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Cosmetology Major

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Cosmetology

932 Associate's Degrees Annually
0 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#28 in Popularity (Associate's)
$33,220 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Cosmetology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many cosmetology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 61,023
Basic Certificate 41,711
Associate’s Degree 940

What Cosmetology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to cosmetology were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Cosmetology Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Cosmetology Majors

A major in cosmetology prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Cosmetology Majors

Cosmetology majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Cosmetology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with cosmetology:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Barbers 13.5% $27,960
First-Line Supervisors of Personal Service Workers 14.6% $38,400
Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists 13.0% $24,730
Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance 12.5% $64,250
Manicurists and Pedicurists 13.2% $24,330
Skincare Specialists 13.7% $31,290
Spa Managers 14.6% $38,400

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Cosmetology?

940 Associate's Degrees Annually
96% Percent Women
47% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Cosmetology runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #28 out of all the trade school majors we track. In 2019, about 932 graduates completed their associate’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 96% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of cosmetology majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Cosmetology Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 35
Black or African American 140
Hispanic or Latino 216
White 477
International Students 9
Other Races/Ethnicities 63

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Cosmetology, too. About 1.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Japan
  • Nigeria
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

How Much Do Cosmetology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $30,190 to $41,710 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to cosmetology. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Cosmetology Major  ( 30190 to 41710 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some degrees associated with cosmetology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to cosmetology have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 12.4%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 15.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 45.8%
Some College Courses 7.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 8.5%
Bachelor’s Degree 10.5%
Master’s Degree 0.2%

Online Cosmetology Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,715 schools offered a cosmetology program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 2,281 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 2,321 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 187 0
Associate’s Degree 172 3
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 2,281 1
Master’s Degree 0 0
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Cosmetology Worth It?

The median salary for a cosmetology grad is $33,220 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to cosmetology.

Major Number of Grads
Culinary Arts 26,675
Funeral & Mortuary Science 1,965
Other Personal & Culinary Services 320

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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