Cosmetology at College of San Mateo - Career Opportunities
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Career Opportunities

A career in the cosmetology field offers flexibility, enabling licensed professionals to switch between working as a hairstylist to working in the esthetic or nail areas, as best suits their professional interest.

A cosmetologist has the option of working in city center or neighborhood salons depending on needs and interests. Additionally there is the option of working part-time so as to balance family responsibilities or to support other educational goals.

One of the career paths which can be chosen is to own a business. The salon business can be a profitable one. There are many potentially lucrative opportunities, from a small specialty salon to a large, full-service day spa. With some experience in the field, a course in small business management, and a relatively small financial outlay, the licensed cosmetologist can be his or her own boss.

Other career paths open to licensed professionals include:
  • Cosmetic Company Representative
  • Cosmetology Instructor
  • Platform Artist
  • Salon Manager
  • Artistic Director for a Large Chain Salon
  • Theatrical Make-up Artist
  • Esthetician-Skin Care Specialist
  • Nail Tech
  • Cruise Line Stylist
  • State Board Inspector
  • Wedding Specialist/Photo Stylist
  • Salon Owner
  • Spa Owner
  • Beauty Magazine Writer
According to a survey conducted by a national cosmetology foundation, the national average wage for a cosmetologist is $36,360 annually.*

This figure will be considerably higher in the San Francisco Bay Area due to higher salon pricing (reflecting a generally higher cost of living). The industry has proven recession proof. Another survey conducted by a large chain salon found there are three jobs waiting for each licensed graduate. So, the beauty industry offers a career that is not only an artistic outlet but, in practical terms, can pay the bills.

*(Source: National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS) "Job Demand in the Cosmetology Industry, 2003")