The words “salon professional” can be used to describe any professional working in a salon setting. In a beauty salon, for example, a cosmetologist may be considered a salon professional. Nail salon technicians may be licensed estheticians. Tanning salons may also have an esthetician or overall salon manager who are considered salon professionals. To become a salon professional requires training, dedication and a mastery of a particular cosmetology skill or the business side of salons.
The first step on the journey to becoming a salon professional is to decide which areas are of interest to the student. Someone who enjoys using makeup to enhance a person's appearance or self-esteem may prefer the hands-on side of becoming a salon professional. A person who is more business-minded and finds accounting and marketing exciting may work better as a salon manager.
Anyone who wishes to become a salon professional and work with clients directly will generally need a license for the region or country where she chooses to practice her art. Licensing requirements vary by location, and many vocational or trade schools offer courses that will enable a student to work with customers to achieve the requirements. After a license is obtained, the student can then begin to seek employment in hair salons, beauty salons, nail salons, or tanning salons.
If a student wishes to become a salon professional dealing in the business side of a practice, basic business classes as well as more specialized salon management classes are often of use. Accounting, marketing, publicity, and customer service are emphasized in these courses, and will enable a student to open her own salon or become a manager of an acting salon upon graduation. A two-year degree or higher is preferred for these positions, but experience in the field is also helpful.
Courses of both varieties are offered by local and community colleges, trade and vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer two- and four-year degrees. The amount of time and commitment, as well as money, vary by the type of schooling a student chooses. Some schools offer night or weekend classes in order to enable busy students to gain their education to become a salon professional while still maintaining a job, family or other commitment.