How to Become a Cosmetology Instructor in 5 Steps
Would you like to pass on your cosmetology expertise? Cosmetologists are not only employed by beauty salons and spas - they're also needed to instruct at schools of cosmetology, training future hair stylists, nail technicians and skin experts. To be eligible for teaching positions, you must become a licensed cosmetologist and then receive additional training in cosmetology instruction. Schools offering Aromatherapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Are Cosmetology Instructor Duties?
Cosmetology instructors work at cosmetology schools, community colleges and other vocational institutions leading classes in hair styling, manicuring, skin care and salon practices. You must have a strong enough understanding of all cosmetology-related topics in order to transfer your knowledge on to new students. In addition, you need to plan curricula, manage classrooms and evaluate individual students.
Step 1: Complete a Cosmetology Training Program
You should first complete a cosmetology training program to gain a firm understanding in all aspects of the field. Programs are offered by specialized schools, as well as community colleges and technical schools. Programs usually award certificates of completion or associate's degrees. These programs provide the skills necessary to become a licensed cosmetologist, such as sanitation rules, safety regulations, disease recognition and treatments.
Step 2: Obtain a Cosmetology License
All states require licensing for cosmetologists, although requirements may vary. The National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences provides a listing of state licensing boards where students can look up requirements for their state (www.naccas.org). Most states require you to complete a cosmetology program and pass a licensing exam.
Many states require separate licenses to become a cosmetology instructor. Instructor licensing requirements vary by state, but they might include a current cosmetology license, a prescribed amount of previous cosmetology experience, additional hours in instructor training and completion of a licensing exam.
Step 3: Gain Experience
Many cosmetology instructors work as cosmetologists for a period to gain hands-on experience. Consider working for a few years prior to seeking instructor's education. Working in a salon or full-service spa should train you in people skills, styling trends and salon management. You'll also gain experience working with different types of clients. As you develop experience, new cosmetologists may seek advice and training from you, which will give you preparation in becoming an instructor.
Step 4: Get Instructor Training
Aspiring instructors might consider taking a formal education program in cosmetology instruction. Programs in cosmetology instruction are offered through community colleges and technical schools and cover teaching practices, teaching theories, curriculum and lesson plan development and classroom management. Typically, these programs are for licensed cosmetologists and earn you a pre-baccalaureate certificate.
Step 5: Apply for a Job as a Cosmetology Instructor
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job growth for the cosmetology industry should continue at a faster-than-average rate from 2008 to 2018 (www.bls.gov). This could mean a 20% increase in employment opportunities over the decade. Such growth should not only apply to cosmetologists, but also to cosmetology instructors. The belief is that as more full-service salons and spas open and as people are seeking appearance improvements, more job openings will be needed. As of May 2010, the states that had the highest concentration of cosmetologists were New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
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