In addition to styling, shampooing, cutting and curling, hair dressers advise clients on how to properly care for their hair.
Stylists typically work a 40 hour work week; although their schedule may be flexible. For example, many stylists work Saturdays and are off on Mondays. Furthermore, depending on where they are employed, stylists may be able to work evenings rather than days to accommodate the schedule of working clients.
Employment Prospects for Hair Stylists
Opportunities for this field include:
- Beauty salons
- Barber shops
- Department stores
- Nursing and residential care homes
In addition, more than 50% of the individuals employed within this field are self-employed. While there is a large number of individuals self employed within this field, not all own their own shops. Many self-employed hair stylists choose to lease space from another salon owner instead.
Job Search for Hair Stylists
Individuals searching for work will find that open positions can be found through classified advertisements and networking.
Resumes for Hair Stylists
While not all employers within this field require a resume for consideration of an open position, it is always a good idea for candidates to have a resume prepared for those employers who do maintain a resume requirement.
A chronological or combination resume format works well when applying for employment in this field. The combination resume format allows the candidate a little more freedom in expressing experience and competency in various techniques.
Cover Letters for Hair Stylists
When applying for work in this field, if a cover letter is required, individuals should focus their letter on their experience and dedication to customer service.
Training & Qualifications for Hair Stylists
Licensure is required in all States for individuals to be legally employed as hair dressers / stylists. State requirements do vary; however they usually include the requirement that the candidate be at least 16 years of age and have completed a State-licensed cosmetology training program.
Some States require the completion of a high school diploma or GED as a pre-requisite while others only require a minimum 8th grade education attainment. The licensure exam is normally composed of two components; a written portion and a practical skill demonstration.
Additional Training Requirements
In order to work in other States candidates may or may not need to attain additional licensure, depending on the particular state(s) in which they wish to work.
Training courses normally last anywhere between 8 to 24 months. A small number of states will allow candidates to complete an apprenticeship program instead of formal training. Apprenticeship programs may last from 1 to 3 years in length. Licensed hair stylists are required to keep up with changing techniques and trends.
Due to the fact that a large number of stylists are self-employed, it is also recommended that individuals interested in this field obtain some business administration training to enable them to properly keep records and handle business transactions.
Other managerial duties may include:
- Hiring and firing staff
- Ordering supplies
- Handling advertising matters
- Issues related to taxes
This type of work normally involves standing for long periods of time. Person interested in this type of work should have good dexterity and be able to work well with people as well as communicate effectively.
Due to the high level of competition for higher paying positions at more upscale salons, experts report that individuals with certifications to offer a broad range of services will have the greatest opportunities within this field.
Hair Styling Careers
There is room for advancement within this field, such as instructors, salon managers and eventually self-employment.
Other opportunities include becoming an examiner for a State licensing board.