Cosmetologist, Hairstylist, & Hairdresser Career Information

The following information is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Barbers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists. Please visit the website for a more comprehensive breakdown of the data and here for a salary breakdown of tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers.



Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists provide haircutting, hairstyling, and a range of other beauty services.

Job Duties

  • Inspect and analyze hair, skin, and scalp to recommend treatment
  • Discuss hairstyle options
  • Wash, color, lighten, and condition hair
  • Chemically change hair textures
  • Cut, dry, and style hair
  • Receive payments from clients
  • Clean and disinfect all tools and work areas


National Average Annual Pay (2019): $31,530

Top 5 States

1. Massachusetts


2. Washington


3. Colorado


4. New Jersey


5. Vermont


Bottom 5 States

50. Nevada


49. Louisiana


48. New Mexico


47. Alabama


46. Arkansas



To become a cosmetologist, first attend a state-approved cosmetology program. They might be at a community college or an independent cosmetology school. These programs lead to a certificate.

Next, cosmetologists must obtain a license in order to work. Students will take a state licensing exam that includes a written test, and in some cases, a practical test or oral exam.

  • 1. Attend a State- Approved Cosmetology Program

  • 2. Take State Licensing Exam

  • 3. Get a Job as a Cosmetologist



Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists must keep up with the latest trends and be ready to try new hairstyles for their clients.

Customer-Service Skills

Workers must be pleasant, friendly, and able to interact with customers in order to retain clients.

Physical Stamina

Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists must be able to stand on their feet for long periods.

Listening Skills

Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists should be good listeners. They must listen carefully to what the client wants in order to make sure that the client is happy with the result.

Time- Management Skills

Barbers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists need to manage their time efficiently when scheduling appointments and providing services. Clients who receive timely hair care are more likely to return.


Workers must keep a neat personal appearance and keep their work area clean and sanitary. This requirement is necessary for the health and safety of their clients and for making clients comfortable enough so that they will want to return.

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