Although a college degree is essential in some industries, the beauty industry is not one of...

Although a college degree is essential in some industries, the beauty industry is not one of them. If you’re an aspiring beauty professional, trade school is a wonderful way to gain hands-on-experience at a lower cost and a faster path to earning.

Photo: / RODNAE Productions

The beauty industry is booming. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs in cosmetology and barbering are projected to grow by 19% through 2030. And those are just two of several career paths in the $500 billion beauty industry. This kind of growth means there’s great opportunity for those with the right training. If you're considering a career in beauty, now is the time to begin mapping out your journey.

Trade School Offers An Affordable Path to a Beauty Career

While a four-year degree may be essential in some industries, the beauty industry is not one of them. If you’re looking for an option with lower costs, lower barriers to entry, and a faster path to earning, trade school is the obvious choice. Another benefit of trade school is the opportunity to learn from experienced instructors. Many beauty schools have instructors with years of experience in the industry and they can provide you with valuable insights and guidance. You’ll also network with other students and professionals, starting your career with valuable industry contacts.

One of the main benefits of trade school is the opportunity to gain hands-on experience. This is essential in the beauty industry and it allows you to develop your skills and learn new techniques. And it’s not just about hair and makeup. A well-rounded beauty school curriculum offers the chance to learn about a variety of styles and techniques in barbering, hairstyling, esthetics, nails, and cosmetology. This can be a great way to broaden your skill set and make yourself more marketable in the beauty industry.

There are many different types of beauty schools, so it's important to do your research to find the right one for you. For example, some beauty schools focus on cosmetology, while others may offer programs in esthetics, nail technology, or even massage therapy. You'll also want to consider things like tuition costs, location, and accreditation when choosing a beauty school.

Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to start the application process. Most schools require you to submit an application, and some may request a portfolio of your work. You may also be required to take an entrance exam, although this is not always the case. Once you've been accepted to a beauty school, the real work begins!

At a beauty school that offers a wide range of programs, like Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, for example, time between enrollment and graduation varies according to both state regulations and area of concentration:

  • Cosmetology: Ranges according to state requirements from 13 months (full-time) to 22 months (part-time)
  • Nail Technology: 7 months (part-time)
  • Barbering: 12 months (full-time) to 20 months (part-time)
  • Esthetics: 15 weeks (full-time) to 9 months (part-time) You'll need to complete a certain number of hours in order to graduate, again depending on your area of concentration.
  • Cosmetology: 1,500 hours in Illinois and Indiana, 1,550 in Wisconsin
  • Nail Technology: 600 hours in Indiana
  • Barbering: 1,500 hours
  • Esthetics: 600 in Wisconsin, 700 in Indiana, and 750 in Illinois

There are also state-mandated exams you'll need to pass in order to become a licensed beauty professional. When you find the right school, your instructors will be with you every step of the way. Remember: they’re invested in your success, too!

When you enroll in beauty school you’ll network with other students as well as with experienced professionals who can provide concrete guidance to help you pursue your goals. You’ll start your career with a network of connections in the industry to help you find potential job opportunities. You'll also have the chance to learn about the business side of the beauty industry. This will be especially helpful if you're interested in opening your own salon or becoming a freelance makeup artist. Knowing how to run a business can be an incredibly valuable skill.

So, is beauty school right for you?

If you're thinking about a career in the beauty industry, trade school is definitely a path worth pursuing. If you're passionate about the industry, want top-notch training, and a clear path to success, the right school can help you get there in far less time than a traditional four-year institution. Not only will you receive training and hands-on experience from some of the best professionals in the field, but you'll also learn all about the latest trends and techniques, while you network and make valuable industry contacts.

Visit MODERN SALON's Career Center for a complete guide to the world of professional beauty. 

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.