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Hair Stylist

Hairstyling Careers Begin at Hairstyling Schools

Imagine a career in which you spend regular, quality time with friends, that pays to help others look and feel their best, and that requires you to follow the latest fashions. It's creative and with experience, can be highly lucrative. But hair design is an art form--it must be honed through constant study.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all 50 states require that hairstylists be licensed, which involves earning a degree or diploma from a state-licensed cosmetology or hairstyling school. A full-time program can generally be completed in about nine months, and is then followed by an exam. While not all states require continuing education for re-certification, it's certainly one of the best ways to stay current in the latest styles and techniques, which can help you to keep a steady clientele and earn a good income. Additionally, to be a good hairstylist, you should be a good listener, fashionable with an artistic eye, and good at handling criticism, which the occasional customer may offer.

Hairstyling Career Opportunities

Today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 46 percent of hairstylists are self-employed. However, if self-employment is not for you, you can find hair design opportunities across a spectrum of industries, from performing arts companies to hospitals, department stores to salons. The highest paying states for hairstylists in 2008 included Hawaii, Washington, and New Jersey.

And while salaries differ widely based on the type of salon, the market, or the length and type of experience, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that hairstylists earned a median salary of $23,140 in 2008.