Cosmetology Instructor Salary
Cosmetology instructors teach courses to students in vocational and trade schools on topics such as hair styling, coloration and skin care. They also instruct students on how to work in simulated salon settings.
The average Cosmetology Instructor salary varies from one city to another by as much as 8%, with Santa Cruz, CA and Manhattan, NY leading the pack.
Preparing Students for Licensing
Cosmetology instructors train students in a variety of skills used in the beauty industry. Their job duties include developing and implementing curriculum, giving lectures, and delivering exams to their students. They typically work at state-licensed vocational, technical, or proprietary schools and beauty colleges. They may also serve as school administrators or state board examiners.
Unlike many teachers, a cosmetology instructor has the unique opportunity to teach students practical skills that will help them in their future careers. For example, if they are working with aspiring barbers or stylists, they can give their students practice on mannequin heads to prepare them for performing haircuts on real clients.
While a cosmetology instructor’s responsibilities are similar to those of other college instructors, adjunct faculty members tend to use different skills when applying for jobs. For instance, adjunct faculty are more likely to use skills like student learning, course curriculum, and mathematics when applying for positions. They also earn a lower average salary than cosmetology instructors.
Teaching Students in a Private School
A cosmetology instructor in a private beauty school is more likely to be paid higher than those teaching students in public or community colleges. Private schools tend to focus on adult students and may offer part-time as well as full-time positions.
Some beauty schools have creative ways to connect their students with the community. For example, students earning their barber licenses at one New York beauty school were given the opportunity to cut hair for the homeless.
When seeking a position, be sure to highlight any previous teaching experience on your resume, even if it’s not in the cosmetology field. Also, consider reaching out to local beauty schools and asking if you can observe a class. Most beauty schools are happy to accommodate prospective instructors. You can also find job opportunities by searching the online job boards and employment classifieds. For example, Southeastern College is seeking industry-experienced cosmetology instructors with a state cosmetology license. Visit the Southeastern College page to learn more about this role.
Teaching Students in a Public School
Dedicated beauty professionals who have worked in the industry for many years can make a significant contribution to their community as cosmetology instructors. These individuals are responsible for training the next generation of cosmetologists and directly affect their knowledge base and skill set.
As such, these individuals need to have strong communication and teaching skills. They also need to be able to inspire their students and encourage them to excel in their careers.
Cosmetology instructors who teach at the high school level often need to find creative ways to get their students to practice their techniques and work on actual clients. For example, one beauty school in New York City found a way to give haircuts to local homeless people for just $3 per head. This type of initiative shows how dedicated these professionals are to their students’ success in the profession. This may be the kind of behavior that other schools and employers should emulate in order to get their students ready for their career.
Teaching Students in a Community College
If you’re a cosmetology instructor working at the community college level, your teaching may be different from what it would have been in a private school. Unlike the traditional student-teacher relationship of high schools, community colleges are usually filled with adult students who often have some degree of work experience in the field.
This can help them bring real-world perspectives to the classroom, but it also makes the teaching job more challenging as students may be more reluctant to ask questions or engage in class discussions. Nonetheless, many community college instructors love the challenge of teaching adult students and enjoy developing new relationships with them.
One of the main differences between community college cosmetology teachers and those who teach at a four-year school is that at the former, the standard course load is five classes per semester. This can be challenging for some instructors who came from research institutions where higher course loads are the norm.