Working as a cosmetologist can be an exciting career for men or women. However, to get started, you’ll need the right education. In this article you’re going to learn how you can get started as a cosmetologist in South Carolina.
You will need either a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED) before beginning your career are a cosmetologist. However, all 50 states require that you complete additional education related specifically to the field; the majority of this additional education is offered through vocational schools and cosmetology schools. In addition, you must also be 16 years of age or older.
Given the simplicity of this requirements, one could be led to make the understandable mistake of assuming that this profession is easy to get into. However, these requirements are merely the first stepping stones to begin this journey. In order to be successful and competitive in the field of cosmetology, one will need to be able to output their maximum potential and remain at their maximum potential. In addition, you are required to pass a state exam given by the state board of cosmetology in South Carolina.
When you make the choice to pursue a career in cosmetology, you will find yourself in the position to begin pursuing a career that is geared towards creativity and ingenuity. In order to be successful, you are going to be required to discover new techniques of your own accord as well as learn the varied techniques created by others in the field. You will need to possess knowledge of past trends as well as a distinct understanding of recent and changing trends. People who enjoy and are keen on new fashion trends are always needed and best suited for this kind of career. When in cosmetology, it is important to understand that trends are inclined to change with the season. Keeping yourself constantly aware and up to date on the style of the day is of the utmost importance.
What to Expect When Becoming a Cosmetologist
The world of cosmetology is extremely competitive. Once you’re in the business, you should prepare yourself to do everything possible to secure your client base. One of the many good aspects of employment in the cosmetology industry is that over half of those involved in the industry are self-employed. The benefits of self-employment are numerous, including but not limited to the ability to make your own schedule and set your own prices. However, you should take heed; misuse of these benefits may lead to your ultimate downfall. In order to prevent such a catastrophe, you need to ensure that you are committed to the idea of self-employment and that you understand precisely what you will need to do to be successful in such a venture. Among the wide plethora of other aspects for your consideration are time management, cleanliness, creativity, listening skills, physical stamina, and customer service skills.
Time management is an extremely important addition to your skillset due to the amount of clients that you will deal with in a day; the ability to effectively manage your clients in a timely manner will determine the profit you will accrue for the day. For example, if your time management skills are poor enough that you work with only three people on a workday due, you will obviously receive less money than if you improved your work ethic and utilized time management skills to service six clients. As for cleanliness: cleanliness is a virtue that works in your favor as much as it does the favor of your clients. A dirty, messy, or disheveled work station is prone to ward off the majority of customers. Furthermore, an excess of clutter around your work station presents a risk to cause spills and loss of product—both incidents that can swiftly become expensive. In effect, the time you spent in an attempt to make money has now cost you money. A surplus of discarded hair on the floor can easily become a potent slipping hazard. Listening and customer service skills refer to your own ability to hear what a client wants and then providing that client with their desired result. This may not sound difficult upon first mention, but such a task can sometimes become stressful if you are dealing with a customer who is flighty or uncertain while you are attempting to assist them in finding exactly the right look for them. Finally, and perhaps most important, physical stamina is utterly crucial to the prosperity and success of any cosmetologist. Most, if not all, of your shift will be spent standing on your feet and moving around. This can be difficult if you are not prepared for the long hours. All of these skills are a must in the world of cosmetology. If you do not have the ability to perform most of these tasks on your own then this career path can prove itself to be difficult until you learn to master it.
Many vocational schools provide cosmetology training. In some states, high school students can attend these programs without cost. There are also private cosmetology schools that offer courses that will teach you everything that you need to know about hair and makeup.
Career Outlook for Cosmetologists
Cosmetology is a competitive career that can open many different doors. This means most will be going after the same goal as you. You will need to use your creativity and customer service to get and keep the clients you will earn. This is important because happy clients will refer their friends to you. Who will need the services of a cosmetologist? Almost everyone will seek the services of a competent cosmetologist on a fairly regular basis. There is never going to be a shortage of clients in this field. So there is the need for cosmetologist on an everyday basis, and there are opportunities for advancement when sought after.
