What Does a Cosmetologist Do?

Jul 21 2017

Cosmetology is a big branch of the beauty industry. Many of the beauty services that we get are performed by certified or licensed cosmetologists. If you are wondering what the scope of jobs that a cosmetologists does, you are not alone. Sometimes the word cosmetology gets thrown around a lot to describe anyone who works in the beauty industry, but what do cosmetologists actually do?

hairstylist with comb

Many Possibilities

The truth of the matter is that cosmetologists can hold down a number of different jobs in the beauty industry. Depending on what kind of job you get or career path you choose to pursue, your day to day activities can look completely different. This is important to understand for people who are thinking about going to a cosmetology school because when you graduate there is a variety of paths you can take. Many people love this characteristic of becoming a cosmetologist: the possibilities are seemingly endless.

State Regulations

Another thing that you need to realize about cosmetology is that depending on where you live, the things you learn in school might be a little bit different. In some states you will be able to or required to learn certain things that might not be taught in another state. The cosmetology program at Hair Professionals Career College in Illinois, for example, is very comprehensive. Cosmetology students can learn a variety of topics in many branches of the beauty industry. However, states outside of Illinois may have different standards or requirements so if you are looking to go to a school in another state research what is taught.

hair stylist doing hair


Cosmetologists are most known for their expertise in hair. There are several layers to the training that cosmetologists get in hair while they are in school. Cutting hair has many different techniques that should be used to create the desired look, and cosmetologists learn these techniques while they are in school. Coloring or dying hair can also be done many ways and cosmetologists have training and practice in this area as well. Finally, styling hair is a task that beauty professionals do on a very regular basis. After a client gets their hair cut and dyed, a good cosmetologist will put the cherry on top by giving them a style that complements the shape of their face and other physical features. So, whenever you get your hair cut, dyed, or styled it is likely that you had it done by a licensed cosmetologist.


Another branch of the beauty industry that cosmetologists can have special training in is makeup. Most professional makeup artists have special education and training from a beauty school. At Hair Professional Career College, our program is designed to give students the tools they need to do makeup. Graduates that want to pursue a career in makeup can start their portfolio by doing makeup for special events such as prom or weddings.

esthetics facial mask application


Providing treatments and services to make your skin feel soft, smooth, and look healthy can also fall under the job description of a cosmetologist. In Illinois, licensed cosmetologists can perform many skin care treatments, so next time you get a facial it is likely a licensed cosmetologist who is performing it.


Another common place to find a cosmetologist working is in a nail salon. Manicures and pedicures are something that you can be licensed to do if you go to cosmetology school, and you can pursue employment helping people finish their desired look with the perfect manicure.

nail technician practicing customer service

Customer Care

The hard skills like styling hair, doing makeup, making skin shine, and painting nails make up the foundation of what a cosmetologist does on a daily basis. These are not the only things that they have to learn and be great at, however. As a cosmetologist you also have to learn how to communicate clearly with customers and provide them with a positive experience. This is another big part of the job for people who are in the beauty industry ranks.

Cosmo Entrepreneurs

If you thought that cosmetologists were just the people working in salons, cutting hair and painting nails, you’re wrong. Many salon and spa owners are cosmetology school graduates. The people who own beauty schools are also cosmetology school grads more often than not. Many great cosmetology schools, like Hair Professional Career College, include professional and business education as part of their curriculum. This helps them gain the business knowledge they need to run their own business or become an upper level manager.

hairdresser helping woman look beautiful

Helping Others

Becoming a beauty school instructor is another place you can find a licensed cosmetologist working. Many people choose to go back to school after gaining experience in the industry to become certified to teach others the tricks of the trade. It can be a fun and rewarding path for those who want to help others be successful in the beauty industry.

Now that you have a better idea of what a cosmetologist does get started on becoming one! Contact us and we can help you start moving toward your new career as a cosmetologist.


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