What is a Cosmetology Institute?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2018
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A cosmetology institute is a school at which cosmetology skills are taught, and certification and licensing is provided. There are different areas of cosmetology to learn, and these schools will provide training and certification to become a cosmetologist. Generally, to work in one of the cosmetology fields, you will need to be licensed in the state where you want to work.

Classes at a cosmetology institute are usually a few months long and include a mixture of instruction, hands-on training and experience working with actual clients. Usually they will involve written and practical exams, and of course a series of final exams to earn your certification. Class schedules are flexible to allow you to complete your requirements during the day, evening, or on weekends.

Some cosmetology institutes function as private colleges and will offer financial aid and an associate's degree at the end of the program, while others simply offer certification in a specific field. The amount of education you want is up to you -- each option will allow you to become licensed in your chosen field. The cost of attending a cosmetology institute varies greatly, but generally falls from $2,000 US Dollars (USD) up to $11,000 USD, plus the cost of supplies. Student loans are available, and requirements for entry to a cosmetology institute are fairly open.


At a cosmetology institute, you might learn to be a hair stylist, a nail technician, or an esthetician. Hair stylists learn about shampooing hair, cutting, texturizing, coloring and perming hair, along with working with wigs. An esthetician is focused on skin care, and might focus on makeup application, facials, shaping eyebrows or waxing. A nail technician learns how to give manicures, pedicures, and how to work on artificial nails.

Once you are a certified and licensed cosmetologist, you might choose to work in a salon or to open and manage one of your own. You might also teach in a cosmetology institute or become a style consultant. Though you might not have a lot of income when you first begin, as you develop a client following, your tips will likely increase along with your income. Most people pursue careers in cosmetology because they enjoy being creative and working with people, not because they expect to make a great deal of money. A career in cosmetology can be very rewarding and can be a great way to make other people feel good about themselves.



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