Beauty and Cosmetology Programs: The Complete Guide to Beauty School and Enrollment - FTC Florida Technical College

Beauty and Cosmetology Programs: The Complete Guide to Beauty School and Enrollment

beauty and cosmetology programs

If you have always loved makeup or doing your friends’ hair if you always keep up with the latest beauty trends and you get excited when you see the newest line of nail polish colors, a career in beauty and cosmetology is for you. To get into this exciting career, all you need is the expert training of beauty and cosmetology programs.

Of all the cosmetology schools in Florida, you can’t beat the expert instructors, flexible schedules, or hands-on training that you get at Florida Technical College. Here you can learn skills in all the branches of beauty and cosmetology programs and decide which one you want to focus on for a career.

With this complete guide to beauty school, we’ll show you what all these major beauty branches are, how you can specialize in any one of them and what you need to do to get enrolled in the beauty training program that will get you through the doors of a great salon and a new career in beauty.

Beauty and Cosmetology Programs: Areas of Specialty

Beauty and cosmetology is more than just hair and makeup. There are so many different skills to learn and different areas in which you can choose to specialize. You can also choose to simply learn them all. Be a specialist or a well-rounded professional. To help you decide, here is all you need to know about the top beauty and cosmetology programs’ specialized branches.


Advanced Hairstyling

“Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts” – Jim Morrison

The Mistake Preventer!

advanced hairstyling
With a diploma in advanced hairstyling, you will learn the latest trends and hands-on techniques for cutting, styling, and coloring hair. This is more than just learning basic cuts and classic styles. This is advanced work, which means mastering the hair trends that women and men are asking for in salons right now.


Career Options

With advanced hairstyling courses, you will have a lot of career options. By understanding and having experience with the latest techniques in styling and coloring, you will be in high demand in top salons throughout Florida, and anywhere else. You can work as a stylist; you can work as a freelancer doing hair for individuals or wedding parties; you can work as a personal hairstylist; and you can even use the skills you learn, along with coursework in managing a salon to go into business for yourself.

Latest Trends

Trends in hair are always changing, but one thing always remains the same: people need haircuts and styling. Even during an economic downturn, you can expect that people will be paying for their hair care. The hairstyling techniques you will learn in beauty and cosmetology programs will help you keep up with trends in style as they change, but as a professional, you’ll want to do your own research as well. Looking forward to the next fashion season will always tell you what’s hottest right now. And now in hair, that means big, natural texture, messy-looking knots that actually take a lot of skill to achieve, retro ‘80s volume, and colors ranging from bronze ombré to baby blonde to low-key pink and purple highlights.



 Cosmetologist: The Image TRANSFORMER!

cosmetology school
Cosmetology courses cover a little bit of everything beauty but mainly focus on hair, makeup, and salon strategies. Coursework covers administering beauty supplies, managing a salon, applying makeup, hair styling and cutting, and hair coloring.

Career Options

A cosmetology specialty in beauty and cosmetology programs will prepare you for a variety of careers. With this diploma, you could work in just about any kind of salon or even a barbershop. You can work in the beauty supply industry or get into managing a salon or even running your own salon. You can also work as a professional stylist for hair, makeup, or both.

Latest Trends

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cosmetology is a growing field, with the number of careers increasing faster than average. This means that people are spending more on hair, makeup, and beauty, and that’s good news for you. Even when the economy isn’t doing well, people tend to spend money on beauty and hair care. As for the fun beauty trends in cosmetology this season, start looking for more intense makeup with dark lips and serious eyeliner, textured and curly hair, and difficult, labor-intensive hairstyles that require trained cosmetologists to achieve.


 I’m a barber, what’s your superpower?”

barber school
Barbering is all about styling for men, and it may seem a lot less complex than what women need, but barber training is essential to do this work. Barbers not only cut and style men’s hair, they also shave and shape facial hair, provide facials and esthetician services, color hair, and often manage and run salons and barbershops.

Career Options

With barbering courses during your beauty and cosmetology programs, or even as a specialty by itself, you will gain the skills you need to work as a barber. You might work in a dedicated barbershop, or as a specialist in men’s hair in a salon. You can be a salon or barbershop owner or manager or work as a personal, professional stylist.

Latest Trends

The good news about barbering is that there is a growing trend in men spending money on beauty products and services. The trend is still considered new but is expected to keep growing for many years. It goes beyond barbering in the traditional sense and includes luxury shaves, facials, and coloring. There has even been a growth in modern barbershops that offer all of these extended services, much like a traditional salon for women, but in a setting designed to appeal to men. Expect more of these kinds of barbershops to open in the future, making room for even more trained and skilled barbers.



The Director of First Impressions

esthetics program
Esthetics school as part of beauty and cosmetology programs will teach you all the skills you need to work on skin as beauty. Estheticians give facials and whole-body treatments, they provide skin analyses for clients, they provide options for treating certain conditions, they wax, and they may also apply makeup.

Career Options

An esthetician career may range from working in a huge salon as one of many employees to being a personal, freelance skincare consultant and treatment provider. You may work in a hair salon that provides waxing services, or a nail salon that does eyebrows and facials. You may also work in a full-service spa or strike out on your own to start up a salon or spa offering esthetician services.

