Cosmetology is designed to prepare students for careers within the personal care industry, including hairstylist, colorist, cosmetologist, and makeup and nail technician. The courses in the program of study cover efficient and safe work practices, nail procedures, hair design, facial procedures, chemical services, salon business concepts, and state board theoretical and practical application. Students may acquire hours to transfer to a postsecondary institution to complete the requirements needed to be eligible to take the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology examination for a Tennessee Cosmetology License. Students may gain job experience while still in high school through local and Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) competitions and work-based learning.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects 332 average annual openings (one percent growth) for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists from 2014 to 2024 with a total of 10,660 employed in the group in Tennessee in 2024. Nationally, jobs for barbers, hairdressers, and cosmetologists are projected to grow by ten percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than average for all occupations. The demand for hair coloring, hair straightening, and other advanced hair treatments has risen in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue. In Tennessee, 11 average annual openings are projected for manicurists and pedicurists. Skincare specialists are expected to grow by 37.9 percent because of their employment in the medical field. Every occupation in this area requires a postsecondary certificate and the attainment/renewal of license.
Labor supply and demand in Tennessee for this program of study is very competitive and the growth rate is positive. According to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners in 2014, there were 51,000 licensed cosmetologists, manicurists, aestheticians, and natural hair stylists combined, and 5,000 master barbers. Nationally, a large number of job openings will stem from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the occupation for other reasons. However, workers should expect strong competition for jobs and clients at higher paying salons, of which there are relatively few and for which applicants must compete with a large pool of experienced hairdressers and cosmetologists.
In Tennessee in 2013, 51.1 percent of cosmetologist who completed the required course hours were employed following certification and 28.6 percent of barbering completers were employed the same year.
Upon completion of this program of study, students will be prepared to sit for the cosmetology certification and apply for a license or transfer to a postsecondary institution to complete hourly requirements to be eligible to take the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology examinations for a Tennessee Cosmetology License.