How to Become a Cosmetology Instructor

How to Become a Cosmetology Instructor

Are you wondering about how to become a cosmetology instructor in the US? Planning to switch your career from cosmetologist to cosmetology instructor? Are you confused about how to make your dream come true?

This article will help to give you a clear idea about the roles and responsibilities of cosmetology instructors, as well as the salary, skills required, career opportunities, and the steps involved in becoming a cosmetology instructor in the U.S. 

Before we learn about how to become a cosmetology instructor, let’s start with the roles and responsibilities of an instructor.

Role and Responsibilities of Cosmetology Instructors

Are you wondering what an instructor does in terms of the roles and responsibilities they have?

The Roles of Cosmetology Instructors

Cosmetology instructors are cosmetology professionals who teach technical techniques and foundational principles to students in a cosmetology program. They teach technical techniques of various practices in the cosmetology industry, such as nail technology, esthetics, skin care, barbering, styling, and makeup.

Instructors are experienced professionals who have mastered the art of cosmetology over the years.

The Responsibilities of Cosmetology Instructors

Let us discuss some of the responsibilities of instructors in the cosmetology industry. Some of the responsibilities are as follows:

  • Must teach students a range of cosmetology courses and the techniques and methods that are practiced in the cosmetology industry. This includes skincare, hair, nail technology, and makeup techniques.
  • Must ensure the safe use of equipment and chemicals during practical sessions.
  • Should assist in developing practical and written assessment exams.
  • Must grade and review students based on the exam results.
  • Should assist the institution with planning the course program and providing feedback to the institute.
  • Oversee students’ performances during practical sessions and help them equip their practical skills.
  • Must stay up-to-date with new technology and techniques in the cosmetology industry. 

Now that you are aware of the roles and responsibilities, the next important factors are the skills required to become a cosmetology instructor and how much you will earn in this field.

The Salary and Skills Required to Become a Cosmetology Instructor

The Salary of an Instructor

When you consider a profession, salary can play a vital role in the decision-making process. It is necessary to be in a profession that offers the opportunity to not just make your dreams come true but also help you earn well. The salary of an instructor may vary depending on various factors, such as years of experience, location, and qualifications.

An instructor earns around $20.5 per hour and $41,841 per year.

The Skills You Need as a Cosmetology Instructor

As an instructor in the industry, you must have the required skills to be able to sustain your career and stand out in the industry. Some of the skills you need to become a successful cosmetology instructor are as follows:

  • Must be well qualified and skilled at coaching, training, and developing students’ skills.
  • Leadership and time management skills.
  • Must be aware of the cosmetology industry laws and regulations.
  • Excellent technical knowledge in esthetics, cosmetology, and beauty.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Good teaching and presentation skills.
  • Good computer skills including data entry and word processing.

Let’s discuss some of the steps in becoming an instructor that can help you plan your career in the industry.

7 Steps to Become a Cosmetology Instructor

There are a few requirements to becoming an instructor in the industry. Here are 7 steps to become a cosmetology instructor in the US.

How to become a cosmetology instructor
How to become a cosmetology instructor


The first step is to earn a high school diploma or GED certificate to become an instructor. Only if you have a high school diploma or GED equivalent qualification, can you be eligible to apply for the training program.


The second step is to enroll in a cosmetology training program and complete the program to be eligible to apply for cosmetology licensure in the US. The cosmetology training program must be from an accredited training school.


The third step is to apply for cosmetology licensure in your respective state. Before applying for the licensure, be sure that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the state. Once you apply for the licensure, the state verifies all the related information and you can procure your cosmetology license.


The fourth step after procuring your cosmetology licensure is to gain experience. It is required for every cosmetology professional to gain experience to advance in the cosmetology industry. Gaining experience in the industry adds more value to your career growth.


The fifth step is to apply and complete the instructor training program. Once you have gained some experience in the industry, you can enroll in a cosmetology instructor training program. The training program must be from an accredited training school. You must complete the training program to be able to apply for instructor licensure.


The sixth step after you have completed the training program is to apply for instructor licensure in your respective state. Once you have applied for your instructor license, the board will verify all the related information and you can get your instructor license in the US.

Procuring a license adds more value to your career and also offers you the opportunity to practice as an instructor in the industry.


The last step, after you receive your cosmetology instructor license, is to apply for a job. Once you receive your license, you are eligible to apply for a job as a cosmetology instructor and practice legally in your state.

You can look for jobs in the below-mentioned fields to be able to succeed in your career as an instructor. Sometimes, you may need to have prior teaching experience to be able to become an instructor. Be sure that both your cosmetology license and cosmetology instructor license are both valid and active.

Career Opportunities

Apart from the salary, career opportunities for cosmetology instructors also play a vital role in the decision-making process. Cosmetology instructors are not limited to teaching and classroom-related jobs. As a licensed instructor, you may have career opportunities in the following industry sectors:

  • Cosmetology or beauty schools.
  •  A beauty school owner or manager.
  • A spa or salon manager or owner.
  • Private esthetician, cosmetologist, nail technician, or makeup artist.
  • An independent educational consultant.
  • A guest or public speaker.
  • An advanced course instructor.
  • A workshop leader.

Wrapping Up

Becoming an instructor and succeeding in the industry requires you to have the right knowledge and skills. If you find yourself lagging in terms of skills or qualifications, you can now work on improving your skills and qualifications to successfully become a cosmetology instructor.

If you are passionate about becoming a cosmetologist or taking the cosmetology license exam, you can try our free practice test and prepare for the exam efficiently.


How do I get my cosmetology instructor’s license in Texas?

Here are a few steps to help you procure a cosmetology instructor license in the state of Texas.

  • Verify your eligibility to apply for the exam.
  • Apply for the instructor exam in the state of Texas.
  • Take and pass the exam.
  • Apply for licensure in the state of Texas.
  • Receive your instructor license.

How do I become a cosmetology instructor in Virginia?

The steps involved in becoming an instructor in the state of Virginia are as follows:

  • Earn a cosmetology license.
  • Gain experience in the industry.
  • Take and pass the exams required by the state.
  • Receive your instructor license.

Check our article on Virginia’s cosmetology license to learn more about the licensure. For more information, visit the state’s official website.

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