Another Great Reason to Go to Beauty School: Becoming a Cosmetology Instructor

Many students who graduate from beauty academy or a state licensed and approved cosmetology school go on to become amazing cosmetologists – whether they work in a salon or spa, freelance as hairstylists or makeup artists, or manage a beauty parlor or own their own business, the opportunities for graduating cosmetology students are endless. For other cosmetology school graduates who pass their licensing exams, there’s yet another opportunity that excites them – becoming a cosmetology school instructor. Maybe it was a great experience they shared with one or many of their beauty school instructors while at a cosmetology school, maybe they’ve always wanted to teach or help others realize their dreams but haven’t found their calling in a standard education system, or maybe for others it’s simply for the love of cosmetology and beauty – and being fully immersed in it every day.

Most budding cosmetologists go to beauty academy with hopes for earning their cosmetology license and being able to practice as a beautician in their chosen field – whether it’s as a makeup artist, hairstylist or barber, esthetician or nail technician… cosmetology students all want to graduate and pass the state cosmetology board exams and that’s where cosmetology instructors come into play. A cosmetology instructor’s job is to build upon that foundation of faith and to help cosmetology students earn the knowledge and skillset they need in order to become successful cosmetologists in their chosen field within beauty. For a select few cosmetology students, learning from their instructor and the bond that they share may ignite the desire to want to be on the other side and teach cosmetology for a living too!

So How Do You Become a Cosmetology Instructor?

To become a cosmetology instructor, you’ve got to first work as a cosmetologist. Once you’ve met and/or exceeded the cosmetology requirements as set forth by the State of California, you can then begin to attend courses to help you become a beauty instructor. Just as many of our students at Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy earned their cosmetology license through education and maintain their cosmetology license, you’ve also got to earn and maintain your cosmetology instructor’s license.

Quite often, you’re able to get your Cosmetology Instructor’s License at the same beauty schools that educate cosmetologists. Plan on spending about 3-9 months studying to become a Cosmetology Instructor, in addition to becoming a cosmetologist first.

As part of your education in becoming a cosmetology instructor, you’ll learn exactly how to teach with passion as well as to assess your classroom’s performance – student by student. While a portion of your entire study may be simply based on what is required of your cosmetology students within California in order to help students qualify and meet the rigorous standards for cosmetologists laid down by the state, you will also learn about how to teach and apply your technique and trade, tailored to each student’s needs. As a student-teacher, you’ll also learn how to better offer positive reinforcement as well as how to suggest improvements and offering feedback to students in your chosen field. In order to meet the school (and State’s) minimum requirements for cosmetology instructors, you will also spend a good portion of your training as a student cosmetology instructor, which is a lot like a student teacher.

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What Are Some of the Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Cosmetology Instructor?

Prior to making a final decision to becoming a beauty school cosmetology instructor, it’s important to be certain that you understand and are ready for the daily tasks of any good beauty instructor worth their salt. Some daily duties that are a part of every beauty school instructor’s routine include:

  • Meet and greet new potential students and assess their current job skills, personalities, and answer their questions in order to help them decide if your cosmetology school is a good fit.
  • Putting together introductory ‘gear up’ classes that can help to build upon a cosmetology school’s confidence, as they learn the skills that will propel them through the beauty industry
  • Coaching with a hands-on approach and walking your students through live-laboratory settings in courses on makeup, hair, styling, barbering, nail and skin care, and cosmetology basics
  • Administering all testing – both written and practical (hands-on, lab)
  • Providing excellent feedback to students in your cosmetology courses
  • Lending a hand and acting as a ‘shadow’ while your cosmetology students work on their live clients, and then reviewing their work in order to offer your expert and time-tested suggestions for improvement
  • Preparing beauty students for their commencement as well as subsequent California State Board of Cosmetology Exams

What are some of the Skills Needed to Become a Cosmetology Instructor?

Being a teacher is obviously a very demanding profession. But being a great teacher and mentor is an entirely different kind of demanding. While it isn’t imperative you have all the qualities and qualifications listed below in order to become a cosmetology instructor, you may want to improve on some of these abilities and traits as you build upon your new career:

  • Teaching with persistence and spending time with each student on a one-to-one basis, especially those who may initially have difficulty understanding a theory or technique
  • Communicating clearly with students and making sure you offer regular feedback to all students
  • Being flexible. It’s important to be able to change your teaching methods for different sets of classes and students at different learning levels
  • Being upbeat and able to spend a substantial time on your feet while you interact, grade and watch over your labs and classrooms
  • Being a good critical thinker. It’s important to be able to think outside the box as a cosmetology school instructor and to change things up when the need arises in your classroom

What Types of Opportunities are Available to Cosmetology School Instructors?

Once you’re done with your cosmetology instructor training and coursework, there are quite a few opportunities for beauty school instructors, including business ownership, freelance cosmetology coaches, beauty mentors, bloggers and online instruction as well as working for the same (or a different) cosmetology school you may have graduated from! 2015 independent California surveys state that an increasing number of students are opting for 2-year vocational schools and cosmetology schools over any other type of formal cosmetology training. That means that these schools may all have growing needs for instructors over the course of the next decade. We expect the nationwide demand for cosmetology instructors to increase by at least 8-15% through the year 2020.

How to Get Started as a Cosmetology School Instructor Today

If you like what you’ve read and want to explore the career of a Licensed Cosmetology Instructor in the State of California, you’ll want to call a licensed and accredited cosmetology school like Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy in Orange County, California. Located in the heart of OC, in beautiful Santa Ana, Colleen O’Hara’s Beauty Academy excels at fast-tracking students on the road to preparing for the final State Cosmetology License Exams. Please call us today and let one of our friendly admissions advisors answer your questions and if you like, we can schedule a tour of our modern cosmetology school campus in Santa Ana, California free of charge, with no obligation.

Please call 888-463-7869 and let us help you become a licensed cosmetology instructor in California today!