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11 Different Career Opportunities for Licensed Cosmetologists

11 career opportunities for cosmetologists

You have always had a passion to want to get people to look their best. As you’re considering beauty school or maybe you’re about to graduate beauty school, you’re anxious with what to do with your life after graduation.

Becoming a licensed cosmetologist opens up many career opportunities. The different paths available for certified cosmetologists are many and it can be overwhelming to navigate through them and discover which one is the best fit for you.

Below is a sampling of 11 different career opportunities for licensed cosmetologists:

Salon Manager

Whether it’s a spa, salon or barbershop, the salon manager is the one that has the responsibility of overseeing its operation. Salon managers ensure that the salon, spa or barbershop is making a profit, is being run efficiently and that its customers are satisfied and happy. On top of those, it is also the responsibility of the salon manager to make sure that the business is operating in compliance with state laws and that all staff members have the appropriate and current licenses.  The hiring, firing and coaching of employees are also under the salon manager’s responsibilities.

Permanent Makeup Artist

Permanent makeup  artists apply permanent makeup on clients who have mobility issues, allergic reactions to traditional makeup, vision impairments or poor motor coordination. Some permanent makeup artists work in dermatology offices, using the makeup to cover up scars on patients’ faces. 

Most permanent cosmetics applications can successfully mimic topically applied cosmetics, such as eyebrow pencils, eyeliner, lip liner, mascara and more .

Makeup artists can work in full-service salons, tattoo studios, doctor or dermatologist office, and day spas.

Nail Technician/Manicurist

Great nail technicians (or manicurists) love working with their hands and are very much “people persons.” If these two characteristics describe you, a manicurist profession may be right for you.

Nail technicians clean, trim, polish and bedazzle nails through dips, manicures, pedicures, and acrylics.

Manicurists can find employment in a variety of settings and companies including: cruise ships, country clubs, nail salons, resorts, spas, hair salons, health stores,  and in retail. Some nail technicians decide to open their own nail salons and even launch their own nail polish line or develop their own manicure styles.


Massage Therapist

Some certified cosmetologists continue their education and become massage therapists. These professionals utilize the benefits of therapeutic and medicinal treatments. Massage therapists often specialize in one area such as athletic massage, deep tissue or Swedish massage.

Massage therapists can work for a salon, sports center or for themselves. Depending on how far one advances in their education, massage therapists can work for spas, salons, athletic organizations, chiropractic offices, and hospitals.

Makeup Artist

Makeup artists enhance their client’s appearance by bringing out their natural color and desireable features while minimizing flaws, with the use of cosmetic products.

Most makeup artists are freelancers marketing themselves as wedding, special events, photo shoot, runway model, television, broadcasting, performaing arts, film and even arcade specialists.  

Fashion Designer

Yes, you can go fulfill your dream of being a fashion designer with a cosmetology license. The eye for beauty that is stressed in cosmetology school easily translates into coming up with stunning, goregeous fashion designs. Fashion designers are involved in all aspects of clothing or shoe creation and production.

Liscensed cosmetologist who go into fashion design can find jobs with a wholesale clothing or she producer, a fashion design firm  or as freelancers. Freelance fashion designers work with private clients, large design firms, costume and theater companies. Some freelancers also become personal shoppers and fashion consultants.


Becoming a licensed esthetician has many career opportunities. Most estheticians find careers as manicurists, pedicurists, and makeup artists in salons, spas and resorts. Some go on to open their own spas or salons while still others launch their careers in cosmetic purchasing or marketing, beauty consulting, paramedical estheticians and esthetician instructors.


If you enjoy cutting men’s hair (including facial hair), being a barber may be the best option for you. Besides working in a barber shop, barbers are also in high demand at senior care facilities, in the film and television industries, and at military facilities. There are also ample opportunities for licensed barbers to open and run their own shops.


A cosmetologist is a broad title that encompasses a variety of professions in the beauty industry. It is a good specialty to have if you’re not sure what niche within the beauty industry you’re interested in. Cosmetologists wear multiple hats, often being required to style hair, do makeup and provide manicures at the same time. A cosmetology career can lead to the following professions:

  • Hairstylist
  • Nail technician
  • Salon or spa manager
  • Beautician
  • Wedding and Event Stylist
  • Makeup artist
  • Esthetician
  • Cosmetology (hair, skin, nails, makeup)
  • Barbering
  • Permanent makeup
  • Hair braiding

Cosmetology Instructor

Some cosmetology student have the dual passions for beauty and teaching others. If this is you, you may want to check out becoming a cosmetology instructor. As a licensed cosmetology instructor, you can work for beauty schools, nail schools and esthetics schools. In addition, being a cosmetology instructor can propel your career into that of a beauty school owner or manager. Cosmetology instructors also have access to other jobs in the beauty industry including salon or spa manager, a guest speaker, platform artist, educational consultant and workshop leader.

All states require cosmetology teachers to be licensed and certified in their specialty field. Some states also require a minium number of years working in the cosmetology industry or at beauty training schools. Still others require an additional associate’s or bachelor’s degree or a teaching creditial.


Electrologists use electrolysis to permanently remove a patient’s unwanted body hair. The process of electrolysis uses electric currents to destroy hair tissue. There are different modalities in the electrologist field which is based on the preferred hair removal treatment.

Electrologists work in salons, spas, medical offices, and dermatology offices. Many electrologists go on to own and operate their own business. 

How to Become a Certified Cosmetologist in Utah

To become a licensed cosmetologist in Utah, you must attend an accredited beauty school, satisfy the required amount of hours (which can be done either at a beauty school or through an apprenticeship) and take and successfully pass the licensing exam.

Once you are licensed, you’ll have to renew your license every two years and pay a $52 renewal fee.

If you’re looking for an accredited beauty school in Utah, look no further than Taylor Andrews. We have industry recognized instructors and alumni and a program that is world-renowned. For more information about our cosmetology programs, contact us today.