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Getting a cosmetology instructor’s license is a great step up the career ladder for a stylist. There are so many work options, and teaching what you love is incredibly rewarding. Whether you want to travel nonstop or stay close to home … to teach small groups or theaters packed full of stylists … there’s a cosmetology educator job that’s perfect for you. If you’re interested in this cool professional path, here are Douglas J’s answers to your most common questions.
Where will I teach? Cosmetology instructors have lots of choices. The main three categories are: teaching in salons as part of their new stylist training programs; teaching courses in beauty schools, vocational/technical schools, or colleges; or working for a brand, teaching new techniques to stylists in various venues such as independent workshops or trade shows.
What type of cosmetology educator job is the best fit for me? Luckily, there are positions to suit everyone’s preferences, personality, and life circumstances. It’s possible to start out as one type of educator, and evolve to other types based on your professional and personal path.
People who love to travel and perform for a crowd are ideal as platform artists, who work for a brand and appear at industry events far and wide, educating people on the latest trends and techniques. On the flip side, those who prefer a more traditional class structure, can’t or don’t want to travel for work, and are most comfortable following a routine are far better suited as a cosmetology instructor at a beauty school or college.
Stylists who want to teach but continue working behind the chair are a good fit as instructors for an in-salon education program. Salons vary in their prerequisites for their staff educators — some require an educator’s license or advanced accreditation, like an Aveda PureFessional certification. In-salon education programs also vary by salon in terms of length and class size, though most have fewer than 12 trainees. Some salons have pre-determined start and end dates, while others do not. Most in-salon educators are advanced stylists at the salons where they teach. Many start as mentors, paired with a trainee for a truly one-on-one teaching approach. In-salon instruction is another good option for people who can’t travel very often, or don’t wish to.
Douglas J Aveda East Lansing instructor Melissa Musser, doing what she does best!
Advanced educators work for a brand, and teach higher-level sessions at various locations and times. Sometimes they’re hired by salons to conduct special staff trainings, while other times they work in tandem with an industry event or a school to offer a workshop or multi-day course for interested stylists. These positions are great for people who would rather teach specialized skills to proficient stylists, and who like to travel — though travel isn’t always a requirement. This type of educator generally has a lot of experience as an instructor and has achieved master-level stylist status. A great example of this is an Aveda PureFessional or Guest Artist.
What qualities are needed to be a successful cosmetology educator? Being able to inspire people is a must. That means you have to stay enthusiastic about your chosen field and always remember why you wanted to become a stylist in the first place! Really, the same traits needed to be a good teacher of any type apply to being a cosmetology educator. They are: patience, a strong work ethic, passion for the subject, organizational skills, and a love for learning. The latter quality is so important for cosmetology teachers, because not only must they pass instructor training (and an instructor licensing exam) but they must take continuing education courses consistently to maintain their license. That means being a good student themselves!
How do I become a cosmetology instructor? If your career path requires a license, you must pass a certified training program. Requirements and qualifications vary by state. In the two states where Douglas J Aveda Institutes offer instructor training programs, the course in Michigan must be 500 hours, and 300 in Tennessee. The experience requirements for cosmetology instructor students in Michigan are 3 years; in Tennessee, none.
Cosmetology instructor programs encompass teaching methods, educational theories, and techniques for evaluating students. Douglas J instructor training courses are very hands-on and include experience as a student instructor, so that our trainees are fully prepared to teach as soon as they get their license.
Passing the state licensure examination is the final step. Douglas J Aveda Institute students have a very high pass rate their first time, because we prepare our trainees for this test very thoroughly! Once you hold a license as a cosmetology instructor, you must adhere to continuing education requirements set by the state. Most states require 8 credit hours per year. As an alumnus of Douglas J, you’ll be constantly advised of continuing education opportunities that are both convenient and exciting for you.
Douglas J’s cosmetology instructor training programs are among the absolute best in the industry. When you’re ready to launch this next phase in your fabulous career, let’s talk!