Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists offer beauty and hair services to improve customers' appearance. Those who run their own barbershop or salon have duties that may include supervising, hiring, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.
These programs are found in postsecondary schools and typically result in certification or a nondegree award. The majority of these students take advanced courses in personal appearance services or at hairstyling to keep up with the trends. Those who wish to start their own business may take courses in marketing and sales.
After graduating from a training program, students take a state licensing exam that includes a practical test of styling skills or an examination, a written test and an oral exam in some instances. A fee generally is required to submit an application for a permit, and continuing education units (CEUs) may be required using regular license renewals.
Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow licensed barbers and cosmetologists to receive a license in another state without having additional instruction or state board screening, but such arrangements aren't common. Consequently, one should review the state's legislation .
Job opportunities are expected to be great. A great number of job openings will result from the need to replace workers who retire, transfer to other jobs, or leave the occupation for other reasons. However, job seekers should expect competition for jobs and clients at higher paying salons, because applicants must compete with a large pool of hairstylists and cosmetologists.