How to Become a Cosmetologist in TN: 12 Steps

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Have you always had a passion for beauty and making people look and feel great? A career in cosmetology may be right for you. Types of cosmetology careers can range from hair stylists to makeup artists to skin care specialists, and the industry is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 10 percent growth from 2014 to 2024. By 2024, the estimated projected employment will be 655,600. This means a lot of job opportunities for aspiring beauticians.


A career in cosmetology can lead to a variety of professions, and there are a ton of opportunities. If cosmetology school is something that interests you, it is best that you do as much research as possible before you jump in. Here are the 12 steps to becoming a cosmetologist.


  • Find Out if You Meet the Age and Educational Requirements



To attend cosmetology school in TN, a person must be at least 16 years of age and have a high school diploma or GED.


  • Enroll in Cosmetology School



Once you have determined that you meet the minimum age and educational requirements, you can now enroll in cosmetology school. The first step in applying for a spot at most schools in Tennessee is to visit the school. This way, you can see where you will be learning and identify if the school is a good fit.


You can also visit the financial aid office to look at your options to cover the cost of your education. Lastly, you will fill out an application to help you jumpstart your beauty career.


  • Complete Cosmetology School



In cosmetology school, you will get valuable hands-on experience at workstations. Your instructors will provide insights into cutting, coloring, shampooing, styling, perms, manicures, pedicures, and more. Your training will also prepare you for the state written exams, so that you can obtain your cosmetology license and be fully prepared to work in a salon.


The length of a cosmetology program in Tennessee is approximately 60 weeks (1500 hours). During each step of the program, you will be furthering your skills in different ways to help prepare you for your state exam and life in the salon after graduation.


  • Choose Your Specialty



As a cosmetologist, there are a variety of specialties that you can take on depending on your interests. It’s smart to consider additional coursework or choose a specialty to focus on so you can become a master of your trade. Different job titles that you can hold as a cosmetologist include:


  • Hair Stylist
  • Nail Technician
  • Salon Owner
  • Spa Manager
  • Wedding/Special Events Stylist
  • Manager or Salon Assistant


  • Pass the Tennessee Licensing Exam



Each state has different requirements to obtain a cosmetologist license. The licensing requirements for the state of Tennessee include a written test that you will have to pass.


  • Participate in Apprenticeship Programs in Your Community



Get your foot in the door and gain more experience by joining an apprenticeship program at a local salon. This makes you a more attractive applicant when you are looking for a full-time job.


  • Find the Best Location



Not all cosmetologists work in salons. Many are part-time freelancers or self-employed. Choosing to be self-employed gives you flexibility in your schedule, but you can also choose to work in one of the following locations:


  • Day spas, hotel spas, and resort spas
  • Retail beauty supply locations
  • Nursing and residential care homes
  • Fashion shows and events


  • Apply for Jobs



Once you have your license and experience under your belt, you can begin applying. You’ll want to write a resume, make phone calls, check which salons have openings, and leave your resumes with salons even if they don’t have openings.


  • Develop Your Skills



Even after completing beauty school; but if you want to be a great cosmetologist, you have to put in the hours to work and learn simultaneously. When you start working in the field, you will develop excellent communication and social skills. You will also advance your artistic ability, ability to multitask, and your knowledge of how to run a business.


  • Keep Your Skills Current



The beauty industry is always changing. To stay up to date on the latest trends, popular cuts and styles, and what clients want, you will need to attend trade shows, enroll in continuing education, subscribe to style magazines, and read style blogs.


  • Develop a Strong Client Base



Without loyal clients, you won’t continuously have success in your career. Build relationships with your clients and encourage them to book more appointments with you. Building your book of business will also help you to get new clients because your clients who know and trust you will recommend you.


  • Expand Your Business



Once you’ve gained enough experience, consider future options to expand your career. Maybe you can move up to a manager position or open up a salon.

Franklin Academy: Top Beauty School in Tennessee

Franklin Academy’s cosmetology program offers high-quality education to fully prepare you for your dream career in the beauty industry. If you are an aspiring beautician in Tennessee, contact Franklin Academy today and set up a tour with our school.