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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 47,663
Basic Certificate 3,627
Associate’s Degree 712

What General Cosmetology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to general cosmetology and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for General Cosmetology Majors

General Cosmetology majors often go into careers in which the following 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

When studying general cosmetology, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

As you progress with your general cosmetology degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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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?

712 Associate's Degrees Annually
97% Percent Women
52% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 97% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of General Cosmetology Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 34
Black or African American 102
Hispanic or Latino 193
White 324
International Students 8
Other Races/Ethnicities 51

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in General Cosmetology, too. About 1.1% 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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 degrees associated with general 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 general cosmetology have obtained the following education levels.

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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 2018-2019, 1,532 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) 170 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1,390 1
Certificate (2-4 Years) 152 0
Associate’s Degree 135 1
Bachelor’s Degree 0 0
Post-Baccalaureate 170 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 23,657
Nail Technician/Specialist & Manicurist 10,042
Barbering/Barber 8,937
Cosmetology, Barber/Styling, & Nail Instructor 1,881
Facial Treatment Specialist/Facialist 1,732
Other Cosmetology and Related Personal Grooming Arts 1,563
Make-Up Artist/Specialist 1,409
Master Aesthetician/Esthetician 1,142
Hair Styling/Stylist & Hair Design 773
Salon/Beauty Salon Management/Manager 247
Electrolysis/Electrology & Electrolysis Technician 239
Permanent Cosmetics/Makeup & Tattooing 50

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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