Career Detail

Hairstylist & Cosmetologist
“Miracle Workers”
Offer a wide range of beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling of hair. Also may provide other manicure, pedicure, and facial treatments.
The Job
Hairstylists and cosmetologists focus on providing hair care services to enhance the appearance of consumers. They may also advise clients on how to care for their hair at home. In addition, cosmetologists may be trained to give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments; provide makeup analysis; and clean and style wigs and hairpieces. A growing number actively sell hair, skin, and nail care products. Hairstylists and cosmetologists who operate their own salons have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.
Work Environment
Work schedules may include evenings and weekends, the times when beauty salons and barbershops are busiest. Good health and stamina are important
College Majors
Minimum Qualifications
All States require hairstylists and cosmetologists to be licensed. Generally a person must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 16 years old, and have graduated from a State-licensed barber or cosmetology school. Full-time programs in barbering and cosmetology usually last 9 months.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Must keep a neat personal appearance, have good people skills, and have an understanding of fashion, art, and technical design.
Quick Facts
  • About 46 percent of workers are self employed; many also work flexible schedules.
  • More info: National Cosmetology Association, Internet:
Compensation and Outlook
Median hourly wages in May 2008 for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists, including tips and commission, were $11.13. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.57 and $15.03. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.47, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $20.41. Median hourly wages in May 2008 for barbers, including tips, were $11.56. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.93 and $14.69. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.56, and the highest 10 percent earned more th
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