Is Cosmetology School a Trade School?

cosmetology vocational school

If you’re considering a career in cosmetology, you’ve probably begun researching what you need to know to pursue that career. It’s true that there are many things to learn before you can become a cosmetologist, but an important thing to learn is that cosmetology is essentially a trade, which means cosmetology school is a trade school.

Because cosmetology is a trade, cosmetology vocational school will help you learn all the things you need to succeed in this trade. Whether you’ve learned about trade schools before or this is the first you’ve really heard of them, here’s what you need to know to succeed.

What Is a Cosmetology Vocational School?

First and foremost, what is a cosmetology vocational school in the first place? Because cosmetology is a trade, you may hear people call cosmetology school “cosmetology trade school” or “cosmetology vocational school.” These are all typically different names for the same thing.

A cosmetology vocational school is a school that will teach you how to be a cosmetologist. You will attend cosmetology vocational school after you’ve already graduated high school, and high school graduation is typically the only educational prerequisite you need to attend.

What Will I Learn in a Cosmetology Vocational School?

Vocational or trade schools are a little different from what you might think of when you think of school. This type of school centers around teaching you real-world skills, rather than teaching you more abstract types of knowledge. Although both things are important, vocational schools attempt to teach you a directly marketable skill.

When it comes to cosmetology specifically, you’ll probably learn a lot of skills that revolve around haircutting and styling. For example, you’ll learn how to deal with different types of hair, how to cut and style different hair textures, and how to color hair more safely. You’ll typically learn these things in the classroom first, then through working with clients.

Is a Cosmetology Vocational School Important to Succeed in Cosmetology?

Some people might wonder whether a cosmetology vocational school is necessary to become a cosmetologist. Could you just learn the skills you need on your own? Although this may seem like a tempting option that doesn’t require school, it’s actually not a great option because it’s unlikely to give you the education you need.

As a cosmetologist, you’ll be handling people’s hair.

Making even just a small mistake as a cosmetologist can cause someone to feel uncomfortable about their physical appearance for weeks. Going to a cosmetology vocational school will show that you have professional knowledge that will help you avoid making those mistakes.

Will I Be Able to Work After Attending Cosmetology Vocational School?

In most states, cosmetology vocational school is a requirement for licensing. Once you go through the vocational school process, you’ll still need to get your cosmetology license. However, because cosmetology schools want you to get your license, they’ll typically provide practice tests and information on best practices.

Once you’ve gone through school and gotten your cosmetology license, you’ll be able to work. Plus, throughout school, you may get opportunities to network with local cosmetologists. That can open the door to cosmetology job opportunities almost as soon as you get your cosmetology license.


As you can see, cosmetology vocational school is a crucial element of your cosmetology career. Without cosmetology vocational school, you won’t be able to build a career in cosmetology at all. If you’re thinking about trying out cosmetology vocational school in Washington, consider scheduling a tour at Evergreen Beauty College to learn more about your options.

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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