeup artists).

While qualifications vary by state, there are a few standard requirements: beautician license applicants must be at least 16 years old, possess a high school diploma (or GED), and have graduated from an accredited cosmetology school.  Upon successful graduation, applicants must complete the licensing exam set forth by their state. Exams are typically written but may also include an oral exam or a hands-on test demonstrating their styling skills. Be aware that if you are seeking a career as a manicurist, pedicurist, or skin care specialist, a separate licensing exam is called for by most states.

It is crucial for beauticians/cosmetologists to possess great interpersonal skills in addition to their style savvy. Many salons depend on revenues due to client retention (and new client recruitment) and retail sales, so a bit of salesperson savvy and general “people proficiency” are attractive skill-sets for these workers. If you wish to operate your own spa or salon in the future, taking a few courses in business would certainly enhance the learning experience.

The Perks of Obtaining a Beautician License

According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, beauticians/cosmetologists receive about $7.47/per hour on the low end and $20.41/per hour on the high end (translating to annual wages between $15,530 and $42,460). Salaries for manicurists and pedicurists are comparable, with shampooers making slightly less.
 The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a slightly faster than average growth rate for those seeking a beautician license.

If you’re seeking job opportunities at high-end establishments, expect intense competition, but there is a favorable projection for opportunities in entry-level positions.
 Those with a beautician license can expect to put in a full 40-hour work week, if not more during busy seasons. Be prepared for evening and weekend work, which are the times of greatest activity in most salons. If helping the bride to look absolutely radiant on her wedding day or giving someone a fresh new hairstyle and makeover truly inspires you, seek to obtain your beautician license.

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