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Guide to Career Opportunities in Cosmetology

Guide to Career Opportunities in Cosmetology

A career in cosmetology can lead down many different paths. Cosmetology is basically the practice of creating beauty. Cosmetologists, also called cosmeticians, work with skin, hair and nails to help accentuate and create this beauty.

Though you can work with all three mediums, most cosmeticians specialize in skin, hair or nails specifically. Regardless of what aspect of cosmetology you may or may not specialize in, any cosmetology license has the potential of landing you a job as a product representative, general consultant or cosmetology instructor.


Makeup Artist. The most obvious career involving cosmetology and skin would be as a make-up artist. Makeup artists can work at salons, spas or department stores doing makeovers. They can also transition into film and theater to do costuming makeup.

Esthetician. A cosmetologist who specializes in skin can also become an esthetician. An esthetician, also known as a non-medical skin care specialist, is someone who works with skin and everything related to it. It may require special training, but the doors are open for esthetician jobs in laser hair removal, electrolysis, facials, massage and rejuvenating treatments.

Skin Care Specialist/Hair Removal Specialist. If you don’t care for the full esthetician job description, with all its medical and hair removal aspects, you can also become a skin care specialist. A skin care specialist performs facials, massages and other rejuvenating treatments only. If you’d rather skip the skin aspect, you can become a hair removal specialist, performing a variety of hair removal techniques.


Hair Stylist. Becoming a hair stylist is usually the main goal for most cosmetology students. Being a hair stylist means more than just knowing how to shampoo and cut hair, though. Hair stylists need to be well trained in curling, relaxing, coloring, cutting, shaping, cleaning, repairing and styling hair for both men and women.

Barber. Barbering is the only area of cosmetology that focuses exclusively on men. A barber needs to know much more than just how to cut men’s hair. He needs to know how to remove, trim and shape facial hair. He also needs to know how to care for men’s skin.


Manicurist. If you want to work with nails, you need to go to a cosmetology school to become a manicurist. A manicurist is the least versatile career in cosmetology, but this service is still in demand. Manicurists must know how to clean, shape and finish real nails. They must also know how to prepare, apply, clean, shape and finish fake nails.