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Cosmetology Major

921 yearly degrees
#8 in popularity
$33,000 median salary

Cosmetology is a major that typically falls into the Personal & Culinary Services category.

There are 172 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in cosmetology, 1 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 0 that offer a master’s degree.

Who Is Getting a Cosmetology Degree?

This is a less frequently chosen major. Only students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in cosmetology in 2017.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of cosmetology majors is as follows:

  • Asian: NaN%
  • Black or African American: NaN%
  • Hispanic or Latino: NaN%
  • White: NaN%
  • Non-Resident Alien: NaN%
  • Other Races: NaN%
Cosmetology Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

What Will You Learn as a Cosmetology Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to cosmetology to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Cosmetology Majors

Cosmetology majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Cosmetology Majors

Skills for Cosmetology Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to cosmetology:

Important Skills for Cosmetology Majors

Abilities for Cosmetology Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a cosmetology student include the following:

Important Abilities for cosmetology Majors

What Can You Do With a Cosmetology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with cosmetology:

Careers Related to Cosmetology
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary




Skincare Specialists



Spa Managers



Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists



First-Line Supervisors of Personal Service Workers



Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance



Manicurists and Pedicurists



Cosmetology Major Salary

Average salaries range from $30,000 to $42,000 for careers related to cosmetology. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Cosmetology Major  ( 30000 to 42000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Cosmetology Major Jobs

Some careers associated with cosmetology may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to cosmetology have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Cosmetology
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Cosmetology Programs

There are 1 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in cosmetology, with 1 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Cosmetology Major Worth It?

The median salary for a cosmetology grad is $33,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is -15% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $-113,600 after 20 years!

cosmetology salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Tiffany Bumgardner via License

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