Cosmetology Degrees: Length of Time to Earn the Degree & More
written by: ciel s cantoria•edited by: Noreen Gunnell•updated: 12/21/2010
Most aspiring cosmetologists would like to know the length of time it takes to get a degree in cosmetology. At this early stage, they should be aware that it takes more than a degree or training certificate to qualify as a salon worker. A working license is a basic requirement in all US states.
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How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Cosmetology?
An Associate’s Degree in Cosmetology takes about two-years, while the length of time to earn cosmetology training certificates varies. It can be a 350-hour or a 1500-hour training course, and will all depend on the type of salon service involved.
However, regardless of your educational attainment or formal training, all US states require a working license before a person is allowed to perform salon services, like hair cutting, make-up application, facials, manicures or pedicures, or even, a shampooing task.
Hence, the length of time it takes to get a degree in cosmetology is not as important as knowing how long it takes before one can become a licensed cosmetologist.
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How Long Does It Take to Become a Licensed Cosmetologist?
Most state license boards require a minimum of 1,500 hours of education credits, and that would be equivalent to eighteen months. However, the requirements may vary from state to state, because some states allow an equivalent of 3,000 hours of apprenticeship in lieu of a formal certified training.
In some states, like Alaska for example, the services rendered by a cosmetologist are limited to rendering facials, hair removal and make-up jobs only. If you want to cut and style hair, as well as do some manicure and pedicure services, you have to take a different state licensure exam. In this particular state, a cosmetologist’s or cosmetician’s license requires 350 hours, while that of a hairdresser requires 1,650 hours.
However, US states also have varying age requirements before one can take the licensure exam. Generally, the average age requirement is from 16 to 18 years old to qualify as an exam-taker for a state working license, except for the state of Arizona that requires a license-taker to be at least 23 years old. This denotes that in this particular state, even if you get certified as a beautician at the age of 16, you will still have to wait seven years more before you can apply for a state license.
Another important detail to consider is to make sure that you’re taking your cosmetology training or earning a degree from a state accredited cosmetology school.
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What‘s the Difference between an Associate’s Degree and a Certificate in Cosmetology?
Associate’s Degree in Cosmetology
Most cosmetology-aspirants take-up the two-year Associate’s Degree in Cosmetology since a 1500-hour certificate course is equivalent to 18 months or almost a year and a half.
The additional six months education will lead to an Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Cosmetology. The coursework include skills training and knowledge about skin and hair science as well as how to operate and manage one’s own beauty or spa salon.
In earning an associate’s degree, the student will also have the potentials to become an instructor for a cosmetology school. Some US states, require a high-school diploma or its equivalent in apprenticeship experience, before one can enroll in a technical college or university.
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Certifications in Cosmetology
A training certificate for a 1,500-hour general cosmetology curriculum includes instructional courses for different salon services which are partly conducted in a salon-setting. Although some of the instructional training may be imparted on a per course basis, these are usually taken as continuing education credits to meet the state’s requirement for license renewal.
Educational requirements to enroll in a vocational or beauty school also vary and depend on state regulations. Some allow the acceptance of 8th to 10th graders, or a 2nd year high school level.
In choosing the school to attend, make a careful evaluation of the knowledge and skills provided as a learning foundation, in order to pass the test for the required state-license. Evaluation entails checking out the topics and the amount of hours allotted, to actually apply textbook comprehension on the salon’s training floor.
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Currently, cosmetology jobs are said to be popular or in demand in several US cities, wherein Houston, Texas offers the highest recorded hourly salary rates that range from $7.63 to $ 13.00. Topnotch salon professionals have higher earning potentials to earn additional income from tips, since customers will specifically ask for their services.
After knowing the answer to the question, “How long does it take to get a degree in cosmetology?", the next best thing to determine is how soon you can take the state licensure. Find the information you need about your state requirements and the schools offering cosmetology courses in your area, in this beauty schools directory.