You wouldn’t entrust your silken mane of gorgeous locks to just anybody. No siree! Your treasured tresses are your crowning glory and the only paws that will touch those fabulous follicles are the highly skilled hands belonging to a full-fledged, state-licensed cosmetologist.
Yes, thanks to state licensing and exam requirements, beauty salon customers need not worry about coiffure catastrophes brought on by an amateur’s slip-of-the-scissors or their erroneously mixed hues. After all, when someone is working on your hair, the last thing you want to hear is the word, “oops.”
So, how does one go about getting one’s Cosmetology License in the first place and what type of training is involved? While each state has its own licensing requirements, there are several common protocols that must be followed.
The first thing you need to do to qualify for state licensing is receive the required training. Yes, it’s time to transform those oops-prone paws into top-notch tools of the trade by seeking out a reputable cosmetology school.
The number of requisite training hours will depend on which state you are in. For instance, according to “Cosmetology License Requirements by State“, New York state requires only 1000 hours of approved course study, California asks for 1600 hours, while Nebraska demands a whopping 2100. Wow! It appears Omaha may be the best destination for hair extraordinaire.
Each state administers “state board examinations”–usually with both written and practical components–that you will need to pass before they will issue a license.
Once you complete your cosmetology school program, you will want to sign up online for your exams and remit the fees. The earlier you sign up, the better your chances will be to write at a convenient location and, most importantly, the sooner you will be able to become a licensed professional.
Once you have written your exams, you will need to sit tight for a few weeks and wait to receive your license–the ticket to your future–in the mail. If you fail to pass the first time, do not lose hope. You can write again.
In order to perform your best on exam day, you will need to ensure that you attend your classes, take thorough notes, and practise everything you learn as often as possible. If there’s a practise exam available, take it over and over again. And, remember, as “How to Get a Texas Cosmetology License” states, “you will need to learn more than just enough to pass the test for your cosmetology license” as each piece of knowledge you receive will prove useful in your future career. And spare your clientele from being subject to an unfortunate “oops.”
As a licensed cosmetologist, you may wish to go on and teach your mitts some new tricks. In fact, you can seek multiple specializations and licenses to increase your marketability–and, of course, potential income.
Specializing will require further training–sometimes as much as 600 hours. Some possible specialties include hair braiding, permanent makeup, massage therapy, nail technician, and salon management.
Do you aspire to be a coast-hopping stylist to the stars? Thankfully, you can hold multiple licenses simultaneously, enabling you to glam-up Hollywood starlets and Manhattan socialites whenever you please. Simply meet the licensing requirements for each state, pass their exams, and “voila”–you’re good to go.
Some states also offer “cosmetology license reciprocity.” For instance, if you live in Teaneck, NJ and you want to work in Greenwich Village, you will need to see if New York state will allow you to work there with a New Jersey license.
If you dream of making the world a more beautiful place–one head at a time–you’re on the right track. By securing your cosmetology license, you can transform mangy manes into dynamite dos and bring a touch of style into your clients’ lives.
Not sure if this is the right career choice? Perhaps, “How Do You Choose a Career That’s Right for You” will help with your decision.
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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