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If beauty is your number one priority and you want to share it with others, a career as a cosmetologist might be an attractive option. Another beautiful angle: the decline in the economy has produced a boom for cosmetologists, as many people trade their week in Tahiti for a day of pampering at the spa. 

Consequently, cosmetologists are quite the hot item these days. The 2003 Cosmetology Job Demand Survey administered by the National Accredited Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) concurs. 

A cosmetologist can be a bit of a multi-tasker, providing an array of services and perhaps specializing in one or two of those menu options. If you like to stay on your feet (literally) and buzz between tasks to keep some variety in your work day, all while helping clients look and feel confident and comfortable in their skin, cosmetology is an ideal career consideration. 

So You Want to Be A Cosmetologist?
Aspiring cosmetologists must work hard before they can apply makeup like a Hollywood star. Students in cosmetology can expect a challenging program; most schools require fulfillment of a number of academic courses and even the study of technical subjects like biology, chemistry, nutrition, and herbology. Another essential cosmetology learning objective is sales and marketing, whether cosmetologists-to-be choose to run their own salon or work for a company.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the cosmetologist's education is the on-the-floor training and hours of practical experience necessary for licensing. Based on the specialization you choose, you may need to complete anywhere from 300 to 1,600 hours of training after graduation. It may sound daunting, but these hours are priceless in terms of helping you gain real-time experience and build your client base. 

All states mandate a license to practice cosmetology, with shampooers/makeup artists as the only exceptions to this rule. There are some standard pre-requisites too; cosmetology school applicants must be at least 16 years old and possess a high school diploma (or GED). To get that all-important piece of paper that certifies you are a licensed cosmetologist, you must graduate from an accredited program, so be sure to choose your school carefully.   

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a slightly faster than average growth rate for cosmetologists, with a favorable projection for opportunities in entry level positions. Prospective cosmetologists must be prepared for evening and weekend work, the hours of greatest activity in most salons. The most recent data from the BLS indicates that cosmetologists make about $7.47/per hour on the low end and $20.41/per hour on the high end (annual wages fall between $15,530 and $42,460).  

It's a beautiful day to become a cosmetologist. Don't wait to find the accredited program that complements your best features.

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