Cosmetology

Diploma/Certificate

Cosmetology

Fast Facts

Median salary:
$23,710*
Median hourly pay:
$11.40
Tuition and fees:
$17,020 - $21,325
Program length:
44 weeks

Discover the Beauty of an Exciting New Career with Cosmetology School

Train for a career in cosmetology in as little as one year.

Imagine a career where you can express yourself creatively and help others look and feel beautiful. If you have a passion for style or a desire to boost people’s self-confidence, a career in cosmetology could be right for you. Our Cosmetology courses prepare you to work with clients in real salons.

Our school of cosmetology is more than just a beauty school. It is a place where you can explore your passions, connect with others and hone your technical skills. The Virginia College Cosmetology program offers a supportive, hands-on learning environment that can prepare you for success.

Learn How to Become a Cosmetologist

Becoming a cosmetologist means working with your hands, expressing yourself and engaging with clients. It takes training and practice to produce beautiful, desirable results. That’s why we provide an encouraging learning environment that invites trial and error, artistic expression and constructive feedback to help our students gain these valuable skills.

Get step-by-step training for hair-stylist jobs with Pivot Point.

Many of our Cosmetology programs use a special learning tool called Pivot Point. It is an internationally recognized cosmetology curriculum that utilizes a hands-on, step-by-step approach to cosmetology techniques. This training method can help you develop a solid, practical foundation in professional hair styling and beauty techniques.

Our instructors lead by example with visual demonstrations. They will coach you through processes and help you develop an eye for style. We have labs dedicated to hands-on practice where you can work to master the techniques of hair styling, nail art and cosmetic skin care.

"Nothing compares to Virginia College… they were structured, organized and caring. The instructors are phenomenal and they treated me very well. They were inspiring and supportive and provided a very detailed education."

Regine Valcine, Hair Designer

Cosmetology Courses for Aspiring Beauty Professionals

Through your cosmetology classes, you will have the opportunity to become more a creative and confident beauty professional. Your courses work together to prepare you for a career as a hairstylist, nail technician or esthetician. Our goal is to help you build a novice stylist portfolio and equip you with the fundamental knowledge you need to succeed in the field.

In this program, you'll learn how to:

  • Consult with clients
  • Style, shape and design hair
  • Select correct chemical texturizing products
  • Apply chemical and non-chemical hair texturizing techniques including perms, waves, hair relaxing, and curl reformation
  • Color and lighten hair
  • Perform skin care services within cosmetology limits
  • Give manicures and pedicures and create creative nail art
  • Perform basic massage techniques
  • Consult with clients
  • Follow standard sanitation and safety precautions

Hands-On Cosmetology Training in an Actual Salon

One of the distinct features of our program is V's Student Cosmetology Services, an on-campus, student-run salon where you can practice what you’ve learned in class. Your cosmetology training leads up to the moment you are behind the chair working with a real client for the first time. You will have the support and supervision of a trained instructor to guide you along the way.

In the salon, you will perform the range of services we offer, practicing everything from cuts and color to manicures and waxes. This hands-on experience can help you gain a better command of the professional tools, products and techniques used in salons. Repetition will help you master more advanced skills and build confidence.

We have salon clients of all ages and from different walks of life. This will allow you to refine your technical skills and challenge yourself creatively. You can give clients something to smile about – a great hair day, beautiful nails or smoother skin. Artful, attentive service takes practice, which is why you will continue to train in the salon until graduation.

A Beauty Program with Career Support

At Virginia College, we go beyond supporting you in the classroom. We help prepare you with the training and the tools you will need to pursue entry-level positions in the field. Our Career Services team can help you build your cosmetology resume, give you interview pointers and help you begin your job search.

Career Services support doesn't end with graduation. You will continue to have a support team with the connections and research skills to help you explore the job market. We maintain job-placement relationships with local salons and hairstylist employers, as well as national partners that include:

  • Fantastic Sam's
  • Sport Clips
  • Regis Corp/SmartStyle
  • JCPenney
  • Ulta

Preparing to Earn a Cosmetology License

Our cosmetology school is designed to prepare you for the state cosmetology licensure exam. As part of your cosmetology education, you will take exam prep courses and complete a mock State Board exam to discover areas of expertise that you might need to review.

How long is cosmetology school?

Cosmetology schools often range from one year to two years in length. Some specialty programs last only six months, but these programs may limit job opportunities to one area of cosmetology.

At Virginia College, you can earn your Cosmetology certificate or diploma in as little as one year. Every state has its own cosmetology training requirements, but as an accredited cosmetology school, our programs meet the number of hours required for the states where we practice. This ensures that you receive the comprehensive training you need to pursue a cosmetology license.

What Is a Cosmetologist?

Cosmetologists are trained beauty professionals who are proficient in styling hair, nails and sometimes makeup. They are creative artists and entrepreneurs who understand how to make clients look their best. They are often at the forefront of new trends and styles influencing everything from pop culture to wedding trends.

Cosmetologists are often outgoing and enjoy interacting with people. They work closely with clients, building trust and making recommendations. Some specialize in one area of beauty such as hair styling or skincare, while others enjoy the variety that work as a cosmetologist offers.

What does a hairstylist do?

Hairstylist Job Description

  • Advise clients about treatments
  • Recommend styles and products
  • Wash, color, condition, cut and style hair
  • Style wigs and hairpieces
  • Provide at-home styling tips
  • Clean and sanitize tools and station
  • Build client relationships
  • Schedule appointments

Nail Technician Job Description

  • Perform manicures and pedicures
  • Decorate natural and artificial nails
  • Select colors and nail treatments
  • Polish and buff nails
  • Trim cuticles
  • Exfoliate hands and feet
  • Massage hands and feet 

Esthetician Job Description

  • Perform facials and chemical/acid peels
  • Recommend skin care regimens
  • Wax desired areas
  • Exfoliate and clean pores
  • Administer spa treatments
  • Complete skin analysis
  • Apply make-up

Cosmetologist Job Environment

Cosmetologist jobs are often fast-paced and active. Cosmetologists and hair stylists work in many different settings including salons, spas, department stores, beauty stores and resorts. Working in the beauty industry requires keeping up with new trends in styles and techniques.

If you have an eye for design or a love of interacting with people, becoming a cosmetologist could be a great career path for you.

How much does a cosmetologist make?

A career in beauty can provide great flexibility and exciting opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, hairdressers and cosmetologists make an average salary of $23,710 per year, or $11.40 per hour.* Some cosmetologists open their own salons or businesses, which may increase their earning potential.

Turn your creativity and passion into a rewarding career! 

If you are considering a career in cosmetology, we can help you get started. Fill out our information form or give us a call today. 

Available at the following locations:

* Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016–2017 Edition, Barbers, Hairdressers, and Cosmetologists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/barbers-hairdressers-and-cosmetologists.htm (accessed August 2016). Expected growth rate through the year 2024. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual growth or any particular salary.

Note: The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed.

Questions lead to possibilities

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