Find the Best Beauty & Cosmetology Schools

Welcome to the Best Cosmetology Schools Directory

Best Cosmetology Schools Directory – the web’s largest directory of beauty schools. Each month, we help almost 20,000 people find beauty schools to meet their needs. Today is your day, and now is the time to get started in the beauty career you’ve always wanted. Best Cosmetology Schools can help you find information on beauty schools and cosmetology schools, esthetics and skin care training programs, nail technology, barbering, makeup artistry, massage therapy and more.

cosmetology school near me

We are committed to your professional success…

Are you thinking about a career in the world of cosmetology, but don’t know where to begin? You’re in luck!

We have TONS of great information and articles that can help you understand what it takes to choose the right cosmetology school. We also have fun facts and beauty tips that can help you understand your career options, salary expectations, and job outlook for your up and coming beauty career.

As you compare programs and cosmetology career requirements, you might even learn something unexpected.

For instance, you might dream of becoming a makeup artist. But you soon realize your State Board of Cosmetology does not award a makeup license.

So what do you do now?

You will likely need to compare cosmetology and esthetician programs to meet your license requirements. This will open up a whole new set of questions and comparisons — but don’t worry!

We’ve got you covered, and we are here for you every step of the way.

Turn Your Passion into a Profession

Search by location or by desired program. Contact one school or multiple schools. Best Cosmetology Schools Directory makes it easy to weigh your options, compare schools, and choose the right program for you. Plus, we offer hundreds of articles and interviews with professionals in the biz, so you can get a glimpse of what it’s like working in the industry, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and changes in cosmetology licensing.

Apply for a Beauty School Scholarship

Search schools, learn about the industry and apply for a scholarship. We offer it all right here in our beauty college directory. Not only are we the largest cosmetology education site on the web, we also award a quarterly $2,500 scholarship to help students pursue their education in any of the beauty disciplines.

Empower Yourself by Making Confident, Educated Decisions

Our beauty school directory is dedicated to educating future students on the ins and outs of the beauty business, including higher education, state-by-state licensing, careers and job demand, salary expectations, continuing education requirements and more. We believe beauty education can change lives for the better, and our mission is to empower you to make confident, educated decisions for your future.

Take the First Step

Whether you are interested specifically in hair school to become a cutting edge hairstylist, makeup artist training to get certified in your state, or becoming a well-rounded cosmetologist who’s licensed and able to do hair, nails, makeup and skin care services, can help. Use the search box above to choose a state and program to find a cosmetology school that’s right for you. Most people contact 3 to 5 schools to compare their options all at once.

Beauty Education & Career Guide

Here you can get answers to the most commonly asked questions about the beauty and cosmetology industry. Whether you are unsure about how to pay for school, whether the beauty school you’re considering is a good one, or what it takes to get a license in your state, use this page to learn more about education and careers in the beauty arts and sciences.

We’ve got tons of information about all the essential beauty services: cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, nail technology, barbering, hair design, teaching cosmetology, makeup artistry, electrolysis and laser hair removal, salon management, hair braiding, fashion design and massage therapy! Check out the Q&As below to find information about everything from enrolling in cosmetology school to finding the perfect beauty career once you’ve graduated.

Don’t see the answer to your question on this list? Contact us. We’re here to help! And check back often, because we’re always adding new questions and answers.

Vital Beauty Industry Statistics

According to the Professional Beauty Association, the salon and spa industry is growing! They estimate that there are more than 1.1 million salon or spa establishments in the U.S. that offer beauty and cosmetology services, and that the industry is worth more than $44 billion now. Independent salons or beauty professionals grew more than 92% in the last decade, and employment-based salons grow 16 percent.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2013, the PBA analysis estimated more than 1.1 million salon establishments nationwide.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 13% growth in cosmetology, barbering and hair jobs through the year 2022.
  • Job demand for estheticians and skin care specialists is projected to grow 40% through the year 2020, much faster than average, according to the BLS.
  • The BLS also estimated an 16% growth in job demand for nail technicians, manicurists and pedicurists through 2022.
  • When the U.S. economy was in a recession between 2000 and 2010 with a 3% decline and seeing almost 3.4 million job losses, the cosmetology industry instead grew 7% and added more than 70,000 jobs.
  • The cosmetology industry is known for being flexible. In fact, on average, almost 1 in 3 personal appearance workers – especially barbers – choose to be self-employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • The business can also be a shot at entrepreneurship. 61% of salon businesses are owned by women, compared to just 30% of private sector businesses nationwide, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

How long is cosmetology school and when will I complete a beauty program?

