The cosmetology school and program you choose should align with your daily schedule and career goals. We’ll help you decide what program to enroll in: Read about the different programs available as well as how long it should take to complete each one.
A “Do-It-All” Beauty School
If you want to expand your career horizons and learn to do it all—and the length of time it'll take to graduate isn't a determining factor for you—choose a beauty school that offers a comprehensive course program. Do classroom time learning about the chemistry behind hair coloring, care for skin and nails, and business skills, plus complete professional hands-on instruction for hair, nails, makeup, and skincare in a real salon.
Specific requirements for cosmetology licenses vary from state to state, so make sure you research the program extensively before you enroll—you don't want to be stuck in a situation where you can't be licensed because the program didn't offer all the requirements for it.
How Long Is A Complete Cosmetology School Education?
So how long is beauty school, you ask? Most of these extensive programs will take you anywhere from one to two years to complete, and you'll have an impressive resume by the time you graduate.
The exact length of time will depend on how many classes you take per term. For example, Tennessee requires 1,500 hours of beauty school instruction before you can apply for your cosmetology license. This equates to about a year of going to school full time (eight hours per day).
Hair School Or Barber School
If you know you want to strive for a career as a hairdresser and only a hairdresser, choose a beauty school program that offers solely that. Because these types of program don't include esthetician instruction for nails, skincare, and makeup, they will be more streamlined. They may still require classroom time, however. Most programs will provide instruction for learning all of the most popular hairstyles and cuts and will teach you how to safely dye hair.
How Long Will A Streamlined Program Take?
It will take you approximately 3-6 months to complete a streamlined hair program. A program that requires 600 hours of instruction will take you about five months to complete if you attend full time, and a program that requires 750 hours will take you closer to six months.
Other Beauty School Programs and Options
You can also choose to:
- Enroll in an esthetician-specific program, if your goal is to become a nail artist or work in a spa setting.
- Sign up for a program that offers extensive makeup instruction to become a professional makeup artist.
- Choose a beauty school that offers not only cosmetology instruction but also comprehensive business classes if you want to own a salon someday.
Begin A Cosmetology Career Today
Becoming a cosmetologist can happen the you want it to. Think about your time frame and desired kind of work. Then, look up the licensure requirements of your state if your goal is to become licensed, and find your school with those requirements in mind.