Successful cosmetologists, barbers and other personal appearance workers should have an understanding of fashion, art, and technical design. They should enjoy working with the public and be willing and able to follow clients’ instructions. Communication, image, and attitude play an important role in career success. Some cosmetology schools consider “people skills” to be such an integral part of the job that they require coursework in that area. Business skills are important for those who plan to operate their own salons. 

The BCCTC program provides education in emerging technology in the scientific and practical study of beauty culture with instruction in the care and beautification of the hair, skin and nails, which is designed to prepare students for the Alabama licensing examination.

Career Outlook
Overall employment in this field is projected to grow through 2014, because of an increasing population, rising incomes, and growing demand for personal appearance services.

Employment trends are expected to vary among the different occupational specialties. Employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists should grow about as fast as the average, and will be above average for those specializing in nail and skin care. Continued growth in the number of nail salons and full-service day spas will generate numerous job openings for manicurists, pedicurists, skin care specialists, and shampooers.

Median hourly earnings in May 2012 for salaried hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists was $10.95 per hour with the highest 10 percent earning more than $20.39 an hour. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics)
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