Cosmetology Instructor Certification

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For individuals interested in becoming cosmetology instructors, certification is an important step. In order to get certified, however, potential instructors must have specific education and training. Besides being skilled cosmetologists, individuals who want to become instructors need to learn how to properly teach the skills they possess to others.

Where to Study

People who want to gain the skills needed to become cosmetology instructors can study at vocational schools, community colleges and specialized education institutions. Some programs offer evening and weekend classes. Future instructors need 600 to 750 hours of training, depending on their state regulations. In some states future instructors train as an apprentice and teach in a beauty school to meet the requirements to receive an instructor's certificate.

Required Courses

It is important that a person who wants to become an instructor has taken classes in cosmetology and has experience in the field. After that, courses required for cosmetology instructor certification can include instructor concepts and practicum, classroom management, teaching methods and lesson planning, and testing and evaluation. These classes allow instructors to obtain the cosmetology certificate they will need to apply to take the state cosmetology exam.


Once a cosmetology teacher finishes a training program she receives a certificate of completion. Before she can begin teaching she will need to pass a state exam for licensing. Although each state has a slightly different exam, the skill set needed for licensing is essentially the same. Besides teacher training, most states require that an instructor be a licensed cosmetologist. Exams are designed to ensure that candidates who receive a certificate possess definite teaching skills above and beyond their abilities with cosmetology procedures. The boards that administer certification tests vary from state to state.

Job Opportunities

Becoming certified and licensed as a cosmetology instructor opens doors to employment at a variety of educational centers. Many instructors work at vocational schools. Others get positions at private cosmetology centers giving basic classes in addition to advanced education on specific cosmetology techniques, such as those related to the hair, nails or skin. Job opportunities for instructors are expected to grow along with the profession of cosmetology itself.

Continuing Education

Maintaining licensing as a cosmetology instructor depends on continuing education in the field. Instructors are expected to stay informed about new cosmetology techniques and treatments as well as new concepts in teaching. Cosmetology instructors may enroll in continuing education classes to continue bettering their skills. Milady, one of the foremost cosmetology education companies, offers a master educator certification for instructors.