As you accumulate hands-on experience, you should think about your career goals. While you may think this is premature if you’ve just graduated from cosmetology school, it’s not. It may take years for you to master a specialty, and even longer for you to establish your reputation or brand.
When you graduate from cosmetology school, you have a valuable set of basic skills, but you’re not a specialist. To become one, you’ll need to continue your education and learning. To know what advanced classes you should take, you’ll need to define your career goals and create a plan to achieve them as early as possible.
Possible Career Paths
While many people think cosmetology school graduates are destined to become hairdressers in a local salon, stylists have many specialties and career paths available to them. In addition to being hairdressers, cosmetology school graduates can also be a color or chemical specialist. They can even work as platform artists who show off the latest trends in front of live audiences for respected brand names in the industry, such as Paul Mitchell, Sephora, Hempz, or Biolage.
Here are some other possible career paths for individuals who’ve graduated from cosmetology school:
- Nail Care Artist: While being a nail care artist involves many of the same tasks that manicurists and pedicurists do, such as cleaning, filing, shaping nails, and applying and removing nail polish, it takes things to a whole other level. As a nail care artist, you’ll use your artistic skills to create intricate designs on tiny canvasses — your clients’ nails.
- Photo or Movie Stylist: When it comes to movies and photos, stylists are needed for more than just a model’s or actor’s physical appearance. They’re also needed to dress the set, so to speak. After gaining some relevant experience, some cosmetology school graduates pursue careers in this line of work.
- Beauty Editor or Writer: Editorial positions in print media are continuing to disappear, but there are still opportunities for cosmetology school graduates to work remotely as freelance beauty editors and writers. Many of these positions require candidates to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience, which demonstrates the importance of continuing your education long after you earn your cosmetology license.
- Cosmetology Instructor: Cosmetology instructors teach an array of courses about the beautifying arts. Depending on their experience and education, they may also teach classes about business management and marketing. To become a cosmetology instructor, you’ll probably have to complete coursework which focuses on teaching and evaluation methods.
- Beauty Marketer: To specialize in beauty marketing, you’ll normally have to earn a bachelor’s degree and gain some industry experience. Beauty marketers are tasked with creating promotional strategies for products related to the beauty industry, such as shampoos and conditioners, perfumes, lotions, and creams.
- Salon Owner: If you want to specialize in business, there’s no better way for a cosmetology school graduate to do it than owning your own salon. To be a successful entrepreneur, it’s advisable to take some advanced courses, so you can learn how to run a business successfully.
No matter what specialty or career path you decide to pursue, continuing your education will be instrumental in achieving your goals.