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How Do I Become a Hairdressing Teacher?

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If you're a skilled hairdresser or cosmetologist, a career as a hairdressing teacher or cosmetology instructor can be a fulfilling option. Hairdressing teacher requirements differ by states. However, you must meet some general requirements before you'll be able to teach cosmetology in most states.

Ensure that you meet specific criteria before applying for a position as a hairdressing teacher. For instance, in most states you must be at least 18 years old and have had a cosmetology license for six months or more. If you've had a cosmetology license for less than five years, you'll need at least 800 hours of provable work experience in most states. A notarized letter with company letterhead from an employer and pay stubs for two years or more from a licensed hair salon are generally accepted as documentation. This information should be forwarded to the state board of cosmetology of the state in which you are seeking employment.

Become a certified hairdressing teacher. Some colleges offer a cosmetology certificate program that will prepare you to become a hairdressing teacher. Cosmetology instruction alone does not teach specific lessons geared toward teaching, such as creating lesson plans, grading students and record keeping. You'll also learn classroom management and communication skills that will help you succeed as a teacher. Cosmetology certification will make you a more viable candidate for the position of hairdressing teacher. Check local and online colleges for certificate options.

Send high school and beauty school transcripts, employment verification, licensure information and proof of certification to the board of cosmetology in your state. If you're applying to teach hairdressing in a state other than the one where you were originally licensed, you'll need to become licensed in that state. Some states have reciprocity, which allows you to acquire a license by applying and paying a small fee. Other states may require you to complete additional work hours as a cosmetologist or hairdressing teacher.

Prepare a resume geared towards teaching and including your hairdressing experience. For example, include volunteering at school, lesson plan creation and awards or certifications. It's also useful to have a portfolio containing your work, references and other pertinent information. Create a professional-looking portfolio by putting information in plastic sleeves in a binder. Present this material during interviews with potential employers.

Research the school to which you are applying prior to going for an interview. Review information such as dress codes, rules of conduct and history. This information will help you to appear more knowledgeable and interested in the specific job. You also should prepare a list of questions to ensure that the instructor position is right for you. Present your portfolio at the interview.


Robin McDaniel is a writer, educator and musician. She holds a master's degree in higher educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton as well as a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in adult in community education. McDaniel enjoys writing, blogging, web design, singing and playing bass guitar.

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