Cosmetology Instructor: Career, Outlook and Education Information

Cosmetology instructors help beauty school students become cosmetologists. Most aspiring instructors are already licensed beauticians before they apply to an instructor program. Learn about the education and licensing requirements for this career, as well as the employment outlook. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are a Cosmetology Instructor's Duties?

Cosmetology instructors are licensed beauty professionals who work in vocational and technical schools instructing students how to perform cosmetology practices. If you're an instructor, you'll typically has extensive knowledge in these practices, such as facials, body waxing, hair removal, skin rejuvenation, nails and other personal appearance applications. A cosmetology instructor must have these skills in order to lecture about cosmetology and to perform tasks required by entry-level beauty shops and businesses.

What is the Job Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that the demand for cosmetologists was expected to grow 20% between 2008 and 2018 ( This growing demand will, in turn, lead to a growing demand for people to instruct these workers. Advances in the field and increased demand for procedures in medical offices and beauty salons will contribute to the increased demand for cosmetologists and cosmetology instructors overall.

What are the Educational Requirements?

Cosmetology instructors must possess at least a GED exam or have a high school diploma. Most cosmetology schools offer a cosmetology instructor training certificate, which typically takes two to four academic semesters to complete. A certificate program may include courses in lesson planning, oral presentations and visual equipment operation, as well as evaluation and testing methods. The primary emphasis in these programs is giving future instructors the tools to teach, since you'll be an experienced and licensed cosmetologist before enrolling in the program.

After completing the certificate program, you must be state licensed to teach. Requirements vary by state, but most include completing a specific number of credit hours in a licensed instructor program and taking an exam. In Michigan for instance, you must complete 500 hours of a licensed school of cosmetology instructor program and complete a registration exam. Additionally, some states require proof of experience in the form of documented work with an employer.

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