What Can You Do with a Cosmetology Diploma?

cosmetology student practicing on a manikin to earn her cosmetology diploma

When a person feels great about the way they look they hold their head higher, have more self-confidence, perform better at their job, and enjoy a more fulfilled social life. Cosmetologists are the experts that helps the client look their best, and it can be extremely rewarding. Curious is there is a cosmetology diploma?

Cosmetologists are trained professionals that provide a variety of services for their clients to enhance their appearance and accentuate their natural beauty. For that reason, highly skilled cosmetologists continue to be in demand as people experience the many benefits that these services provide. If you are interested in becoming a cosmetologist, the quickest path is to get a diploma from a vocational school.

Do You Need a Diploma to Become a Cosmetologist?

Yes, due to the intimate nature of these services, receiving a license is a requirement for all practicing cosmetologists. And to get the proper license, you must first complete a cosmetology diploma program. Why? Cosmetologists provide clients with a wide range of services, including haircare, hair removal, and facials. A cosmetologist must be fully trained so that everyone is safe while these services are performed.

Also, cosmetologists must develop a thorough knowledge of how to provide these services, as well as how to properly clean and sanitize a workstation. A cosmetology program is robust and comprehensive. This gives you the necessary time to receive adequate instruction and hands-on experience to develop your skills.

What Can You Do with a Cosmetology Diploma?

While cosmetologists must be well rounded and prove their skills during a diploma program, many chose to focus on providing one or two services in particular. For example, some may decide they prefer working in a nail salon providing manicures and pedicures to their clients. Others may discover that they enjoy giving facials and providing hair removal services. With a cosmetology diploma, you can follow your passions and choose what services you would like to specialize in. Throughout cosmetology training, you gain the knowledge and skillsets necessary to pursue a career, making cosmetology one of the best options for those who continue to learn. So, what jobs are available for those with a cosmetology diploma?


One of the most requested services a cosmetologist will provide is professional haircuts. Cosmetologists may choose to specialize in women’s, men’s, or children’s cuts. However, most will become skilled at providing haircuts for anyone who requests this service. Most clients will schedule a trim for periodic maintenance every few weeks, while others may request a new haircut to better suit their facial features or changing seasons. Cosmetologists learn how to identify which styles work best for each hair type, as well as hairstyles that may not work well with a particular client’s hair (bangs can be quite tricky for those with noticeable “cowlicks,” for example).


Cosmetologists provide stylish hairdos for their clients, often for special events and celebrations. Weddings, birthday parties, photo sessions, reunions, and formal events are all common reasons why people turn to a professional hairstylist. Hairstylists help their clients create popular looks that may be difficult to recreate on their own at home. During training, hairstylists will learn which products to use to create beautiful hairstyles that will last through their client’s special event.

Hair Colorist

Another service cosmetologists provide is color treatment. Because coloring services require a knowledge of mixing and combining a variety of chemicals to achieve the desired look, cosmetologists must perfect these skills while enrolled in a diploma program. While clients are often advised to not attempt to color their hair on their own, many of them do try. When this happens, many clients experience disastrous results and call their hairstylists in a hurry to book an emergency color correction service. Cosmetologists spend years perfecting these skills and can provide professional advice on what color shades might work best for their situation. In addition to color correcting, cosmetologists provide additional hair color services to their clients. Hair colorists provide highlights, bailage, full color service, and customized color services.

Nail Technician

Nail technicians provide salon services and treatments for their client’s fingernails and toenails. A standard manicure involves trimming the nails, shaping them into the client’s preferred style, and filing the nails evenly. Some customers prefer to add additional services, such as applying gel polish, shellac treatments, as well as acrylic nails. Many full-service salons offer manicures and pedicures to expand their clientele. Clients appreciate the convenience of getting a manicure within the same salon that they receive their hair treatments, while cosmetologists enjoy the ability to expand their creative talent by providing exquisite nail art and design.

There are employment opportunities for manicurists in a many different places. Some manicurists work at mom-and-pop stores, while others work at upscale country clubs and resorts. Some manicurists even leave a lasting influence on the nail design industry and go on to receive global recognition for creating their own unique techniques and designs.


Facialists can be referred to as skincare specialists who provide non-invasive treatments. Facial technicians provide skin treatments that are designed to enhance the appearance of a client’s face. Clients request facial services for many issues, including blemishes, wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, and discoloration. While fulfilling the role of a facial technician, cosmetologists will conduct a consult with their client to determine the best skin treatment plan for their needs. Facial treatments can be applied as a mask, creams, or toners. Some facial technicians will provide massage as part of the treatment regimen.

