Guide to Launching Your Cosmetology Career

Can you envision yourself with a career in the beauty industry? Whether you want to work in hair, makeup, fashion, style or grooming, the first steps you take to start your cosmetology career are some of the most important you’ll take. Where you train can determine your skill level when entering the job market, the connections you make, and the career opportunities that are available to you.

At Evergreen Beauty College, we have decades of experience helping students learn the skills they need to launch successful beauty careers. Each student’s journey may be a little different. However, this guide to launching your cosmetology career can help you navigate the important first steps of your journey.

Below, we’ll break down the six steps on how to launch a successful career in the beauty industry.


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1. Choose a Cosmetology Program

When you attend beauty school, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in different areas. You could focus on hair, makeup, barbering, nails, or another specialty. Your area of focus can determine the types of jobs you’ll qualify for after school.

It’s important to choose a program that suits your interest. But also keep in mind that there are different training length requirements in order to become certified in different areas. The cosmetology program you pursue will also determine the length of your training.

Select your program based on specialty and level of commitment.

  • Cosmetology: 1,600 hours of training (13 months)
  • Hair Design: 1,400 hours of training (11 months)
  • Barber Program: 1,000 hours of training (8 months)
  • Esthetics: 750 hours of training (6 months)
  • Master Esthetics: 1,200 hours of training (10 months)
  • Nail Technology: 600 hours of training (5 months)

2. Build Your Schedule of Classes

Next, look at the classes that are offered by each program. Think about what you’ll be learning as well as the schedule of classes that are available. Each student has different timing needs, and your cosmetology classes should fit alongside your other responsibilities.

Look for flexible schedule options. Programs can offer part-time schedules with four-hour school days. You can also build freedom into your training with 10 hours per week of online learning. And no school on weekends can give you a few days off from learning.

Prioritize programs that have focused learning. Part-time scheduling blocks means that you could choose between attending classes in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Rather than long days that drag on, these sessions help you focus on what you need to learn in a way that works for your schedule.

You can also benefit from online options or hybrid programs that have more learning options. When your program includes 10 hours per week of remote training, your class schedule gives you the flexibility to work toward your goals when the timing works for you.

To find out if a cosmetology program works for your needs, ask about morning and evening scheduling options during your campus tour.

3. Understand Financial Aid

Cosmetology school is an important investment for your future career. By learning hands-on skills in style and beauty, you’re taking the important first step to launch your cosmetology career.

Remember that the sticker price to attend beauty school is only the first step to understanding costs. There are 500+ programs to reduce tuition and help you affordably achieve your dreams.

When you speak with a financial aid representative, you can get matched with many different funding options that can help make it affordable to attend beauty school. Each student’s financial situation is different, and financial aid professionals can guide you through the following resources:

Free money to attend beauty school:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Washington State Need Grants
  • Worker Retraining Grants
  • Industry-sponsored programs

Ways to make beauty school affordable:

  • Low-interest federal loans
  • Flexible private loans
  • Monthly payment options

4. Train for Cosmetology Licensing

When you’re attending cosmetology classes, your education should help you qualify for the state licensing certification in your area of focus.

This means that the cosmetology program should meet the state’s training requirements. Certification requires completing a certain number of training hours and learning the required skills. You’ll also need to graduate from a beauty school that’s licensed through your state.

Your cosmetology program should also help you prepare for the state licensing exam. During your classes, you’ll practice the skills you’ll need to demonstrate in the practical exam, and you will learn concepts that will be on the written exam.

In Washington, it’s the Washington State Department of Licensing that manages the cosmetology licensing process. During your campus tour, ask about how the school prepares you for the cosmetology licensing exam requirement for the state of Washington.

5. Prepare for A Successful Career

While you’re still in school, you can be charting your path toward your future career. Consider the types of jobs you want and how your training can help you get there. Many cosmetology students go into these top three cosmetology careers:

Get Hired as a Beauty Professional: If you want to do the hands-on work of beauty and grooming, look for a program that includes portfolio development, how to prepare a resume, and practical experience in an on-campus student salon or spa.

Start Your Own Salon or Spa: If you picture yourself as a business owner, look for a program with dedicated business training. Through this coursework, you can understand how to attract clients, manage a business, and achieve success in the beauty industry.

Become an Instructor: An instructor training program can help you give back to other students who are just like you. You’ll learn how to be a leader in the beauty industry by helping others improve their beauty skills. This will diversify your job security and expand your credentials for advancement opportunities.

If you’re not sure what you want yet, keep your options open and choose a cosmetology program that can prepare you for all three careers.

6. Learn About Evergreen Beauty College

Cosmetology students in Washington state are choosing Evergreen Beauty College because they:


Evergreen Beauty College has been accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS), Washington State Board of Cosmetology, and the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS). Each campus follows local health and safety rules.


At Evergreen Beauty College, we take a hands-on approach to your learning with an educator overseeing you in all programs. You’ll get a foundational education that will give you the skills and confidence to achieve your dreams. And you’ll join a community of passionate individuals who are striving for the same goal: a hands-on career in the beauty industry.


Evergreen Beauty College and its students have been honored with countless awards. Our community has earned “Excellence in Education” from Modern Salon Magazine, “Reign of Style” first-place finish, “School of the Year” by Nuts and Bolts Business Training, and hundreds of student awards. So many graduates have gone on to live their dreams and open their own salon, spas, and barbershops.

7. Schedule a Tour

Evergreen Beauty College has six Washington State locations including Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Everett, North Seattle, Renton, and Yakima.

The best way to discover if Evergreen Beauty College is right for you is to:

Frank Trieu
Vice President of Business Development & Industry Relations

Frank Trieu is a cosmetology industry leader, and despite his accomplishments and accolades, he still prioritizes students on the Evergreen campus. Through building relationships within the community and local salons, retail stores, and spas, he helps facilitate job placements for aspiring beauty professionals using his expansive network.

Happy Evergreen Beauty College Students


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