The answer to how long cosmetology school is depends on three factors: which beauty program you enroll in, your state’s required hours for that program, and whether you enroll in cosmetology school on a part-time or full-time basis.

A full cosmetology curriculum is the most comprehensive and requires the most training hours; the national average is 1500 to 2100 training hours. The average training hours required for the other beauty programs are as follows: 300 to 600 hours for nail technology and makeup artist programs, 500 for electrology, and 300 to 1500 training hours for esthetics and skin care depending on the state.

In most cases the individual state’s required beauty training hours are determined by the state licensing board. For example, a full cosmetology program in Montana requires 2,000 hours, while the same program in New York State only requires 1,000 hours. Overall, how long cosmetology school is varies by each state’s training hour requirements.

Regardless of which beauty program you take, exactly how long it will take to complete the required training hours will depend on whether you are enrolled full time or part time. Many full cosmetology programs can be competed in less than two years while some programs in nail technology and esthetics can often be completed within six months. Contact schools near you for more information on how long their programs take to complete.

What training cosmetology programs do beauty schools offer?

Beauty schools may offer the following training cosmetology programs, or combination of training programs: cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, electrolysis and laser hair removal, nail technology, makeup, beauty school instructor training. Also, massage therapy and fashion design are becoming increasingly popular programs offered at beauty and cosmetology schools. We are also seeing a rise in demand for permanent makeup training, hair braiding, natural hairstyling, salon management and more.

Beauty school students can elect to take comprehensive cosmetology programs, or they may choose to narrow their focuses to something more specific, like esthetics, nail tech, makeup, or hair only. How long cosmetology school is, the cost of tuition, and the licensing requirements may vary by program and state.

Is beauty school easier than a four-year college or university?

They say that if you are truly passionate about something then studying it comes more naturally and “easier” than something else less interesting and relevant would. But cosmetology school is not a cakewalk to be taken lightly, either! The cosmetology, esthetics and beauty trades call for dedicated, motivated and ambitious individuals who enjoy hands-on work, helping clients and being creative. If that is you, then cosmetology school might be right for you.

Cosmetology school may come easy to you because you are passionate about learning all things beauty. You will be expected to learn theory and best practices from the in-class lecture of your cosmetology instructors, read your cosmetology textbooks, study the things you learn in class, get hands-on practice and experience in a student salon, and take written exams. There is so much to learn about the cosmetology trade – but fortunately, the best cosmetology schools are well-equipped with the most professional and educated cosmetology teachers to start you on your career path.

Beauty school is not just about hair and makeup, either. You will likely learn tons of valuable skills about infection control and decontamination, anatomy and body systems, chemistry basics, professional image and business practices, and many more of what they call the “soft skills” that aren’t directly related to cutting hair, doing makeup, doing nails, and so on. Cosmetology is a professional career where lifelong learning through cosmetology continuing education is essential. One of the best things you can do is to learn from and network with other beauty professionals, students and teachers.

Is it too late to change my career by going to cosmetology school?

is cosmetology right for meMost certainly not! It is never too late for a mid-life career change to switch to cosmetology, esthetics or another beauty-related field. If you have a passion for beauty and you know it is time for a change, then a cosmetology career may be for you. In fact, many of your existing skills might even be well-suited to use in your cosmetology career.

Some issues you may need to consider in order to make the switch to a cosmetology career include making the time to balance your current career responsibilities with your new cosmetology school schedule, your family’s expectations and reactions, and most importantly, getting over your fear of the big mid-life career change. A job in cosmetology, esthetics or beauty can certainly be within your reach, but make sure you are really committed to this life change. Focus on getting the highest quality education possible from a trusted, reputable cosmetology school in your area. It is never too early to network with beauty students, teachers and professionals, to post a cosmetology portfolio of your work online, and to start building up your clientele.

