A qualified cosmetologist is required to attend licensed barber or cosmetology classes. Some states recommend that these beauty experts have a high school diploma or GED certificate, with full-time training that lasts not fewer than nine months.
These programs are also offered at community colleges or vocational schools, where successful candidates earn an associate degree or certificate, depending on their qualifications. However, due to the rising competition in the job market, many cosmetologists go beyond the level of education recommended by their states.
Additionally, apart from the required education standards, some personal qualities, such as good customer relations and creativity, offer an added advantage to anyone who wants to pursue a career in this field. Such qualities are tested during the state-administered exam that determines whether a particular candidate is qualified.
Some states collaborate with others to provide a common cosmetology license. Therefore, when candidates are approved and licensed after the state exam, they do not have to take another one after moving to a different state. The exam is usually classified under other categories such as manicure, pedicure and skin care to suit the specialty of all candidates. Business management training is also offered in some institutions to help candidates manage their own cosmetology businesses professionally after graduation.