Thanks to consumers’ ongoing prioritization of self-care and wellness, as well as a rapidly evolving social media landscape that churns out new beauty trends at a much higher frequency than ever before, the demand for skilled estheticians and cosmetologists is high. And, with employment opportunities in these areas anticipated to grow by 17% and 11% respectively over the next decade, that demand isn’t going anywhere.

If apprehension about job stability has been holding you back from pursuing a beauty career, it’s time to put it to rest and get started on this next chapter of your life. Here’s what you need to do.

Key Steps for Launching Your Beauty Career

While your passion for beauty, desire to help clients look and feel their best, and drive to do what you love for a living will certainly give you the momentum needed to achieve your goals, there are a few necessary steps you must take to make it a reality.

Determine Your Path

First, you’ll need to decide which area of beauty you want to work in. Will it be hair or skin? You can specialize further as a professional, choosing to only perform haircutting and coloring services, or, if you go the skin route, only waxing services or only facials.

It’s also important to factor in your personality traits when determining your beauty path. Since you’ll be client-facing, being sociable and friendly — or at least being able to turn it on when you have to — is a must. Creative individuals might lean more towards hairstyling, hair coloring, or makeup application, as you’ll be able to incorporate this side of your personality in your day-to-day work. If you’re someone who prefers to explore the science of skin, product ingredients, and how they both interact, esthetics might be the path for you. 

Get Training

Next, you’ll need to attend cosmetology school or esthetics school to learn, train, and prepare for professional licensure. The length of your program will depend on a few factors, namely:

  • The area of beauty you’re studying
  • How many hours of training are required for licensure (keep in mind that this number varies by state and by beauty concentration — cosmetology generally requires more than esthetics)
  • Whether you’re attending school full-time or part-time

It’s important to be thorough when researching beauty programs, as this will ensure you’re getting the best preparation for every aspect of your professional career and that your training qualifies for licensure. Here are a few things to look for in a beauty school:

  • A comprehensive curriculum that consists of theory, business development, and practical components, which includes performing services on actual clients
  • Accreditation, which indicates that the school meets or exceeds strict standards and requirements enforced by a third-party accrediting body
  • Postgraduate support such as job placement assistance to get your career started, as well as continuing education opportunities to refine your skills and maintain your license

Build a Portfolio

When you’re ready to join the professional world, you’ll want a visual repertoire that showcases what you’re capable of. As you perform services during your practical training, take photos of your work — with clients’ permission, of course — and share it on social media. Not only will this show off your skills and expertise, but it will help you build your personal brand and connect you with others in your industry as well. 

Nowadays, it’s common for potential clients to refer to Instagram or TikTok for beauty inspiration and tips, and to find a professional who can help them achieve their beauty goals. If you’re not using this, you’re missing out.

Seek Mentorship

During your time in school, you’ll train under licensed professionals who have real-world industry experience and want to help you succeed. Utilize them! Ask for their advice and feedback, seek their support on a difficult day, and celebrate your wins together. As driven as you may be, a trusted mentor can really help to close the gap between you and your goals.

Get Licensed

The final step to launching your beauty career is getting licensed so you can practice professionally. Typically, this involves passing your state’s licensure exam(s) and applying for a license. There’s not much else to this step — with the proper knowledge, experience, and number of training hours under your belt, obtaining your license is a breeze, which is why it’s so important to choose a high-quality school that equips you with all of this.

Kick-Off Your Beauty Career With PCI Academy

Now that you know what it takes to start your beauty career, allow PCI Academy to help make it happen.

Choose from our multiple learning paths, where you’ll gain real-world experience, build your portfolio, and cultivate relationships. We offer one-on-one coaching, so you can set educational and career goals and accomplish them. And, we cover your licensing exam and application fees to make it even easier for your beauty career to begin.

Contact us today to learn more about PCI Academy and our programs, or apply now to get things started.