The Beauty of Cosmetology

Article excerpt

With prosperity and the aging baby boomers creating a demand for cosmetology services, career opportunities in the field just keep looking better all the time.

Cosmetology is a profession requiring artistry, practical knowledge and a high degree of that blend of communication and psychology commonly known as "people skills." It is also a field of growing opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts continuing job growth in the industry through 2008.

The excellent outlook for cosmetology career opportunities is based on a number of factors, among them the booming economy and our increasing population. And as in any equation these days, the baby boomers figure in prominently. Maintaining a youthful appearance is extremely important to many baby boomers, and they are seeking out trained professionals to help them achieve that goal. Some of those baby boomers are even making cosmetology their second career. Although the average age of a student in the field is 22, some retirees are entering the field. They are drawn by the appeal of flexible or part-time hours and a course of study that can be completed in approximately 10 months.

There are areas of specialization within cosmetology, and an increasing number of workers have chosen to enter these areas in recent years. The fastest growing group of these workers is manicurists, but estheticians also have experienced a growth in their numbers.

CAREERS IN COSMETOLOGY

The field of cosmetology is broken down into the following major job categories.

Hair--Hairstylists shampoo, cut and style hair. They may also provide chemical services such as permanent waves, chemical relaxing and coloring.

Nails--Manicurists provide manicures, pedicures and nail extensions.

Skin--Estheticians cleanse and beautify the skin. This may include giving facials, waxing and skin chemical procedures.

Employment opportunities also exist for managers of large salons, beauty or fashion consultants and sales representatives for cosmetics firms.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

All states require cosmetologists to be licensed, but the qualifications for a license may vary. Graduation from a state-licensed cosmetology school is a general requirement, and the individual must be at least 16 years old. …