Become a cosmetology instructor in Ontario

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > Ask the Professional > How do I become a cosmetology instructor in Ontario, Canada?

Hello Guidance Counselor,

How do I go about getting my teaching certificate for a career as a cosmetology instructor in Ontario, Canada?

Thank you!
Submitted by email

Hello, Viviana, and thanks for writing! Although I am American cosmetologist and have never been licensed or worked in another country, I shall do my best to help you. I quickly discovered that Canada makes it very easy for cosmetologists or hairstylists to move between provinces without needing to retake exams, fill more instruction or theory hours or seek a reciprocity agreement between provinces. Aren’t you lucky? The U.S. is far behind in terms of equalizing requirements in every state although that could be because we have 50 states.

Since you are writing specifically about a cosmetology instructor position, I shall assume that you are already licensed and working in Ontario. The initial standards to enter the cosmetology field in Canada are much more stringent than in the United States. A 1500-hour base curriculum can get you started, but although that’s nearly enough to get your license in the U.S., you are only just getting started in Canada. A 2000-hour apprenticeship working in a salon is required before you can take the local licensing exam (Canada is divided by province, not state, so there are different requirements for each province). Most skilled trade workers in Canada also earn a Certificate of Qualification (commonly known as a Red Seal), which enables you to complete your apprenticeship or build a business in any province of Canada.

A teaching certificate is not automatically required for a position as a cosmetology instructor, especially if you have many years of experience or have taught apprentices in a salon environment. If you are just getting your feet wet in terms of educating, many schools prefer instructors to have either an Adult Teaching Certificate or a Certificate of Qualification. Other requirements for a job as a cosmetology instructor usually include two to three years experience in the field, excellent cutting, coloring and styling skills and technical knowledge. I suggest doing some research on the beauty schools local to you because if you know where you want to teach you can tailor your training. Community colleges and adult schools usually offer courses to earn the Adult Teaching Certificate.

In your preparations leading to an instructor you might take the following courses:

• Interactive Learning Process
• Introduction to Adult Education
• Measurement and Evaluation of Learning
• Methods of Instruction
• Program Planning
• Student Assessment Evaluation

One thing that I loved about the Canadian beauty schools I came across is their curriculum. Advanced courses are offered in a very broad range of specializations and seminars, including aromatherapy, business start-up classes, cellulite reduction, lymphatic drainage, nutrition, Reiki and reflexology. I wish American cosmetology schools taught me half of that stuff! Aromatherapy, energy work and reflexology can all contribute to a positive and relaxing experience for your client, while business classes ensure you will likely be successful as a stylist. I am envious that as an instructor you can learn all of these! You may find that certain courses require a lot of research and practice before you are ready to teach, but this is a great illustration of the wide range of careers, interests and techniques available in our exciting profession.

Browse Cosmetology Programs