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So, you want to be a Cosmetologist?

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Getty Images/Blend Images

Maria Cortes, reporter

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Do you want to be a cosmetologist?

Cosmetologist are beauty influencers they do hair, makeup, nails which takes about 12 or 15 months of training. There are many cosmetologist close by you, you can find them in hair salons, make up stores or at any spa or nail salon. There is one located in 49th and cicero called Impresiones they have a 4.7 rating and many customers are satisfied with the work they receive.

Who can do this job? Any who is interested in makeup, hair or nails you will need good communication skills to be able to communicate with your client on what they would like for you to for them and what kind of looks they would like on themselves.

What does it take to become a cosmetologist? Apart from good communication skills you need to enter to beauty school which takes 12 months to 15 months (depending whether you do full time or part time). Where they show you from basics to everything a professional cosmetologist learns. You can win scholarships or Fafsa to help with the cost of beauty school.

When can you do it? At anytime you must be able to have your high school diploma or GED for some cosmetology schools.

Why should you consider cosmetology? Cosmetology you will experience and meet new people, you may end up opening your new business.

How much will you be making? Cosmetologist usually make an hour about $13.24 yearly cosmetologist make about $27,530.

Cosmetology schools work similar as Colleges, apply for cosmetology schools and you can apply for scholarships and for financial aid. A beauty school you can apply to that has various locations in Paul Mitchell school, which are located in Downtown Chicago, Tinley Park, and in Lombard. Paul Mitchell Tuition is usually around $19,500 including tuition and supplies. If you are looking for somewhere slightly more economic BellMar beauty college in Cicero, IL. The tuition with supplies is $11,000 they also offer many help with Fafsa and you end up paying $25 a month.

Alexandra Barajas has been a Cosmetologist she owns a hair salon in Chicago named “New Look Hair Salon” she has been owning her own hair salon for 15 years. She was born and raised in Chicago and pursued Cosmetologist like her mother. She is planning on opening up more hair salons but in different cities and states.  

Tell me about your job. Is what you do different in any way from what others in your occupation do?

I am the owner-operator of a salon. As a cosmetologist, I focus on my clients’ hair needs. I do everything from perms and coloring, to styling and cutting hair. As a salon owner, I manage the business. I hire people, train them, and tend to any business needs.

Cosmetologists tend to have a specialty. Mine is hair, while others may work specifically on nails or skin.

Can you tell me about your background and how you got into this field?

My first job was working at this salon. My mom owned it and she was my mentor. Truthfully, I fought against going into the field when I was growing up. But my mom insisted I go to cosmetology school to have something to fall back on.

In addition to studying cosmetology, I attended college and majored in business. After that, I tried distributing products part-time, while working in the salon part-time. Then, I joined the salon full-time. For the last 15 years, I have been the owner-operator of my salon. I have also played an active role in local, state, and national cosmetology associations.

What personal characteristics are required for someone to be successful in your job?

You have to have a positive personality because you are dealing with people all the time. This is not a good career for someone without people skills.

Also, you need to have the hunger to learn. This career is always evolving. You have to be up-to-date on the latest trends and newest techniques.

Lastly, you have to be flexible. This is not a 9-to-5 job. You’ll be putting in a lot of extra hours, especially early on in your career.

How much job security is there for people in your field?

This job is all about client satisfaction. You are only as good as your last client’s visit. Be able to accept constructive criticism, because that’s how you will get better. If you work hard and are positive, your boss and your clients will recognize this and you’ll have good job security.

Also, your job is only as secure as your salon’s profitability. If the salon is losing money, you might lose your job even if you personally are doing well.

What other jobs could you do with the skills you have gained in this field?

A successful cosmetologist could probably do any job that is people-oriented, such as sales or real estate. They could also apply to other jobs within the beauty and fashion industry, like the distribution or manufacturing of beauty products, or teaching cosmetology students.

What do you think the future holds for people in your occupation?

In the future, cosmetologists will need to be more knowledgeable and detail-oriented. The products and chemicals we use are evolving and professionals need to know more about what they are using in order to satisfy their clients’ needs. It’s a whole image, not just hair.

What are the biggest challenges in your job?

One big challenge is multitasking. I multitask a lot; I am continually prioritizing what I need to do throughout the day.

Second, it can be difficult balancing the needs of both my clients and my staff. As a business owner, you have to find ways to keep both groups happy.

Are there many opportunities in your field? What should people do to get started?

Get into cosmetology early. Start through your school with a work program. After your initial course study is completed, you should seek out a salon for work. If the environment is right for you there, work hard and prove yourself.

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So, you want to be a Cosmetologist?