Another role of a face technician is providing hair removal. While razors are effective hair removal tools, clients may request services that helps keep unwanted hair from growing back for a longer period of time. Popular hair removal techniques include electrolysis, waxing, threading, and laser hair removal. While enrolled in a cosmetology diploma program, you learn the benefits of each hair removal technique, as well as how to help clients decide which techniques best suit their individual needs. You also learn the techniques of each service, as well as how to perform them in an efficient and hygienic manner.

Makeup Artist

Professional makeup application is one of the most popular services offered by cosmetologists. Many clients want to recreate the professional make up looks worn by their favorite celebrities. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to achieve the same looks at home without the right skills. While enrolled in a diploma program, cosmetologists have the opportunity to learn techniques and skills that will help them deliver the looks that their clients may request. Popular techniques include contouring, highlighting, applying smoky eyeliner, defining eyebrow arches, and creating a bold lip look with precision. These techniques are in demand and are often requested by clients who are getting ready for a special event like a wedding or a formal.

Where Can You Work as a Cosmetologist?

One of the benefits of being a cosmetologist, is it being a highly mobile career, offering job stability and security. Most cosmetologists find employment at a local community salon or franchise salon. After a few years of experiences, some may go on to manage a salon, or even open one of their own.

Cosmetologists can also find work at spas and resorts. In addition to these career options, some experienced cosmetologists eventually choose to share their knowledge and passion for their craft by providing instruction at a cosmetology school. Other cosmetologists may receive industry recognition and get the opportunity to work in the fashion industry, on photo shoots, and even in the world of entertainment alongside celebrities. There is a great deal of flexibility in this career field, which makes it one of the best options for those who are looking for variety in their work.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what you can do with a cosmetology diploma, it is time to learn more about the Minnesota School of Cosmetology. We prepare you for entry-level cosmetology roles at your local community or franchise salon. With a little bit of experience, you could manager a salon or even own one of your own. The sky’s the limit.

Want to Learn More?

At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments, and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

What Can You Do with a Cosmetology Diploma?

Instructor helping students in cosmetology diploma program

Interested in becoming a cosmetologist? Interested in knowing what you can do with a cosmetology diploma? First, what is cosmetology? What are the benefits of a cosmetology diploma? Finally, what are the careers available in cosmetology? Opportunities to become a cosmetologist are available and in demand. Learn more about what you can do with a cosmetology diploma.

What is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is simply a blanket term for the study of any and all aesthetic and beauty fields. Cosmetology careers specialize in areas such as hair, nails, makeup or skincare. Some of these fields can be combined or further specialized. Essentially, cosmetology refers to the study of beauty and appearance.

Benefits of Cosmetology Diploma

Considering what you want to do with your career or ready for a career change? There are a lot of different choices at this crucial turning point, and there are a lot of benefits to making a cosmetology diploma part of your next step.

Limited Amount of Training Time

Unlike a traditional education that can last between two and four years, the vocational training required for most cosmetology fields can be completed in less than 10 months. The smaller class sizes available through these kinds of certification courses offers a more expedient, personalized education experience. This additional attention to learning from your instructors will deepen your understanding of the cosmetology field. A comprehensive, vocationally centered education can translate into greater workplace confidence and professional success. There are many cosmetology diploma programs that help with job placement, as well. The combination of efficient training and successful job placement means that your new career might just be closer than you may think.

Foundation for Extended Learning and Specialized Fields

Even if a basic cosmetology career is not what you ultimately have in mind, basic training in a cosmetology field may be a necessary step on the path to your dream career. Likewise, there are plenty of specialized fields within hair, nails, makeup and cosmetic skincare that require additional training beyond what you received for your diploma. However, in any cosmetology career the initial diploma is the first thing you will need. This fundamental educational milestone will give you an understanding of your chosen field, and set you up to further educate yourself toward a cosmetic specialty.

Careers Available in Cosmetology

The kind of diploma you get and the program you choose to complete will depend on the cosmetology field that interests you. Here is a brief description of each of the areas of cosmetology and potential career fields available to you once you have your diploma.

Careers in Hair

Being a certified hairstylist means that you are capable of helping people with their hair in areas including coloring, cutting, and styling. You can also give informed advice on hair health and style maintenance. A hairstylist helps their client achieve the look that they want for their hair.

Salon Stylist

General salon stylists are by far the most common. A salon is usually the first-place hairstylists go after they receive their diploma because salons are great places to gain experience. Graduates cover a wide variety of responsibilities in salon work and are able to focus on sharpening their skills without the additional worry of drumming up business.

Freelance/Independent Hairstylist

This can be a little bit more financially risky for those that are just starting out. However, it creates more flexibility which allows them to customize their work schedule around other things you prioritize. Being an independent or freelance hairstylist also gives them more control over how many hours a week they work, who they work with and the products they use and recommend.

