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From Cosmetologist to a Cosmetology Instructor

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If you've been a practicing hair stylist for years, and you'd like to shift into a teaching role, how might you become a cosmetology instructor? A major part of being prepared to teach cosmetology school is your existing cosmetology career. Most beauty schools are seeking instructors with lots of real-world experience (like your years behind the chair), because in this industry you only learn by doing. If you have salon skills, all that remains is to build your instructor's skills.

The process of earning your cosmetology teacher's certification, like earning your license, requires a combination of technical and practical hours. You can complete most of your instructor training online, but are likely to need to complete a number of practical hours in person at a school or seminar.

Some online courses cover these aspects of teaching:

  • Teaching in a classroom, online and in a laboratory environment
  • Instructor organization, materials, lesson plans and demonstrations
  • Presentation, lecture, questioning and discussion techniques
  • How to motivate and support your students

Until you complete your teaching credential, you won't be able to work as a cosmetology school instructor, but there are other teaching positions in this industry. Most product companies employ teams of educators to demonstrate their color, styling products, extensions or texture services in promotional classes. This can be a good complement to your years of work -- learning how to address an audience, to demonstrate and explain a technique at the same time, and to break down a process or concept into steps. You're likely to work on a live model with real product in front of a class of fellow professional cosmetologists. This experience can help prepare you to teach cosmetology students.

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