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If making the world more beautiful is your goal when you start a business, a career in cosmetology might be for you. You can work as an aesthetician, hair stylist, nail technician or other beauty consultant. But first: you need a cosmetology license.

Who Needs a Cosmetology License?

If you plan to do any work on clients’ hair, skin, scalp, or nails, you need a cosmetology license. Some of the professionals who require this health license include:

  • Aesthetician
  • Hairstylist
  • Barber
  • Nail technician
  • Electrologist
  • Permanent makeup artist
  • Makeup artist
  • Cosmetology instructor
  • Massage therapist

Each state has heavy regulations when it comes to the beauty industry. You’ve got to use sanitary tools, whether that’s combs or nail files. And you’ve got to know everything there is to know about your field.

That’s why you’re required to go to cosmetology school. Check with your state’s business licenses, permits & tax board to find out what the required coursework is, and where you can sign up to attend a cosmetology school.

Going Back to School

Some cosmetology schools provide a general training in all areas, while others have specialty focuses, like massage or makeup. Decide what area you want to focus on and which school is best for you. There are often scholarships available, so if the cost of cosmetology school is high for you, see what financing options are available.

Once you take the required education classes, you can take your cosmetology license exam. You’ll be tested on everything you’ve learned, to prove you’re ready to go out into the world and take on clients. After you pass the test, you’re ready to apply for your cosmetology license!

Opening a Cosmetology Shop

As a business owner with a salon, nail shop, barber shop or other beauty-related business, you may also need to apply for a cosmetology shop license in addition to your cosmetology license.