Hair Colorist

There is a growing market for skilled hair colorists in the hair industry. Because of the increase in bold and elaborate color trends, the hair styling field needs stylists who are knowledgeable and gifted in dye combinations and applications. In addition to skill, any of these techniques require extreme attention to detail and a deep knowledge of color and color transition.

Art/Personality Stylist

An art stylist is one who does the hair for an artistic project such as a photo shoot for a magazine or film. For example, a personality stylist is someone who helps people like news anchors and TV show hosts manage their hair. These jobs aren’t exactly common in the hair industry and they often require a certain amount of experience or additional training, but they are typically more lucrative than the average styling job.

Career in Nails

Being a nail technician or a manicurist/pedicurist means dealing with the appearance and health of a client’s nails. This can mean helping a client strengthen their nails as well as applying and maintaining artificial nails.

Salon Manicurist/Pedicurist

Working in a salon means that a salon manicurist takes a variety of different manicure and pedicure appointments. Because of the high volume of clients that a salon provides, a salon manicurist needs to be ready for a vast array of different requests. One client may need help fixing a broken nail in a hurry, while another may want an elaborate, artistic nail design. Because of this, it will vary from person to person and the salon manicurist will need to be ready for all of it.

Freelance Nail Technician

The stability of going freelance can be a little bit shaky and depends on more than just qualifications and talent. Independent success as a nail technician has as much to do with the market in the area as it has to do with the freelance nail technician. However, the freedom that comes with being able to have full control over a career may be worth it with some sound fiscal planning.

Technique Specialization

There are a growing number of insanely detailed nail design trends that require a familiarity with a plethora of different nail techniques. The growing popularity of these trends means that nail technicians who are capable of proficiently providing them are thriving in the industry. For this reason, putting in the extra practice and effort on the details can really pay off in the end.

Online Career Options

As previously stated, Internet fame is often fleeting, and online careers don’t have very encouraging success rates. The chances for success are markedly improved once someone has received a certification for their training. An educated opinion and a catchy angle will make someone attractive to both viewers and investors.

Careers in Makeup

The field of makeup is more complicated than simply knowing how to apply the product. There are a lot of things that have to be considered. As with most kinds of art, knowing colors and lines will be extremely important. For example, a makeup artist is in charge of knowing things like what tones to use with a client’s complexion and how certain products and application techniques will look with a client’s face shape. They are also responsible for keeping up with makeup trends and staying aware of new products.

General Makeup Artist

General makeup artists typically work in salons or stores (usually department stores or cosmetic stores). The majority of this kind of popular makeup work will consist of helping clients look their best for a special occasion. This is great for those just starting out because it allows them to gain experience to work on a lot of clients that have significant facial differences.

Brand/Product Endorser

An advocate or endorser for a brand means that one would be an advocate for a particular brand of makeup or a new makeup tool. For example, this may be through a retail store or as a representative for a brand. However, you should be advised that there are scams and pyramid schemes masquerading as career opportunities in the makeup industry. It is important that everyone research a brand thoroughly before working for them and should shy away from brands that make endorsers purchase inventory or encourage recruitment.

Makeup in Social Media

The margin of creativity in the makeup field is remarkably wide. There are also a lot of different online opportunities for social media personalities to receive brand endorsement. It may be that someone is known for technique tutorials. Perhaps they want to show off their skills in effects makeup. An online career in makeup might be aiming high, but the right balance of performance and skill will give this person the best chance at making the shot.

Project/Personality Work

Again, there are not a lot of opportunities that are openly available in this field. However, there are some jobs in various forms of art and media. Project work would be signing on as the makeup artist for a photo or movie shoot and personality work would mean being the makeup artist for a particular show or celebrity.

Careers in Skincare

Skincare is an important part of cosmetology that includes equal parts health and beauty. However, an esthetician, or cosmetic skincare specialist, is different than a dermatologist. While an esthetician will certainly deal with certain aspects of keeping skin healthy, they are in no way medically qualified to diagnose or treat skin conditions.

A Spa/Salon Esthetician

Clients will go to an esthetician for a lot of different reasons. Some go to have hair removed. Others for a wrap or a peel. An esthetician is responsible for performing a variety of different skin treatments and services that include laser treatments, intense exfoliation, skin conditioning and toning.

Product/Brand Representative

Furthermore, estheticians are a very large presence in the cosmetic marketing community. Since skin is considered by many to be the foundation of beauty, estheticians are consulted for their knowledge of how products such as makeup, lotions, and serums affect the integrity and appearance of the skin. They are also sought after as product and brand advocates.

