Cosmetology Degrees

Salaries For Degrees in Cosmetology

Graduates in Cosmetology can be employed in a variety of jobs.  While no one can say with certainty what you personally will do with a degree in Cosmetology, our survey panel picked the following occupations as likely options:

  • Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
  • Barbers
  • Manicurists and pedicurists
  • Skin care specialists

The median salary for people with online associate cosmetology degrees is $21,875.75.  The lifetime value of this degree is approximately $438,103.00.

The starting salary of a student with a cosmetology degree is roughly $19,800. Those who become managers or open their own salons may earn up to $35,900, and cosmetologists who have received specialized training in skin care can earn a starting salary of $24,010. The pay rate increases with the amount of training and experience obtained. It is not a surprise that the top-paying field in cosmetology is that of the motion picture and video industry. Cosmetologists in this particular profession may earn an average yearly salary of $61,370 with an average hourly rate of $29.50 per hour. Income can also be earned in one or more ways, such as an hourly rate, annual salary, fee-per-service, commission, or tips.

Most cosmetologists are joining this field because they enjoy it and are not in it to make a large amount of money. The field of cosmetology is a diverse one which may be applied in many different places, whether it be a salon or a television or movie set. A variety of opportunities exist, and you will find that the possibilities are virtually endless in what you can do.

Salaries are highly dependent on individual negotiating skill, years of related experience, policies at your employer, area, and a host of other factors.  The estimates we show on these pages are just that: estimates.  Your individual experience will likely vary.

Cosmetologists normally work in well-lit, well-ventilated salons as well as cruise ships, hotels, resorts, and spas. They often work independently, whether they are an employee or an employer, and so may set their own schedule and choose their own clients. However, cosmetologists may sometimes work more than 40 hours a week, including nights and weekends, depending on the needs of their clients. There aren’t many opportunities for job advancement in this field. Also, since cosmetologists are around many chemicals, irritation of the skin and respiratory system may occur.

Where does this come from?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US government, classifies all workers into some 800-odd occupational categories.  We paid a team of freelancers to solicit their opinion on what type of degree a holder of each type of job would likely have majored in.  For pairs which had a high degree of consensus, we created a link between the degree and the job.

From this, we calculated the average salary for Cosmetology degrees and converted it into a lifetime value.  We then compared it against other degrees at the same level of schooling (such as online masters cosmetology degrees), so that you can make informed educational and employment decisions.

Why Study Cosmetology?

While some people may enter into the field of cosmetology without any formal training, pursuing a degree will allow you better opportunities. A degree provides skills that you may use as a foundation to enter into a career as a hair stylist, makeup artist, or a skin and nail specialist. Employment with a cosmetology degree goes beyond a typical salon, and you may apply makeup for theater actors or even movie stars. This degree also teaches basic business skills so that if you choose, you may potentially start up your own salon and run your own business.

Almost every cosmetology degree will provide an overview of basic hair and skin procedures, makeup application, hair care and cutting, and the proper techniques for manicures and pedicures. Some programs may provide training in retail sales and marketing, with still others providing training in business and entrepreneurship. Training in customer service, record keeping, and basic math may also be required depending on the course of study in each individual program. Once you have completed these courses and have obtained your degree, you will be prepared to style hair and nails, apply makeup, and operate a salon. If you would like to teach cosmetology, there is an instructor preparation program which consists of both general and discipline-specific training. Although it is rare, some schools offer online bachelors cosmetology degrees.

Graduates should not have a problem finding employment, as there are salons in every town. A degree is a great starting point to learn the skills needed to apply makeup for movies or in stage theaters, as well as provide exceptional customer service in the hair and nail departments.

Education Options

If you are seeking a cosmetology degree, many community college, trade schools, and adult career centers offer licensed programs to complete this. These degrees normally consist of a two-year Associate’s degree with an opportunity to take your local licensing exam at the completion of the degree.

Full-time cosmetology certification programs generally last about nine months. There are specific requirements in order to complete this particular certificate, so it is necessary to contact your local licensing board for further instructions. Techniques such as hair cutting, highlighting, hairstyling, and coloring are addressed in certificate programs, and the student is also taught about manicures, pedicures, and scalp treatments. Some certificate programs even allow students to specialize in a particular area of cosmetology.

Online Schools Offering Accredited Cosmetology Degree Programs

An online cosmetology degree allows the student to work at your own pace, as well as in your spare time. If you already have a job, a family or other full-time obligations, this may be an ideal choice. It is important to research any potential program, however, and make note of the accreditation of the school and whether or not it is acceptable for your location. Some online cosmetology certification courses are held completely in a virtual classroom, but some may require real-world experience in a local laboratory or other training facility.

Stratford Career Institute offers a Cosmetology/Esthetics Career Diploma that may be earned at home through distance learning. Students will use videos to learn practical applications such as how to cut hair, give manicures and pedicures, and perform facials. Virginia College offers an Associate’s degree in Salon Management and Milwaukee Area Technical College provides undergraduate studies in cosmetology and related services. Milady Online has a licensing exam preparation course that may be taken online. Stonebridge Associated Colleges and Cosmetology Campus are both places that you could pursue your interest in cosmetology. Online students will most likely have to pay for classes on their own, but they are usually affordable. Stratford’s diploma program is less than $700. Teaching the hands-on part of this degree isn’t very practical while trying to pursue an online education. Therefore, there are few online programs to choose from. The three main degrees that are indeed offered through distance learning are a cosmetology/esthetics diploma, business degree, or continuing education opportunities.

If you would like to try a campus-based program, Aveda Institutes Cosmetology offers cosmetology/ aesthetics/skin care, and nail technology degrees. If you are a fan of Vidal Sassoon or Paul Mitchell, both offer degrees in cosmetology at their academies. The American Institute, located in Margate, Florida, offers a cosmetology diploma. Empire Beauty Schools have numerous locations on the east coast, providing diplomas for teaching cosmetology, cosmetology itself, as well as a nail technician. Midwest cosmetology locations can be found through Remington College, which offers a diploma in cosmetology, as well as Artistic Beauty Colleges. John Paul Dejoria.

Cosmetology Licensing Exams

Most cosmetologists are required to pass a licensing exam administered by the worker’s individual state, as well as receive a degree from a state-licensed school or training program. Specialized training programs also exist for potential cosmetologists who wish to specialize in nail care, makeup, or hair artistry. The National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) has standards set for online cosmetology schools, but none offer this particular degree. Schools can offer a great education without accreditation, but not having accreditation may affect any financial aid that may be offered.

Famous Cosmetologists

Cosmetologist Paul Mitchell reshaped the industry in the 1980s and became a household name. He won multiple hairstyling competitions and joined Vidal Sassoon but later left to open his own salons and became quite successful. His company trains students at 60 schools bearing his name, while Vidal Sassoon only has about 30. John Frieda is a celebrity hairstylist who founded his own salon and hair product business. Nick Arrojo has become a household name, transforming people’s looks from drab to fabulous on TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” He owns in own studio in Manhattan, and has recently released his own product line, Arrojo.