If you are someone who has interest in beauty and hairstyling, and hope to use creativity on the job, the career of cosmetologist will be perfect for you. It is also a profession where you can keep things interesting by constantly trying out new styles and following latest beauty trends.
In order to practice as a master cosmetologist in Georgia, you must have a license issued by Georgia Board. The journey to becoming a flourishing cosmetologist in this state includes a few simple steps. You must first attain training for a beauty school and graduate with required skill set. Next, you have to take the PSI exams and pass them. After that, you can submit an application to the Georgia Board of Cosmetology. Finally, after obtaining the license you are expected to search for work as a licensed beautician. As license renewal is an important requirement throughout the career, you may have to complete continuing education credits.
It is essential for anyone in this industry to be familiar with the Board. The Georgia Board of Cosmetology regulates standards for cosmetologists in the area. It recognizes different licenses, each requiring separate exams and education requirements. It monitors careers such as master cosmetologist, esthetician, hair designer, nail technician, etc. The difference is simple. If you are a licensed cosmetologist, you will be expected to focus on makeup, hair and also nails. The other fields are more specialized. For example, as a licensed hair designer you will have to specialize only on client’s hair.
The base salary of these professionals vary based on what they can offer to their employers. Factors that mainly affect salary include education and experience. In general, the base annual salary for people in this line of work ranges from $16,000 to around $40,000 in Georgia. This number does not include what the employees get as tips from clients.
In order to obtain the cosmetology license, you are required to meet some educational standards. Most people fulfil this educational training requirement by enrolling at a good beauty school. If, for any reason, this does not seem feasible, you can select a less common route of enrolling in an apprenticeship program. You can get a cosmetology apprenticeship license and finish on-the-job training.
In order to be eligible to attend the PSI exam, you have to attend and graduate from a cosmetology school. Only after that, you can apply for the license. It is required that individuals should gather minimum 1,500 training hours over a span of 9 months or more. Requirements are only slightly different if you are opting to become a hair designer. The license requirement suggests that you will have to complete 1325 credit hours over minimum 7 months.
As you may have guessed already, studying at a beauty school is quite fun. You will learn in an exciting approach from the cutting-edge courses. The classes are designed to incorporate cosmetology theories with the hands-on practice of the subject. Some of the things you will learn at this school are:
- Makeup Application
- Nail Care
- Hair Coloring
- Hair Cutting
- Hair Braiding
- Hair Extensions
- Hair Styling
- Retail Knowledge
- Business Development
For those training to become hair designers, beauty schools design these programs to give them all tools needed to style hair. In addition to the cutting-edge knowledge, they are taught to market themselves in the beauty industry. Many programs also offer continuing education. This is essential in this line of work as beauticians must always stay updated with the latest styles.
In case this aforementioned method does not suit you, you can choose to work as a licensed apprentice. For this, you have to be minimum 17 years old. You must submit a cosmetology apprenticeship application and gather on-the-job training under the supervision of a good master cosmetologist who has experience of at least 36 months. Other requirements include completion of 3,000 work hours and obtaining training for 18 months or more. Only after these conditions are fulfilled, you can sit for the PSI exams.
Remember that you will have to keep proper record of your work and training hours each day. Do not forget to complete the appropriate training form. If you want to focus on hair design, select hair design apprentice licensure. For this, you will have to finish at least 2,650 hours of training. You have to get training over 14 month’s period to complete this form of training.
In Georgia, the only administration regulating master cosmetologists and hair designers is the PSI. After you think you are eligible to sit for the examination, you can contact PSI directly and schedule it. In order to become a beautician, you will have to sit for the master cosmetology tests, which are divided into 2 parts. The 2 portions of it are:
1. Master Cosmetology Practical Exam
The practical is 140 minutes long and you cannot give it on a computer device. It is also not like the written exams candidates give with pen and paper. Instead, this module is designed to assess your practical and clinical kills. You can to physically attend the exam and demonstrate your learnings.
2. NIC Cosmetology Theory Exam
The 90 minutes long theory exam will assess how well you have mastered the theories. Questions have to be answered online within the allocated time.
The exam for becoming a cosmetologist who strictly focuses on hair designs is different. Called the Georgia Hair Design Exam, it has 2 very similar portions as well: 110 minutes long Hair Design Practical Exam and 90 minutes long NIC Hair Design Theory Exam.