Think you’re ready to take the plunge and make a career change? It all starts with researching schools near you.

Am I too old for cosmetology schools?

As author C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” You are absolutely not “too old” for cosmetology school, at any age. In fact, we find that nearly 75% of our applicants are not fresh out of high school. Many of us decide on cosmetology after trying a career that wasn’t right for us, or after taking time away from the working world to raise a family. If your passion is beauty, cosmetology or esthetics, then there is no time like the present to enroll in cosmetology school and begin a new career in beauty. Cosmetology is known for commonly having jobs that have flexible scheduling and room for growth. You are definitely not “too old,” and if anything, you are at the prime age to enroll in beauty school. It’s not unheard of for individuals in their 80s and 90s to graduate cosmetology school.

So if you think a career change is in order for you, take all that life experience you have earned and apply it to getting your cosmetology license and a brand new career in beauty. Cosmetology has the potential to change your life, and allow you to have a “career” when perhaps before you were only working a “job.” You are never too old for beauty school.

Don’t be afraid to take the first step and research beauty schools near you.

How to choose a beauty school?

This page should serve as your checklist for when you talk to the admissions representatives at the beauty school or beauty schools that you’re considering. Make sure that when you contact schools and request information, you are prepared with a list of questions you want to get answered. To ensure you are making an educated decision and choosing the right beauty school for you, ask questions until you feel completely comfortable with the institution. Beauty school is a life-changing commitment, and you want to start your beauty career on the right foot. So take your time and consider all aspects before making your final decision.

Below are a few checklists to take with you when you’re on a call with a beauty school admissions rep, or when you stop by the beauty school for a tour and to meet the students and teachers.

Top 15 Questions to Ask Your Cosmetology Admissions Rep Before Choosing

cosmetology requirements

When you are comparing different beauty schools to decide which one is best for you, you will talk to the admissions representatives that will help answer all your questions. We have prepared a list of starter questions to begin your conversations with the different schools. Having the answers to the question on this list can help you make a more confident decision about which school is the best match for your needs. Print this list and take it with you to your appointments to tour the schools.

  • Is your school accredited?
  • How much is the tuition?
  • Are books, cosmetology kits and other supplies included in the tuition?
  • Does your school offer financial aid or scholarships?
  • What is your absentee or leave of absence policy?
  • Can I schedule a tour?
  • What programs does your school offer? (Comprehensive Cosmetology, Esthetics, Makeup, Nail Tech, etc.)
  • Do you offer full-time or part-time classes? What about night and weekend classes?
  • How long does it take to complete the program I’ve chosen?
  • What skills and techniques are taught in the program?
  • Do you offer exam test prep materials to study for the licensing exam?
  • Is there an in-school salon to get hands-on experience?
  • What is your student-to-teacher ratio?
  • What are your school’s graduation and job placement rates?
  • Do you offer job placement assistance services after students graduate?

Checklist of Things to Consider When Choosing a Beauty School

Everyone has different needs and tastes when it comes to selecting the school that is right for them. For some people, the cost of tuition and the availability of financial aid is highly important, whereas for others the most important thing is having flexible scheduling that allows them to hold a job or spend time with their families. Every person is different, but below are some things to consider when comparing cosmetology schools.

  • Proximity to your home or job
  • Programs offered
  • Individual attention or teacher to student ratio
  • Quality of the facility and technology
  • Availability of public transportation
  • Financial aid, financing options, payments accepted
  • Part-time, full-time, day, night or weekend classes and your schedule
  • Cost of tuition, books and cosmetology kit
  • Availability of in-school salon
  • Availability of job placement services
  • Ties to local community, salons and beauty events
  • School reputation
  • Classroom atmosphere and morale
  • Availability of one-on-one support or tutoring from instructors

“I’m ready to find a beauty college near me!”

We know, it’s exciting to think about expanding your career and working in the creative world of beauty. Can you already imagine how awesome it would be to work at a salon, spa, or even manage your own?

Finding the best cosmetology school in your area is just the beginning. Throughout your career, you’ll need to seek the mentorship of experienced professionals. That’s where we’ve got you covered from start to finish! You can also be sure to stay up on continuing education opportunities and the latest tips and beauty trends by coming back to our site again and again!