Latest Trends

The work that estheticians trained in beauty and cosmetology programs do will always be in demand, and to some extent will always be constant. In other words, people will always want to look good and resist aging. Spas are a major employer of estheticians and they are seeing trends that lead to more clients. For example, spas are seeing more children receiving services and are offering more flexible, on-demand services, which get more people in the door. Professionals are even seeing trends in wellness festivals, entire gatherings of people interested in spiritual pursuits and the kinds of services estheticians can offer.


Facials and Skin Care

 An angel sent by the skin gods!

facial and skin care programs
A specialization in facials and skincare is very similar to esthetics but more focused. With a diploma in this branch of your beauty and cosmetology programs, you will learn facial techniques and products, how to do a skin analysis, how to create and apply skin treatments, and how to do hair removal.

Career Options

As with an esthetician, with a specialty in facials and skincare, you can work in any number of salon or spa settings, from small to large. You may also work at a resort providing high-end skin treatments or you can work as a freelancer, providing your services to individuals and in party settings. Beauty schools in South Florida can provide you with all the training you need to work in this field, no matter how you choose to work.

Latest Trends

Clearly the need for beauty workers is growing, and that includes people specialized in facials and skincare. This seemingly small niche has a tremendous amount of potential and professionals and those making beauty products are always coming up with new ways to treat the skin. Some of the latest trends in skincare include using technology. Korean beauty products are leading the way here with thinks like sheet masks, LED light beauty, and non-prescription Botox. As a professional in skincare, you will be at the forefront of all these exciting innovations and trends. 


Nail Tech

The “tips” expert: Tips of your toes to your fingertips!

nail tech classes
A nail specialist diploma will help you start your career as a nail technician. This means providing not just manicures and pedicures, but also all the latest in gel, acrylic, styling, and specialty services.

Career Options

If you choose to focus on nails during your beauty and cosmetology program coursework, you can rest assured that you will have a bright career future. Nail technicians trained in all the latest techniques and styles can work at nail salons, at hair salons that offer nail services, at spas, at high-end hotels and resorts, and as freelance nail artists for individuals, for wedding parties, for shows, and much more.

Latest Trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks nail professionals separately from other areas of cosmetology and predicts that careers in nail technology will continue to grow faster than average. Trends in nail art are among some of the most outrageous and fun in beauty. If you enjoy keeping up with the latest and edgiest trends, you’ll love working with nails. When it comes to color, the latest trends for nails include navy blue, glitter, charcoal gray, and shiny topcoats. That’s just the beginning, though. Trendsetters in nail art are doing French manicures with green and blue and purple, they’re painting each nail a different color, and they’re getting entire works of art painted on a single nail. If you’re up for the challenge, clients are willing to pay for nail art.


Enrolling in Beauty and Cosmetology Programs

How do you know if you’re ready to enroll in a beauty school program? How do you know if cosmetology careers are really right for you? If you don’t know anything about beauty and cosmetology programs and schools, that’s normal. You might just have an inkling of an idea that this is the kind of career path you want to take, and now it’s time to explore that idea further. Now that you have learned all about the specialties and the different categories of cosmetology and beauty, you can learn more about a cosmetology diploma program, what that means, how to enroll, and how to take the next step.


 The Future for Beauty and Cosmetology Careers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that careers in this field are growing faster than average. This means that between now and 2031 the field is expected to grow by 11 percent and that there are expected to be more than 65,000 more jobs available than there are right now.


In Florida:

  • The future is especially bright for beauty school graduates.
  • The state has the fourth-highest employment level for hairdressers and cosmetologists in the country.
  • South Florida has some of the highest-paid people in this field. 


What is a Career in Cosmetology Really Like?

So now you know that there is a lot of potential for a great career for graduates of beauty and cosmetology programs. That’s great to know and it may be a factor in your decision, but there are other careers that are also very promising. To know if you really want a career in beauty, you need to understand what it’s like and what kind of qualities good hairdressers and cosmetologists have.

Perhaps the number one best qualification for anyone interested in starting out in cosmetology is a love for all things beauty. This doesn’t mean you’re shallow, but if you appreciate the artistry of makeup and the creativity of unusual hairstyles and coloring, then you have a passion for beauty. This is also an artistic career. You don’t have to be a talented painter, but if you are artistically inclined, you’re already a step ahead. Cosmetologists get to be creative on the job and design new looks and styles.

Another thing you will need to be good at your job as a stylist, nail tech, or other type of beauty professional is the ability to work with people. This is a social job and clients tend to stick with one professional who not only gives them great service but also makes them feel comfortable. If you enjoy talking and engaging with other people, this could be the career for you. It’s not necessarily something you will work on in beauty and cosmetology programs, but it is important to consider.

What may surprise some people is that even if you work for a salon or spa, this career is entrepreneurial in nature. Even while working for an established salon, you have to promote yourself and your abilities. When people come into a salon, they can choose who to work with. If you aren’t selling to them, you won’t get as many clients or earn as much. There is a lot of freedom that comes with working this way and if you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you could really thrive in this work environment.


