Cosmetology Instructor Training

Where would cosmetology be without instructors?

The future of cosmetology relies on skilled, passionate instructors who can pass on their skills and knowledge to a new generation of cosmetologists. Clients and students deserve the best!

If you are ready to start a new adventure in the world of cosmetology, find out if you have what it takes to become a beauty teacher by contacting cosmetology teacher training programs in your state.

Why You Should Become a Cosmetology Instructor

cosmetology instructorAs a cosmetology instructor, you may enjoy many exciting career benefits. You may have a new level of career fulfillment when you know that the work you do every day contributes to the learning experience of your students and gives your community access to trained, well-educated beauty professionals. Most beauty school programs run on a set schedule each semester, a fact that may allow you to work more predictable hours each week. If you remember your days as a cosmetology student, you may be excited about the prospect of helping your students work through difficulties and develop valuable career skills.

In general, the pay scale for cosmetology instructors is more stable than it is for cosmetologists. Rather than getting part of your income from tips, you may be paid an annual salary or get paid per class. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average salary of $52,800 per year for vocational instructors (2016). Through the year 2024, job openings in this field may increase 4% (BLS, 2016).

Do I Need a License to Teach Cosmetology?

While working as a cosmetologist, you may have shown a fellow stylist how to mimic a certain effect or master one of your techniques. However, teaching cosmetology students is an entirely different game, so most states to require a separate licensing process for cosmetology instructors. Generally, you need to have a specific amount of cosmetology experience, measured in years or actual work hours. You also need to complete a teacher training program that meets the licensing requirements of your state board of cosmetology and prepares you for the cosmetology state board test in teaching.

Skills Covered in Cosmetology Teacher Training

In a cosmetology instructor training program, you may explore a whole new set of skills. In addition to studying theory, you should spend a significant amount of time working with cosmetology classes and students to build your practical skills. Some of the topics you may learn about in cosmetology school include teaching methods, educational psychology, assessment of student performance, lesson design and planning, student learning styles, classroom management, and student motivation.

What do you learn in cosmetology teacher training?

Teacher training programs are designed to prepare students who are interested in teaching beauty and cosmetology. Most of the teachers you’ll have in beauty school completed a teacher training program, and possibly also some junior instruction. Beauty school teacher training equips potential instructors with all the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to become a successful educator.

Cosmetology teacher classes include practical training and theoretical training. Future beauty teachers will learn how to teach beauty school students using the issued textbooks, in-class lectures, and hands-on training in student salons.

Becoming a cosmetology teacher requires that the individual already be knowledgeable about hair, nails, makeup and skin care from their time in cosmetology school and working in the field. Some cosmetology teacher training classes may include: theory, practical cosmetology, record keeping, lesson planning and classroom management.

How do I become a cosmetology (or esthetics, barber, nail, etc.) instructor?

teaching cosmetology theory - teacher and student in classroomEach state’s training and licensure requirements to be allowed to teach beauty school or a specific program are different. Some states require you just to have a minimum amount of real work experience, and then you can be eligible to teach, whereas others may require you to get post-secondary education at a traditional college in a teaching program. Most state boards, however, require you to have both a set number of years of work experience as a licensed professional, in combination with getting additional cosmetology instructor training hours, to be able to sit for special board exams to get licensed as an instructor. Some states don’t even have instructor licenses, and other states have theirs managed by the Dept. of Education instead of the Board of Cosmetology.

Beauty Schools Directory knows of at least 21 states that only require future teachers to have their cosmetology license, plus additional hours of cosmetology instructor training, to be able to get licensed as teachers – but no work experience. In those cases, the average required hours of training is 850, but it varies from state to state. For example, Alabama and Indiana require 1000 hours of instructor training on top of having a cosmetologist’s license, but no work experience. At least 17 states require some combination of both work experience and instructor training to become a teacher. For example, in New Hampshire you can become a teacher if you have 800 hours of training and no work experience, 500 hours of training and 1+ years of experience, or no additional training and 8+ years of experience. Still other states require you to have some junior instructor or student instructor experienced to get licensed.

Because these licensing requirements vary so widely from state to state, we highly recommend checking your state’s instructor license requirements on our list, and contacting your local board directly if you have any additional questions. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to find cosmetology instructor training programs near you so you can start comparing your options.

What classes will I take to become a cosmetology teacher?

Whether you want to teach cosmetology, esthetics and skin care, nail technology or another specialty area of the beauty trade, almost every state requires you to already have a license for that particular field, and most states require you to have some kind of work experience. In addition to that background and experience in the field, the training and courses you can expect to take to become a cosmetology or beauty school instructor may include, but are not limited to:

  • Curriculum & Course Outline & Development
  • Lesson Planning
  • Teaching Techniques & Theory
  • Classroom Management & Leadership
  • Teaching Aids, Tools & Technology
  • Skill Observation & Practice
  • Student Motivation
  • Administering & Grading Examinations
  • State Laws & Regulations
  • Student Record-Keeping
  • Hands-On Junior/Student Instruction

Sometimes the training programs include refreshers of the actual beauty skills and theory you will be teaching in the beauty school classroom, however the training should be mostly focused on the teaching aspect. It is assumed that if you enter a training program to learn to become a cosmetology instructor, you already have the skills and techniques from your work experience to be able to effectively teach them in the classroom.

What are the knowledge and skill requirements for teacher training?

Of course esthetics, cosmetology, barber and other instructors are expected to be knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in their specific trade. If you are going to teach hairstyling, you should be an expert hairstylist. If you’re going to be teaching esthetics, you should have mastered your skin care skills. You must also know all about the laws and regulations in your state pertaining to that specific field. In order to help others, you must help yourself first and truly become an expert at the top of your field before you can pass that onto others.

The knowledge and skills required to be a good beauty school teacher include the natural inclination and ability to train and teach others, and identifying others’ educational needs, strengths and weaknesses. You must be comfortable speaking in front of at least small groups, in an almost performance-like environment. You should have a knack for coaching and developing those around you, such as peers, employees or students. Good instructors can help motivate students, and provide guidance to them. You must be comfortable giving both positive and critical feedback in helpful, constructive and tactful ways. Communication should be one of your strongest skills, not just to your students, but also to your peer instructors, and the school managers/owners. You should be dependable, have great self-control, a sincere concern for others, have an excellent attention to detail, and be highly adaptable to change.

Does it sound like a good fit for you so far? If so, find teacher training schools near to learn your options.

What are cosmetology teacher job opportunities?

Of course the main job opportunities for people who get the training and practice to get licensed as cosmetology instructors will be in beauty schools, esthetics schools, nail schools and other institutions. But as a licensed cosmetology teacher, you are not limited only to the classroom! Your cosmetology instruction training can give you freedom to not only teach new beauty school students, but to have more options in the beauty industry. Some of these options for you could include:

  • Cosmetology School Instructor
  • Esthetics, Nail, Barber or Makeup Instructor
  • Advanced Beauty Course Instructor
  • Beauty School Manager
  • Beauty School Owner
  • Salon or Spa Manager
  • Platform Artist
  • Independent Educational Consultant
  • Public/Circuit/Conference/Guest Speaker
  • Workshop Leader

What is the job outlook for beauty school teachers?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists employment data for “Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary,” but not specifically for the cosmetology trade. The BLS (2015) says that job demand for postsecondary vocational education instructors is expected to increase 12% between now and the year 2022, adding approximately 16,100 jobs during that time.  Currently, there are approximately 121,200 vocational educators employed nationwide.