If you reside in the state and are willing to sit for either of these examinations, note that the tests may be taken from Atlanta, Macon or Tifton. The total exam fee for both portions add up to around $109. The practical exam itself costs $64 while the theory exam fee is $45. In order to be eligible for licensure, you must pass each of these parts individually.
After you complete the educational requirements and pass these exams, you can move to the next stage – submit the cosmetology licensure application. The procedure is uncomplicated as you can do it online. If you are not comfortable with the online process, you can even print the application and submit is personally. In both cases, you must have a few documents to the below address:
Georgia State Board of Cosmetology
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217
Some of the materials you should submit along with the license application are:
1. Your citizenship verification
2. The application for initial licensure
3. An application fee of about $30
Another option is to complete the apprenticeship application. For this, the application fee is slightly higher, around $45. Along with the fee, you must submit a print-out copy of existing licensed shop. You must also provide master cosmetology license from the employer. It is solely your own responsibility to collect and submit application for the exam and licensure after you complete the required training hours. Remember that you will only be allowed to renew this licensure once before you have to apply for Master Cosmetology licensure.
Reciprocity is a process where you can apply for license based on licensure you have in a different state. If you want to apply through it, you will have to present proper verification. For this, you will be required to fulfil similar licensing and training requirements. After you send the documents, the case will be taken to the Board which will either approve it or deny.
Note that the Board is very strict about its reciprocity standards. In fact, it does not allow reciprocity from Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island and The Virgin Islands. The rule applies to Nebraska unless licensed before 2004, New York unless licensed before June 2001, California unless licensed after May 2009, Florida unless licensed before August 1986 and Illinois unless licensed before December 1984.
As the reciprocity code is so strict, you may be benefitted if you complete the educational and examination requirements set by the Georgia State Board.
Continuing Education Requirements for License Renewal
Pay attention to when your license will expire. Master cosmetologist licenses expire on the last day of March of every even numbered year. On the other hand, license for hair designers expire on the last day of September on every even numbered year.
If you have a hair designer or master cosmetologist license in Georgia state, you are expected to complete 5 hours of continuing education or CE credits during each 2-year renewal period. This includes 3 credit hours relevant to TCSG Health and Safety and 2 CE credit hours of any other elective.
It is recommended to fulfill these requirements at a reputed continuing education provider approved by Georgia Board. It is your responsibility to ensure that the course provider selected is Board-approved. If you visit the the Board website, you will see a current list of all the registered providers.
It is true that you will fulfill the licensure renewal requirements by attending the continuing education classes, but there are more benefits of it. This enhanced knowledge will enhance your career performance as it will allow you to provide more services. In fact, you will be up-to-date with latest beauty trends and will be able to satisfy clients with variety.
After you have your valid license, it is time to seek work. It is not very difficult to find a job as cosmetologist in this state. The metropolitan areas in Georgia are quite diverse. So, you will very easily be able to use a variety of products and techniques with your clients.
The job prospect in this region is quite impressive. It has been predicted that the Georgia labor market for jobs such as hairdressers, hairstylists and all other cosmetologists will grow by 11.3% by the year 2022. Statistics suggest that the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area is amid the best rated employment areas for the profession in the United States. It caters roughly 6,550 stylists who reside there.
It is expected that the number of beautician jobs in the state will increase by around 1.1% every year. The Department of Labor also shared that the mean cosmetologist salary in Georgia in 2012 was $23,912. Professionals who earned in the 25th percentile got payment of $17,636 on average. Those in the 75th salary percentile had average income of $26,719.
It is to be noted that the aforementioned figure underestimates the money these beauticians take home. They usually get 10% tip from the customers after service delivery. Depending on the location and your expertise, your salary will vary. The highest salary for cosmetology in Georgia is in Bulloch County where you can secure $33,720 on average. A close second is Evan with mean annual salary of $30,499. It is $29,931 in Spalding, $28,151 in Oglethorpe and around $27,000 in Oconee, Troup, Glynn, Butts County, Clarke and McIntosh.
Cosmetologists are trained to do a wide range of things. They are experts at overall beautification but you can choose to emphasize on either makeup, hair or nails. There will always be need for this profession as people always wants to look better. With passing time, individuals are becoming more conscious about the way they look and so, this is the right industry to enter. As you gather more and more experience, you will be able to charge higher salary from companies. In fact, within a few years, you can even set up your own beauty based business.
In this state itself, there are countless training opportunities. There are options for apprenticeship and employment options are immense. If you are someone with interest in beautification and creativity, this would be the ideal industry for you. In fact, procedure for licensure is not very complicated either.