Skin Service/Technique Specialty

There are new techniques and equipment being developed for esthetic skincare all the time. There is laser, sonic, and specialized light treatments that combat issues such as rough skin texture and uneven skin tone. Training in these techniques and equipment may not be covered in your initial cosmetology skincare education, but they may be worth the additional investment as many of them are quite lucrative and very popular.

Final Thoughts

If you have a specific vision or goal for your cosmetics career, you shouldn’t let the current limits of the industry limit you. You should use your cosmetology diploma to help you reach your full potential. Do you want to invent a brand-new hair coloring technique that turns into an insanely hot trend? Is it your dream to revolutionize nail design? Are you hoping to someday develop your brand of earth-friendly makeup utilizing new low-impact materials? Do you have ideas about how to make skincare better or safer? Sometimes an idea is good enough that it is worth fully pursuing. Sometimes a dream is big enough that it can’t be contained by “the way things have always been.” Just because it has never been done doesn’t mean that you aren’t the perfect person to do it first.

Your journey in cosmetology could go any direction you want it to. There are a lot of different options to choose from. The first step in that journey will be your certification. Where that first step takes you is ultimately up to you.

Want to Learn More?

Did learning about what you can do with a cosmetology diploma interest you? Need to get your undergraduate certificate in cosmetology? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting. We keep our class sizes small to make sure you get the individualized instruction you need and attention you deserve. You will graduate with everything you need to be a versatile artist in an exciting industry, including a cosmetology diploma from a respected college.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

5 Reasons You Should Get a Cosmetology Diploma

From personal to professional, there are many reasons to get a cosmetology diploma

If you want to work in a fun environment, love staying current on the latest trends in beauty, and have a passion for helping people look and feel their best, getting a cosmetology diploma is a great first step.

Still worried that it may not be right for you? Fear not! Read on to find out why getting a cosmetology diploma is an awesome pathway toward a fulfilling career.

You love it!

The old saying is true: If you love what you do, you never have to work.

Salon time can be super fun: hanging with your girlfriends, getting ready for prom or a wedding, or just relaxing and receiving a skin treatment. If you enjoy your time at the salon, why not be a part of it?

But you can’t go from cutting your niece’s hair to raking in tips at your own chair in a salon. You need training. And that’s where the cosmetology diploma comes in.

A good cosmetology school will teach you how to cut, color and style hair, provide spa treatments and apply facials, and give manicures and pedicures. Those in the beauty industry can find enjoyment in their work as they help people feel good inside and out, but they need proper schooling first.

You’ll learn things beyond beauty

Sure, going to cosmetology school will help you learn the latest industry trends and how to translate those looks to your customers.

However, you’ll also learn about the business side of the industry: tracking your sales and productivity, how many guests you retain, interpersonal relations, customer service and other behind-the-scenes aspects of the field. These are the kinds of skills you’ll be able to apply to nearly any industry.

Some schools also utilize technology, such as iPads, in the classroom, giving you the chance to use the latest programs and applications as you learn cosmetology.

It’s a growing industry

You don’t want to be stuck with a diploma and find yourself without any job prospects after you graduate.

That’s what makes the field so intriguing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 10 percent growth rate for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists from 2014 to 2024. The demand for special hair services has increased in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue over the next decade, according to the BLS.

There will be future openings as people retire or leave the profession for other gigs, and you can find salons in every area of the country. Many in the profession are also self-employed, which would let you set your own schedule.

There are many other career options

If you’re fascinated by the beauty industry but don’t see yourself working at a chair all day, there are other options you might not even be aware of. With the right education and experience, there are unique paths you can take in your career as a cosmetologist.


Industry publications and the companies that make beauty products need people who know about cosmetology and can write in an entertaining and informative way.

Sales rep

If you like meeting new people and are passionate about a particular line, being a sales rep might make sense. You’ll showcase products at trade shows and events, or going to salons and spas and demonstrate their benefits.

Sales consultant

In this role, you work for companies that want their lines sold at salons and spas. With your schooling and expertise, you’ll know what beauticians are looking for and be able to tell people why they should sell a certain product at their location.

Brand ambassador

At conferences and other events, you’ll be interacting directly with potential customers, giving out samples and generating excitement about beauty products.

These are just of the few opportunities you can find outside the traditional salon setting.

Do you want to own a salon?

If so, you’ll want an education in cosmetology. Many of those with experience in the beauty profession go on to open up their own salons.

If you’ve been working at a salon for a few years, you may come up with ideas for you own unique location. It can be thrilling and rewarding to be in charge and make the big decisions.

In this case, you should also consider whether getting a degree in business makes sense. There are schools that have specialized management programs related to the salon/spa industry.

As you can see, no matter what you want to do with your career, there are plenty of reasons to get that cosmetology diploma.