Schedule A Tour

Enter your Zip Code to find a campus.

Choose Date

Loading Dates...

Choose Time

Loading Times...


Fill out the form below to confirm your tour at the Pottsville campus on Wednesday, September 30 at 1:00pm.

By submitting this form, you are providing your signature expressly consenting to contact by an Empire representative via telephone, email, text, or prerecorded message regarding Empire programs, offers, events and announcements. You are not required to provide your consent in order to purchase any product or service.

Teach Me: What Do You Really Learn in Cosmetology School Anyway?

BlogBeauty Career, Beauty Student Advice | November 21, 2013

Okay so you’ve thought about beauty school…in fact, you’ve thought about it so much you are starting to look at schools.  Online research is how most of us gather information these days; I don’t think I will get too many people disputing that.  Each school will have a nice looking website without a doubt, but it does not really create a great visual for what you learn once you’re there.  “Hair.”  That is probably what anyone on the street would say if you asked them what you learn in cosmetology school.  And they would be right, because hair is definitely a major component of what cosmetology school curriculums consist of.  But don’t be deceived; there is quite a bit more to cosmetology than just “hair”.  In fact, when I myself decided to go to Cosmetology School, I had no idea that it was anything beyond just learning how to do hair

As a Career Planning Specialist at Empire it is my primary role to meet with people interested in all the possibilities Cosmetology school can offer.  Cosmetology is hair, skin, nails, and makeup.  Much more than just hair.  The best part about having a Cosmetology license is that you can pursue any one of those fields as much or little as you choose.  Having a Cosmetology license does not mean you are destined to stand behind the chair for your entire career.  Doors are opened, and for many people, that is something they have always wanted, or needed from a career field.

Let’s say your client, Betty, comes in for her haircut and color, like she always does every 6 weeks.  There’s a chance that the appointment is strictly about Betty’s hair and nothing else.  However, there’s also a chance that Betty wants ‘the works’, and that means a manicure, a pedicure, a makeup application, eyebrow arch, etc.  This is where you (and I) are reminded how wonderful it is to have gone through Cosmetology school…because your license; and what you’ve learned in Cosmetology school, say you can offer Betty each and every one of those services!  You do not have to send her to some else’s chair and essentially, paycheck.  Yay!!

Cosmetology schools can be very different as far as how they teach, and obviously every teacher will have a unique teaching style, but the material covered is the same regardless of where you go and who you learn from.  What state you learn is can also play into the length of time spent on each topic.  Here in Wisconsin, we require one of the highest numbers of hours in country: 1800.  I have no idea how each state decides on hours required to take your State Board Exam, but someday I hope to learn.  So our program in Wisconsin is approximately a year to complete at a Full Time schedule.  A year to learn how to cut, style, (formulate and) color, re-texture, change, manipulate, and reshape men’s and women’s hair.  A year to learn how to apply natural, dramatic, special FX, and trendy makeup.  A year to learn how to remove, shape, sculpt, and groom facial hair.  A year to learn how to file, buff, shape, polish, clean and care for natural and artificial nails.  A year to learn how to massage, manipulate, diagnose, and treat scalp and skin.  A year to learn how to communicate with guests and coworkers, how to be the best and most fabulous Salon Professional you can be!   That is a snapshot of what you learn, and also keep in mind that does not even cover the State Board test.  Passing your State Board exams is one of the best feelings any Cosmetology School student could ever hope to have.  State Board exams have a very specific methodology, which is why it is also a major concentration while attending Cosmetology School.

I feel like I could go on and on, but the point I am trying to make is that there is SO MUCH to learn.  And everyone knows the beauty industry is always changing, and trends are always coming and going…so in turn, Cosmetology School curriculums evolve a little each year.  Each student has the ability to get an educator to focus on teaching whatever trend is current, so that the student graduates with the knowledge and skills to start a successful career in Cosmetology right away.    Let me repeat that last part, because I think it is really the best way to sum it up: Each student graduates with the knowledge and skills to start a successful career in Cosmetology right away.  That is what you learn in beauty school!

Lauryn Salzwedel

Written by Lauryn Salzwedel

A licensed cosmetologist for 5 years, and over 12 years in the industry. I love all things beauty, and could not have found a more amazing career field. I no longer work behind the chair, but am still just as passionate about Cosmetology! Working as a Career Planning Specialist gives me the opportunity to get anyone and everyone just as excited about Cosmetology as I am!


  • Joleen Ocampo says:

    Hi, im 16 years old & i want to get a head start on my cosmetology skills while still in highschool . Is there a way i could do that ?

    • As a young person I would say to start out by enrolling in high school classes that have anatomy so that you may have a head start on the body and how it works, if your school offers a cosmetology training take those classes also. Do lots of reading about the hair “how it is made up” as well as Nails and skin. In this field there are many jobs you can have from working as a plate form artist to medical office to working in a salon or spa or even owning your own salon and many more positions. Hope this helps you Good Luck

      • Hi Joleen,
        Yes definitely you can join any cosmetology school while pursuing your High School. I would suggest you to google and try to find “cosmetology courses” or something related, and i am sure you will get many beauty school websites that offers scholarships and provide classes to high school students. Good Luck for Your Beauty Career!


    • Zuri walker says:

      Hi Joleen,

      To answer your question their is a way that you can get started with your cosmetology skills in high school, the high school I went to offered a cosmetology class for 10th-12th graders, I also know that there might be some cosmetology schools that let you join their program at a certain age but you have to keep your grades and attendance up.

      • zoe says:

        Joline if your school does not offer a program like that. Check with your local beauty colleges. Maybe they will have evening classes you can attend. I know in my area in Illinois there is one with evening hours. However they do not accept students under 18.
        I would take art classes at your school. You will need a solid background in color theory. A basic chemistry class will be helpful as well. After all part of our job as a stylist is mixing chemicals to get a reaction on people’s hair and skin.
        Definitely an ananotomy class. You can look up a chart online for reflexology. Which you will be able to use during pedicures.
        Look up everything you can and practice braiding and styling your girlfriends or sisters. Look up makeup videos on you tube. Make sure the videos are done by a makeup artist. Then last but not least.. If there are multiple schools of cosmetology in your area. Do research… Just because it is closer to you or been around longer does not mean the school is better.. Ask hairstylist in your area where they went. What they liked and disliked about their school. Tell them you are looking for a sschool and ask what one they recommend. Best of luck to you sweetie.

  • maria lopez says:

    I love the way you do other peoples makeup .

  • Chealsey says:

    Okay so I’m righting a essay at school over what I want to go to collage for I picked cosmetology and I need help I dont know what schools to include in it and I aslo can’t find and information on the website that I do need could someone please help me asap thanks you guys. I really hope someone could help me.

  • Chealsey says:

    Okay so I’m righting a essay at school over what I want to go to collage for I picked cosmetology and I need help I dont know what schools to include in it and I aslo can’t find and information on the website that I do need could someone please help me asap thanks you guys. I really hope someone could help me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


It appears you submitted your information to us through on . If you have not been contacted by one of our career planners, please call 800-965-9459.