What Exactly Are Beauty and Cosmetology Programs?

If you know you want a career in this field you next need to consider how to get there. You can’t just start working as a cosmetologist, barber, or esthetician. You have to have the right training and that means going through an esthetics diploma program, nail tech school, a school of barbering, or other types of beauty schools in Florida.

So what does it mean to go through beauty and cosmetology programs? It means taking a series of courses that will teach you all the basic skills needed to work in this industry. You will take classes in management of salons, basic safety and hygiene, haircutting, hair coloring, advanced hairstyling, makeup application, hair removal and esthetics, barbering, facials and skincare, nail tech, and more. You can take a little bit of everything, but you can also focus on one area and really become an expert in one skill, like esthetics.

You can expect that the classes you take in cosmetology programs will not be like high school or other college courses you have taken. This is all about learning a skill, so you will be doing hands-on work, actually trying and practicing the skills you learn. You may use dummies designed specifically for this, but as you become more advanced in your training, you may also work on real people who come to the beauty school for a less expensive cut, styling, or nail care.

Your courses will be taught by experienced professionals. These won’t be people who went to school just to teach. Instructors are people who learned the skills and then put them to work in the real world. They then came back to teach or teach a few classes while still working in cosmetology.


What Are the Requirements to Enroll?

Enrolling in beauty and cosmetology programs will depend on where you are planning to attend. Different schools have different requirements, but generally, these are not strict and most people interested in starting a career in beauty can enroll and start learning. If you’re worried about an age requirement, just know that if you are under 18 you will likely need to get a parent’s or guardian’s permission to enroll and attend classes.

Another requirement is educational. If you haven’t completed high school, that may be a condition of enrollment, or you may need to show that you have a GED, or that you passed the General Education Development Examination. This is an alternative to a high school diploma that should be accepted by most beauty and cosmetology programs.

There are few other requirements for enrolling in a beauty program, although you will likely need to show documentation that identifies you, like a driver’s license or letters of recommendation. Consider using a high school teacher or coach, or a former or current employer as a source of a good recommendation letter.

If you are an international student there may be special requirements for getting enrolled. You may have to show an equivalent to a high school diploma, whatever that is in your country. You may also need to prove that you can speak English well enough to be able to take the courses. There are several tests that will probably qualify as proof if you passed one of them, like the TOEFL or ELS. Passport, health insurance information, and financial information may also be required for enrollment as an international student.


How You Can Fit Beauty and Cosmetology Programs into Your Busy Life

Going through hairstyling classes, barbering courses or other cosmetology classes is one thing, but completing an entire diploma program is another. It may seem daunting and like your life is just too busy and full as it is to be able to complete the training needed to start your career in beauty. The great thing about these kinds of programs, though, is that they are typically designed for working adults and people with families. Most programs let you work around your life so that you can complete the diploma in a reasonable amount of time.

If you have a job now, even a full-time job, you can schedule your beauty and cosmetology program coursework around it. If you work a typical 9-to-5 job, take courses in the evenings or on weekends. If you work a different schedule, take classes during the day. Whatever works for your current work schedule is how you should take your courses so that you can continue to earn a living. Most people don’t have the luxury to be able to stop working to go to school.

Most beauty schools also recognize that a lot of people have families, yet still want to fit in training for a new career. This is another area in which a flexible course schedule can benefit you. If you need to get your kids off to school in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon, you can schedule your classes in between or at times when your partner or spouse is off work and available to take over with the kids.


How Long Does it Take to Complete Beauty and Cosmetology Programs?

How long it takes you to complete your diploma program will depend on a few factors. The first is how much time you have to devote to coursework. If you have a job and a family you may only be able to take one class at a time, or once per semester. If you have more flexibility, you can take more, and if you are lucky enough to be able to devote yourself to school full time, you can be done with a program and have your diploma in hand in much less than a year.

The time it takes you to complete beauty and cosmetology programs also depends on your area of specialty. States set requirements for how many hours of training are required to become licensed in things like esthetics and nail tech. In Florida, the Board of Cosmetology sets these requirements.

In Florida:

  • To become a licensed cosmetologist, you must complete 1,200 hours of training.
  • To become a nail specialist you must complete 240 school hours in nail tech coursework.
  • To become a facial specialist requires 260 school hours
  • To become a full specialist you need a total of 500 school hours, 240 in nail tech and 260 in facial coursework.


How to Get Started Now in Beauty and Cosmetology Programs

With all the information you need, you should now be ready to make a choice. Is cosmetology right for you? If you’re ready for a new career, one that involves working with people, setting your own hours, earning as much as you’re willing to work for, and for a career doing something creative and fun, then you just might be ready to enroll in one of many available beauty and cosmetology programs.

There are plenty of cosmetology schools in Florida, but many reasons to choose Florida Technical College. FTC offers coursework in all the specialties from nail tech to barbering to full specialist and everything else. Class sizes are small to give you better access to experienced professionals teaching you the skills you need and work is always hands-on. FTC also offers flexible scheduling to work your new diploma around your life and career assistance when you’re ready to find your first job. So what are you waiting for?