Venturing into the field of cosmetology is a competitive undertaking that tends to open many doors in the professional life of those who choose to work in the profession. Given the lucrative nature of the occupation, as previously stated, most others taking part in the field will be ferociously competing against you. Once again, the client base is large; nearly anyone can have use for the services of a cosmetologist, meaning clients will not be scarce in your practice. However, you must remain creative and competitive. You should consider the following: remaining creative and competitive is a requirement for all who practice the skill. What can you do to set yourself apart? Recall the requirements to be a cosmetologist: one must possess a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma as well as certification from a state-licensed cosmetology school. You can take this a step further by using your cosmetology license as a credit toward a barber license (keep in mind, however, that this depends on the state; some states combine the two licenses). If you’re ambitious, you can use your pre-existing training, license, certifications, and diplomas to apply for more licenses in other states. Keep in mind that you should endeavor to review the laws of the state you wish to apply for another license in before actually applying for a license in that particular state.
Despite the fact that you may want to very specifically want to become a cosmetologist in particular, you should understand that there are other similar job titles that also work with hair in a similar manner to that of cosmetologist. The job titles are as follows:
Barber: A barber will cut, style, trim, and shampoo hair. The term “barber” is mostly applied to those in the practice who serve male clients. In addition, barbers may fit hairpieces, perform facials, and offer facial shaving as a service. Contingent upon the state in which a barber works, that barber may also be authorized to color, bleach, and highlight hair as well as offer permanent-wave services. Barbers commonly utilizes tools such as combs, straight razors, scissors, and clippers.
Hairdresser: A hairdresser will offer similar services to a barber: they color, cut, shampoo, and style hair. In addition, they often advise clients by offering them advice as to how they should care for their hair on their own at home. Furthermore, hairdressers also keep detailed records products and services offered to clients, including (but not limited to), the kind of hair color, shampoo, conditioner, and hair treatment used. The tools used by hairdressers include blow dryers, curling irons, scissors, and hairbrushes.
Cosmetologist: Cosmetologists provide facial and scalp treatments as well as makeup application and analysis. Some cosmetologists may also clean and style hairpieces as well as wigs. Finally, most cosmetologists, in a similar manner to hairdressers, actively recommend professional hair care products or salon hair care products. Their toolset is much like that of the hairdresser and the barber.
Fields for This Occupation
Personal care stores are the typical area of employment for most cosmetologists. This refers to salons and barber shops. While there may not be need for all types of cosmetologists, but for barbers and hairdressers this is always a good place to start your career. While most may not employ those who do more of the make-up side of cosmetology, do not think that this is an across the board statement. Many salons also employ make-up artist, and other cosmetologist.
Department stores are much like a Macy’s, JC Penny’s, or Dillard’s often has make-up stands inside of them and they do often hire licensed cosmetologists. Some department stores also have salons attached. These specialized employees must have extensive knowledge in order to show the customer the benefits of the product over what they may already be using. Many cosmetologists in the retail environment will also perform makeovers.
Motion picture and video is the industry that gives the most reward for hairstylists and cosmetologists. Every person in the production must have a specific look for each scene. It is the cosmetologist’s job to ensure that the actor or actress appears exactly as needed. This is the most grueling type of work, but is also the most rewarding. Being able to see your styles on actors and actresses, and the possibility of creating a new trend or fashion for the coming years is extremely rewarding and exciting.
For obvious reasons, the desire to make one’s own hours and set one’s own rate of pay is a very attractive prospect. For many this is considered the best and only way to go. There are plenty of benefits to being self-employed like scheduling and keeping your own hours, being your own boss, having the satisfaction of owning your own business, keeping all of your pay, and not having to pay for booth rental that some salons charge. Following a business plan will greatly ensure your success.
However, the prospect of self-employment is not without its downfalls. For example, you will need to file your own taxes on both yourself and your business. It is also your responsibility to ensure that you have the clientele to keep your business on both of its legs. A simple way to remedy the challenge of having clients is to remove the problem entirely by working in a salon or personal care store to build rapport with customers for a few years before branching out to create your own business. While others believe they have the clients that will stick with them when they leave, this may not be case, due to a multitude of factors such as location of the new venue, price change, or commitment to the cosmetologist.
A cosmetologist can expect to earn around $23,710 to $24,610 per year. However, depending on where you live and the type of clients you take on, you may make considerably more money. The expected increase of growth of 10% in this profession is above the average growth across the nation of 7%. Like previously stated in this article everyone will need, and seek out, the services of a competent cosmetologist for themselves, their families, and even passing the cosmetologist’s information along to friends, family, and acquaintances. Of course, those who are self-employed can obviously set their own salary through maximizing the amount of clients they service, extending their operating hours, working on weekends and holidays, and ultimately taking the success of their business into their own hands—for better or worse. Forging a successful operation creates job security for anyone who seeks it.