How much is cosmetology school?

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It’s not a surprise that often times the first thing most people ask about when they’re thinking of going to cosmetology school is “how much will this cost?” Fortunately for you, beauty school is usually much less expensive than a traditional four-year college or even a technical college.  On top of that, it could lead you to a fast-paced and rewarding career in the beauty industry.

In general, schools on the east and west coast, in addition to schools in urban areas, will tend to be more expensive than schools in suburban or rural areas. On the east coast, it’s typical for a beauty school to cost $11,000-$20,000, while in the Midwest and other more rural areas it, on average, can cost $7,000 or less.

The overall cost of your program can also depend on what kind of course you’re taking as well. A comprehensive course that covers nails, hair, and facial treatments is usually more expensive than separate programs such as estheticselectrolysismakeup or massage therapy.   Studying just hair design, for example, could cost $4,000 versus a full beauty school program of $11,000.

The good news is that you don’t have to come up with any money upfront when you apply to beauty schools because the vast majority of them do not have application fees.  This means you can explore numerous options and find the most compatible fit for you without any financial risks.

Cosmetology school involves a great deal of supplies, including scissors, books, practice kits, and more. Schools typically ask that you use a specific brand so that it is guaranteed you are learning on high-quality products. While many cosmetology schools, especially national chains, include the cost of materials in their tuition, others do not so make sure you ask when looking at programs so no unexpected costs sneak up on you.

The cost of cosmetology school is low when you compare it to other educational options. According to the College Board, a four year school could cost you upwards of $29,056.  It seems like an even better deal when you realize that you can start a career in just one to two years.

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Mother of three who made a career change and enrolled in Esthetician school now owns her own business!!


It’s never too late to pursue your dream career; just ask Jessica Johnson, mother of three who decided to make a career change to become and esthetician after years in the golf industry. Making such a big decision is tough and literally life changing. was fortunate enough to sit down with Jessica and learn about her journey to where she is now.


When did you become interested in esthetics and what inspired your decision to enroll in esthetician school?

It started when I saw an advertisement for face lifts and I hoped it was never necessary for me. I decided then and there that I wanted to take better care of my skin to prevent having to go to extremes in the future. I began going to an esthetician and it sparked an interest in ways to naturally rejuvenate my skin in order to keep it young and healthy.

However, it wasn’t until years later when one of my sons was suffering from severe acne and I saw how damaging it could be on one’s self esteem. I wanted to help others feel beautiful and confident. I was going through some life changes and realized it was a perfect time to pursue my passion and get started with my dream career in esthetics so I decided to enroll in esthetician school. I now know that this is what I was meant to do and I will stick with this career for a lifetime.

What would you suggest for students in beauty school to pay close attention to that helped you in becoming as successful as you are today?

Many students don’t realize the importance of the business courses that they take when they are in school. I was fortunate enough to have a solid business background before esthetics school which I definitely think helped me out in making my career successful. Student need to remember, in order to keep your clients coming back you need the whole package. You need to be good at what you do but you also need to realize that this industry is seen as a luxury. In hard times and economic change, going to an esthetician usually gets put on the back burner. You need to be able to keep your business going and still appeal to your clients while they are on a budget.

What is one thing that has stuck with you from esthetician school and how have you applied it to your career?

The one thing that really stuck with me was how harmful the sun is and how much sun damage affects your skin for years. We learned about several different types of skin diseases and how they are caused and treated. I was very surprised by the importance of sunscreen in your skin care routine. This got my interested in one of my specialties, Collagen Induction Therapy, a natural way to restore and rejuvenate the skin from sun damage. So many of my clients were or are “sun worshipers” and I cannot express to them enough how important it is to protect your skin from the damaging UVA and UVB rays.

What other training have you completed and why do you think it is important for your career to enroll in continuing education?

I think continuing education is imperative if you want to be successful in this field. It is always helpful to be knowledgeable when your clients ask about the new trends. My two specialties, eyelash extensions and Collagen Induction Therapy, were actually continued training outside of esthetics school. I think this really sets me apart as an esthetician, everyone learns how to do facials and peels but I am able to pull in clients by providing specialty treatments and I am able to retain them by keeping up with the trends and upcoming procedures.

I constantly want to challenge myself and improve my skill which keeps things interesting for me and relevant for my clients. When I started working at a medical spa, I worked closely with our doctor learning more about Collagen Induction Therapy. I went to conferences and trade shows, and I did all the research I could on the topic and now I am able to perform the procedure using a client’s own Platelet Rich Plasma.

When I heard about eyelash extensions, I knew it was something I wanted to provide for my clients. At the time, my school didn’t provide training for eyelash extensions so I had to go to a day-long training course that was provided by the manufacturing company of the lashes. After that it was practice, practice, practice! My instructor saw great potential in eyelash extensions and had her class observe me for a day. She then got her training and certification to teach it and it is now part of the esthetics program at the school.

If someone is thinking about making a career change to do something in the beauty industry, what advice would you give them in making this difficult decision?

I would say to make sure it is something they are really passionate about. Obviously, if you are thinking about changing careers you are not happy with what you are doing. Make sure to find something you love and have the desire to learn and grown in the field. I love the challenges that this industry brings me. From figuring out how to help a client with their skincare needs to learning how to do new procedures to enhancing the procedures I currently do, there is never a dull moment.

Many people don’t know what they want to do right when they get out of high school. I think being in the ‘working world’ helped me realize what I really wanted to be doing. I knew going into this that the beauty industry is hard to stand out and it would take a lot of time to build up my clientele. It was very discouraging at first and it sometimes makes you wonder if you made the right decision, but I worked hard and I have never been happier with my choice. I know that this is what I will be doing for the rest of my life.

How do I choose a massage therapy school?

Find Programs Near You is so excited to hear that you are wanting to find a massage therapy school perfect for you.  With over 1,000 schools for you to consider, we know this can be overwhelming.  That is why we have answered your top questions to help make your decision a bit easier.

1. Compare program length

Because massage therapy is a regulated profession, accredited schools with massage therapy programs meet the hours required for students to become licensed upon completion.  While this does vary by state, the average required training is 500 hours.  Massage therapy schools may include more hours than required in order to cover additional methods and specialties.

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Another thing to be sure to consider when looking at schools, is where you eventually would like to become a licensed massage therapist.  For example, if you plan on moving to California after attending an Arizona school, it is crucial that you have completed the necessary hours that California requires in order to receive your license.

2. Compare costs

How much a massage therapy program costs is typically correlated with the length of the program.  State’s that require 750 to 1,000 hours of training will cost an estimated $16,000 to $20,000, where as programs that  consist of 500 hours may cost as little as $5,000.

The biggest difference in cost among programs in the same state is what all is included in the tuition.  Because books , supplies and equipment may not be part of a school’s set program cost, it is important for you to check so that you do not run into hidden costs once enrolled.

3. Find massage therapy grants and scholarships

Yes there are plenty of scholarships that are offered for prospective massage therapy students just like yourself.  Two associations that often times award a number of scholarships a year are the American Massage Therapy Association and the International Spa Association.  In addition, most massage therapy schools offer scholarship opportunities specifically to their current students and those who plan on enrolling.  For example, the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences offers $500-$2,000 worth of scholarships each year to help defray costs for its students.  Be sure to ask each school you are interested in attending what scholarships they have available, as this may cut down your overall cost tremendously!

4. Pick your massage therapy school!

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