April 13, 2020
What Does It Take to Become a Successful Cosmetologist?
Do you love the world of beauty? From glamorous hairstyles to immaculate nails, licensed cosmetologists can have the freedom to pursue a career providing a variety of beauty services to their clients.
Whether you’re just considering a career in cosmetology, or you’re a newly minted graduate of a beauty school program and are wondering about the next steps, it never hurts to familiarize yourself with the requirements for a successful career in beauty. Here’s what you can expect when learning how to become a licensed cosmetologist!
1. Find and Complete a Qualifying Program
Finding and completing an approved cosmetology program at a beauty school is the first step to becoming a licensed cosmetologist. You can expect to complete at least 1,200 hours to fulfill the requirements set by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation and Board of Cosmetology. As part of the program, you can learn:
- Hair cutting and styling
- Hair coloring
- Perms and relaxing
- Manicures and pedicures
- And more
When looking for a school, you should find one that is not only approved by the state but also one that is accredited by an accrediting body like the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS). The advantage of choosing an accredited school means you may qualify for financial aid, such as federal grants or loans, available to those who qualify.
You can check out what an education is like as part of our Artistic Dreams Beauty Publication, where we cover some future career tips, some of our favorite looks created by students, and more!
Something to expect after you’ve finished your education is to keep learning. Licensed cosmetologists in Florida are required to complete 16 continuing education hours during every renewal cycle, which stretches over two years. It’s a great opportunity to keep up to date with the latest trends and techniques!
2. Get Your License
Once you’ve completed the necessary training hours, it’s time to take the next steps to licensure. Florida requires applicants to:
- Have a high school diploma and be at least 16 years old
- Complete an approved HIV/AIDS course
- Sit for the appropriate state board exam
The state board gives you the chance to prove you have gained the skills necessary to perform services as a licensed professional. You can expect to take a written test that goes over many of the things you learned in school. Choosing the right school can help prepare you for the state board!
3. Build a Portfolio
This is crucial because a good portfolio can help you get hired. Include lots of pictures of work you’ve done: makeovers, haircuts and styles, and anything else you excel and are passionate about! You can build your own portfolio on a site like WordPress or Wix, or you can rely on your business Instagram account to show off some of your best work!
An especially good trick is to include sets of before-and-after photos, because then an employer has something to rate your work against. You can practice on friends and family to build your portfolio if you don’t yet have paying clients.
4. Find Your Dream Career
Once you’ve created your portfolio, it’s time to apply for jobs. Depending on where your passion is, you could consider getting a career as:
- A hairstylist
- A celebrity hairstylist/makeup artist
- Fashion show makeup artist
- Cosmetologist instructor (with extra education)
At Artistic Nails and Beauty Academy, we strive to provide what our students need to pursue their future careers. As part of our curriculum, we provide resources to help students learn how to operate a successful business. We have also held career days to bring local salons to our school to build our students’ networks.
Are You Ready To Become a Licensed Cosmetologist?
If you live in Florida and are thinking about a career in cosmetology, or are looking for a job, these tips can help you find the right career for you! There’s no time like the present to get started.
Learn how you can get started on your journey to become a licensed cosmetologist by checking out our cosmetology program and scheduling a tour of our school. We want to help you reach your artistic dreams!