Cosmetology jobs generally focus on one of the following three areas: skin, nails, or hair. Take nails as an example. If a cosmetologist chooses to specialize in nails, he or she will provide manicures and pedicures, and will buff and clean and condition a client’s nails, as well as paint and polish them, so they’ll be as beautiful to behold as possible. They can attach artificial fingernails and toenails as well.
If you choose to become a cosmetologist, you will also have to choose what kind of setting to work in. You’ll have the option of working in salons, spas or gyms and other fitness centers. Or you could work for a dermatologist. You could also work at a store in a shopping mall or for a department store. Or you could work for yourself-either out of your own home, in a shop that you set up, or in the homes of your clients. If you do choose to run your own business, you’ll have to be good at business, though, especially if you opt to run your own store and hire employees. (Almost half of all cosmetologists, about forty-five percent, are self-employed, which is a pretty high number.)
There are also many careers in the cosmetology field in which you don’t work directly with customers. For example, you could specialize in making wigs and other beauty products. Or you could become a cosmetics buyer, someone whose job it is to find and purchase the best cosmetic products at the best possible prices for a certain business to use. You could also serve as an image consultant, or you could write about personal style for a periodical or for a popular style website. You could also go on to teach students at a cosmetology school, a great way to pass on the skills you’ve acquired.
One challenging aspect to being a cosmetologist is that no two customers can be treated in the same way. People have different sizes, shapes, colors, opinions about personal style, hair and nail textures, and sensitivities and allergies to makeup. Many cosmetologists relish this part of the job, however. The job would probably be a lot more boring for many people were all customers exactly the same. Instead, you really have to approach each person as their own work of art, finding the products that will most flatter them, and developing a unique style for each face or head of hair.
The job outlook for cosmetologists is very healthy at the present, with many openings expected in coming years. There are also plenty of opportunities for advancement, too. The longer you work in the field and the more procedures you know how to do, the more money you’ll be able to make.