The job of a cosmetologist is to care for their clients’ appearance and provide cosmetic assistance, usually through hairdressing, nail manipulation, skincare and other techniques. A cosmetologist may specialize in a certain area of the body – such as the skin – though in most cases they’re equally adept in all aspects of cosmetics. Cosmetologists may sometimes work with their own cosmetic solutions, which is common for larger studios with lots of employees and a solid system. Cosmetologists frequently perform specialized operations such as massages.

Becoming a cosmetologist isn’t easy, despite the general public view on the job. A higher level of education is almost always required, at leat in the higher-level beauty salons, and additionally the candidate must possess a valid license for operating as a cosmetologist. This type of license is issued by their local jurisdiction based on a variety of criteria, which can be slightly different from area to area, but generally include an examination, with both written and oral parts.

A cosmetologist can expect an annual salary of between $17,000 – $34,000. The job tends to be a low-paying one in general, and there aren’t many bonuses associated with it as well. Still, the demand for experienced cosmetologists is noticeably high, and the job offers some good prospects for future development when hired by larger salons (where one can expect a higher salary, typically up to $50,000/year). According to some, the high educational requirements associated with the job do not justify the compensation employees receive afterwards.