If you're interested in breaking into the beauty industry, one of the best ways you can get your foot in the door is to start out as a beauty salon assistant. As a salon assistant, you can learn what it takes to make it in the industry, along with insider tips and knowledge about different services and processes.
All US states require that cosmetologists and hair stylists be licensed, but shampooers are the exception. If you're working at the front desk of a salon—or as a shampooer—you won't need a license. If you're working as a salon assistant, but cutting or coloring hair, you will need to be licensed. Common salon assistant duties can include:
Working as a beauty salon assistant, you're often are the most entry-level employee at the salon. Many salons offer assistant training programs that may have an hourly minimum wage. However, many people tip the shampooer at the salon $3 to $5 in addition to their hourly wage. With an average of two shampoo clients an hour, you could have a good supplemental income.
Most work as a salon assistant because immediately after they graduate from beauty school. Some full-time beauty schools take less than a year to complete. If you want to work in a salon before going to school, try applying for a job at the front desk as a receptionist. Generally, these jobs don't require that you go to beauty school, but you'll still be able to get a feel if the industry is right for you.
A career in the beauty industry often starts with being a hair salon assistant. After your assistant program (which can last anywhere from a few months to a few years, depending on the salon) you'll likely advance to a position with more responsibility. Opportunities may eventually include:
Connecting with groups of other cosmetology professionals can help you network and learn more about the industry. Try looking at the groups and associations to learn more: