Cosmetology FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What a Cosmetologist Does
What type of work does a Cosmetologist do?
Cosmetologists perform a variety of hairstyling and beauty services including (but not limited to) shampooing, cutting, styling, and coloring hair. Cosmetologists may also apply make-up, provide facial treatments, perform hair removal services, and provide nail and skin care services. In addition, cosmetologists can also schedule client appointments, operate cash registers to accept payment from clients, update and maintain client information, and keep their workstation and tools clean and sanitized.
Where do Cosmetologists work?
Cosmetologists traditionally work in salons but some may also work in a spa, hotel, or resort.
Will I be able to find a job?
It’s important to note that no school can guarantee employment. Here at Dorsey Schools, we offer career services assistance to all eligible graduates of the Cosmetology program. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page. It is worth noting though that according to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 10% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.a In addition, according to the State of Michigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists is projected to grow 7.8% from 2014 to 2024.b
How much can I expect to make as a Cosmetologist?
Here are some helpful websites that will allow you to view information on Wages & Employment trends:
- Michigan Occupational Wage Information (The SOC for Cosmetologists is 39-5012)
- O*NET Online (Scroll down to Wages & Employment Trends to view helpful info on National/State trends)
Are there other jobs I may be able to obtain as a Cosmetologist?
Cosmetologists, once licensed, may work under other various titles such as Stylist, Cosmetologist, Hairdresser, Hairstylist, Stylist, and Nail Technician. When looking at any position, it’s important to evaluate the duties of the position along with the required skills and knowledge to determine if a candidate may meet the requirements set forth by the employer.
How is a Cosmetologist different from other professionals in the Beauty industry?
Cosmetologists may perform a variety of services to clients hair, nails, make-up, and skin. Some beauty professionals may be more specialized in the work they perform and may only perform selected services.
Are there other career opportunities for Cosmetologists?
Some may choose to use a career as a Cosmetologist as an entryway into the beauty field. It would not be uncommon for a Cosmetologist to work in the field to gain experience to grow their skills and/or responsibilities. Some may also choose to go back to school to further their education and/or strengthen their credentials.
Becoming a Cosmetologist
How might I determine if this is a good career choice for me?
In choosing any career, it’s important that someone look at a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Can I see myself doing the work that this position/occupation performs and am I going to be happy performing those tasks in that type of work setting?
- Do I have the skills/traits/characteristics that one may need to be successful in a position like this?
- How is the employment outlook/trends for this position?
I have no background/experience in the beauty field – can I really do this?
You can! Many cosmetologists have little to no experience prior to beginning their training. That’s why it’s very important for someone interested in becoming a cosmetologist to evaluate their school and training options closely.
What type of training is needed?
Cosmetologists typically attend a post-secondary school or institution to obtain training. Many of these programs lead to a certificate or a diploma and typically take around one year to complete. Most states require candidates to complete their training at a State approved/licensed school in order to pursue licensure so it’s important for candidates to understand the licensure guidelines/procedures for their specific state as well as ensure their training school meets those requirements. It’s also important to note that since Cosmetologists work very closely with the public and the services they provide are very “hands-on,” it can be advantageous to a student to choose a program that has strong instructional and practical components so they can “learn by doing.”
How long do I have to go to school?
The length of Cosmetology programs may vary state by state, however, in most instances, full-time Cosmetology programs usually take at least 9-months to complete. In the State of Michigan, Cosmetology training programs must be at least 1500 hours of training. The Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program is a 1500 hour program and takes over one year to complete.
What are important characteristics for Cosmetologists to have?
While this isn’t a full list of important characteristics, Cosmetologists should have good communication and customer service skills, listening skills, time management skills, creativity, and tidiness. If you’re lacking in one or more of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t be a good Cosmetologist, and it may be an area you wish to focus on as part of your training.
Is Certification/Licensure required to obtain employment as a Cosmetologist?
Yes, all states require Cosmetologists to be licensed in order to obtain gainful employment in the field. Requirements may vary state to state, so it’s important to know the requirements in the state in which you desire to pursue employment. States usually require candidates to complete their training at a State approved/licensed school. Upon graduating from a state approved school, candidates are required to take a licensing exam. The licensing exam in Michigan contains a written and a practical component. In order to assist our graduates, Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge the state licensure exam, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
The Dorsey Schools Cosmetology Program
What will be covered in the program?
The Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program offers instruction in both a traditional classroom setting as well as a hands-on environment by way of the student salon at Dorsey School of Beauty. Students enrolled in the Cosmetology program will be exposed to a variety of topics including (but not limited to):
- Art Principles
- Hair Styling
- Hair Cutting
- Hair Coloring
- Thermal Styling
- Permanent Waving
- Chemical Relaxing
- Scalp and Facial Treatments
- Salon Management
- Infection Control
- Law and Ethics
- And more…!
Is your program hands-on?
Yes! Cosmetology students at Dorsey Schools will have opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in both the classroom setting as well as in the student salon at Dorsey School of Beauty.
What’s the student salon and why is that important?
Dorsey School of Beauty locations operate a fully functioning salon where Senior Students in the Cosmetology program can practice and apply the skills they have learned throughout their program on members of the public. This hands-on experience affords students the opportunity to continue to enhance their skills while gaining exposure to real-world occupational settings that cosmetologists may be exposed to once licensed and working in the field.
How long is the program?
The Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program is a 1500 hour program and will take over one year to complete. Actual completion time may vary student to student.
Who are the instructors?
Our instructors are caring individuals that possess experience and expertise in their respective field. Our licensed instructors meet the criteria set forth by the State of Michigan as well as the criteria set forth by the respective institutional accrediting bodies for Dorsey Schools.
Why should I choose Dorsey over another school?
Students choose Dorsey Schools over other career training schools for a variety of reasons. You can learn more by visiting The Dorsey Difference page.
How do I enroll?
If you’re interested in enrolling in the Cosmetology program at Dorsey Schools, the first step you should take is meeting with one of our Admissions Representatives. You can read more about our Admissions process and program-specific admissions information on our Admissions information page.
Does your program include licensure?
While actual licensure is not included in the curriculum of the Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program, graduates may go on to challenge the state licensure exam. Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge the state licensure exam, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements. Only the State of Michigan Board of Cosmetology can grant Cosmetology licenses to candidates.
Will your program prepare me for licensure?
The Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program is designed to prepare students to go on to challenge a licensure exam. In Michigan, in order to obtain licensure, candidates must successfully pass a state qualifying examination which consists of testing in both theory knowledge and practical skills after completing their training program.
Is your school accredited?
Yes! The Taylor campus of Dorsey Schools is institutionally accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts & Sciences (NACCAS). All campus locations of Dorsey Schools are institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
What is the tuition for the program?
The current tuition for the Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program at the Lansing, MI; Madison Heights, MI; and Roseville, MI campuses can be accessed by clicking here. The current tuition for the Dorsey Schools Cosmetology program at the Taylor, MI campus can be accessed by clicking here.
What is included in my tuition?
In addition to program instruction, tuition includes books, supplies, a cosmetology program kit including books, the mandatory State of Michigan registration fee, a uniform, and Dorsey Schools will pay the cost one time for graduates of this program to challenge the state licensure exam, contingent upon the graduate meeting Dorsey Schools exam preparation requirements.
Is Financial Aid available?
Financial Aid is available for those who qualify. For additional information on Financial Aid and Tuition Assistance, we would encourage you to visit our Financial Aid Information page.
Can you help me find a job after graduation?
Dorsey Schools offers Career Services assistance to all eligible graduates, however, job placement is not guaranteed. You can learn more about the assistance our Career Services team offers by visiting our Career Services for Students and Graduates page.
For your reference, we’ve included the links below of several very helpful websites where you can learn more about Cosmetologists, information pertaining to Jobs as a Cosmetologist, the work Cosmetologists do, etc.:
aBureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm (visited July 11, 2016).
bMichigan DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, Long-Term Occupational Employment Projections (2014-2024) Michigan Statewide, Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists (SOC Code: 39-5012), http://milmi.mt.gov/Portals/137/publications/projectionsdata/LongTerm_OccupationalProj_2024_MI.xlsx (visited July 11, 2016).
Michigan Occupational Wage Information: http://milmi.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=124
O*Net Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/39-5012.00
Dorsey Schools Gainful Employment Disclosures for the Cosmetology program at the Lansing, MI; Madison Heights, MI; and Roseville, MI campuses: For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.
Dorsey Schools Gainful Employment Disclosures for the Cosmetology program at the Taylor, MI campus: For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please click here.