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General Cosmetology Major

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General Cosmetology

712 Associates's Degrees Annually
0 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
#57 in Popularity (Associate's)
$30,190 Median Salary

Types of Degrees General Cosmetology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many general cosmetology/cosmetologist graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 42,027
Basic Certificate 2,835
Associate Degree 730

What General Cosmetology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to general 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 General 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skills for General Cosmetology Majors

general cosmetology majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Abilities for General Cosmetology Majors

A major in general cosmetology will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

What Can You Do With a General Cosmetology Major?

People with a general cosmetology degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
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

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in General Cosmetology?

730 Associate's Degrees Annually
95% Percent Women
54% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 95% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 32
Black or African American 117
Hispanic or Latino 194
White 299
International Students 12
Other Races/Ethnicities 76

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in General Cosmetology. About 1.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do General Cosmetology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

General Cosmetology majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $25,860 to $36,350 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 General Cosmetology Major  ( 25860 to 36350 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with general cosmetology require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. 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.

Find out what the typical degree level is for general cosmetology careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 11.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 17.5%
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) 59.2%
Some College Courses 6.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 1.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 3.3%

Online General Cosmetology Programs

In 2019-2020, 1,506 schools offered a general 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1,394 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 123 0
Associate’s Degree 138 1
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
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 General Cosmetology Worth It?

The median salary for a general cosmetology grad is $30,190 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 general cosmetology.

Major Number of Grads
Aesthetician/Esthetician & Skin Care Specialist 24,512
Nail Technician/Specialist & Manicurist 8,655
Barbering/Barber 8,159
Facial Treatment Specialist/Facialist 2,079
Other Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Arts 1,737
Cosmetology, Barber/Styling, & Nail Instructor 1,274
Master Aesthetician/Esthetician 1,187
Hair Styling/Stylist & Hair Design 1,037
Make-Up Artist/Specialist 797
Salon/Beauty Salon Management/Manager 322
Electrolysis/Electrology & Electrolysis Technician 232
Permanent Cosmetics/Makeup & Tattooing 26

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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