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Top 10 Cosmetology Educator Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top cosmetology educator certifications available, including information on requirements and curriculum.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are important for cosmetology educators in the job market because they demonstrate a certain level of expertise and knowledge in their field. Certification can also demonstrate commitment to the profession – a hiring manager may be more likely to trust someone with a certification than someone without one. Additionally, certifications may open up different opportunities or job roles that may not have been available before. Having certifications can provide credibility and show potential employers that an educator is dedicated to staying current in their industry.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the top certifications for Cosmetology Educators and explain how they can enhance a cosmetology educator's career.

What are Cosmetology Educator Certifications?

Cosmetology educator certification is a credential that demonstrates a cosmetologist’s specialized knowledge, experience, and training in teaching others how to work in the beauty industry. It is designed to help those who are interested in becoming educators of the cosmetology field, such as instructors at a beauty school or hair salon.

Having a cosmetology educator certification can provide several benefits for potential employers. It allows them to hire an individual with specialized knowledge and experience in the field of cosmetology, which can help ensure that their students receive the best education possible. It also demonstrates that the individual has been tested and certified on their ability to teach others, which is essential for those who wish to become successful educators. Additionally, having this certification can make it easier for potential employers to find an instructor who meets their qualifications and standards.

In addition to helping potential employers find qualified instructors, having a cosmetology educator certification can also benefit individuals seeking employment in the field. Those who have this credential may be more likely to receive job offers due to their demonstrated expertise and knowledge of the industry. Furthermore, having this type of certification can also give individuals access to additional resources and networking opportunities within the field of cosmetology education.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the requirements for cosmetology educator certification in your state before beginning the process. Different states may have different regulations and require different documents for certification. Additionally, look for online resources or training programs that can help you prepare for the certification process.

Related: What does a Cosmetology Educator do?

Top 10 Cosmetology Educator Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Cosmetology Educators today.

1. Certified Professional Makeup Artist (CPMA)

Certified Professional Makeup Artist (CPMA) is a designation that recognizes the highest level of professional makeup artistry. It is awarded by the Professional Beauty Association (PBA), an international organization dedicated to advancing the professional beauty industry. To become a CPMA, applicants must complete a comprehensive training program and pass an exam that tests their knowledge and skills in makeup artistry.

The training program typically takes two to three months to complete and consists of both online and in-person classes. The classes cover topics such as makeup application techniques, color theory, skin care fundamentals, product knowledge, sanitation practices, and business principles. In addition to the classes, applicants must also complete a portfolio project that demonstrates their mastery of various makeup looks.

To apply for CPMA certification, applicants must submit an application form along with proof of completion of the required training program and portfolio project. Applicants are then required to take an exam administered by PBA which covers topics related to makeup artistry such as product selection, application techniques, color theory, sanitation practices, client consultations, etc.

The cost for CPMA certification varies depending on the type of program chosen but typically ranges from $500-$1,000 USD. This cost includes all course materials as well as access to PBA's online resources and support services. Once certified, CPMA members receive discounts on products and services from participating vendors as well as access to exclusive networking opportunities within the professional beauty industry.

2. Certified Esthetician (CE)

A Certified Esthetician (CE) is a professional who specializes in skin care and beauty treatments. They are trained to provide a variety of services such as facials, waxing, makeup application, body treatments, and more. A CE must complete an approved esthetics program from a state-approved school or college. The program typically takes between 600-1000 hours to complete and includes both classroom instruction and hands-on experience.

In order to become certified, an individual must pass the National Esthetician Exam administered by the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations (NCEA). This exam tests knowledge of the principles and practices of esthetics including safety protocols, sanitation procedures, product knowledge and client consultation techniques. Upon successful completion of the exam, the individual will receive their CE certification.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the school or college you choose to attend. Tuition fees can range from $2,000-$20,000 depending on the length of the program and any additional fees associated with it. In addition to tuition costs, there may be additional fees for books or supplies required for your coursework as well as any licensing fees that may apply in your state.

3. Certified Hairdresser (CH)

Certified Hairdresser (CH) is a professional certification for hairdressers and barbers. It is awarded by the National Accrediting Commission of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences (NACCAS), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an accrediting agency for cosmetology schools and programs.

To become a Certified Hairdresser, individuals must first complete a state-approved cosmetology program that meets NACCAS standards. This typically includes 1,500 hours of instruction in hair cutting, styling, coloring, chemical treatments, and other related topics. Once the program is completed, applicants must then pass the NACCAS board exam to earn their CH designation.

The cost of becoming a Certified Hairdresser will vary depending on the school or program you choose to attend. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on location and type of program chosen. In addition to tuition fees, there may also be additional costs associated with textbooks, supplies, and licensing fees.

Once you have earned your CH designation, you will be able to demonstrate your commitment to excellence in hair design and services through continuing education courses offered by NACCAS-accredited schools and programs. This can help you stay up-to-date on current trends in hair care and styling techniques so that you can provide your clients with the best possible services available.

4. Certified Aesthetician (CA)

A Certified Aesthetician (CA) is a professional who has been trained and certified in the practice of aesthetic services. This certification is granted by the American Association of Estheticians and Cosmetologists (AAEC). It is designed to ensure that aestheticians are knowledgeable and skilled in providing safe, effective skin care treatments.

The certification process typically takes between six months to one year to complete. During this time, applicants must complete an accredited program that includes both classroom instruction and hands-on training. They must also pass a written exam administered by the AAEC.

In order to become a Certified Aesthetician, individuals must first meet certain prerequisites such as having a high school diploma or GED, being at least 18 years old, and having no criminal history. Once these requirements are met, they can begin the application process which includes submitting an application form, paying the required fees, and providing proof of completion of their training program.

The cost for becoming a Certified Aesthetician varies depending on the program chosen but generally ranges from $500-$2000. This cost covers tuition for the program as well as any additional materials needed for certification such as textbooks or study guides.

5. Certified Nail Technician (CNT)

A Certified Nail Technician (CNT) is a professional who has completed a specialized course of study and passed an exam to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field of nail care. The CNT certification is issued by the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC).

The CNT certification requires at least 300 hours of classroom instruction, plus hands-on experience in a salon or spa. Courses cover topics such as nail anatomy, product knowledge, sanitation and safety, manicuring and pedicuring techniques, artificial nails, and customer service.

In order to become certified, applicants must pass an exam administered by the NIC. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions covering all aspects of nail technology. Applicants must also submit proof that they have completed the required training hours before taking the exam.

The cost for the CNT certification varies depending on where you take your classes. Generally, it will cost between $500-$2,000 for tuition and materials. Additionally, there may be fees associated with taking the NIC exam which can range from $50-$100.

6. Certified Hair Stylist (CHS)

A Certified Hair Stylist (CHS) is a professional who has completed a course of study and/or training in hair styling and related services. The CHS certification is awarded by the American Board of Certified Hair Stylists (ABCHS), which is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to certifying hair stylists.

It typically takes between 1-2 years to complete the program and become certified. The program consists of both theoretical and practical components, including courses on hair cutting, coloring, styling, product knowledge, customer service, business practices, and more. Upon successful completion of the program and passing the certification exam, individuals are awarded the CHS credential.

To become certified as a CHS, individuals must first meet certain prerequisites such as having at least two years of experience working as a hair stylist or completing an accredited cosmetology program. They must also be 18 years or older and pass a background check. Once these requirements are met, individuals can apply for the certification program online through ABCHS’s website.

The cost of becoming a CHS varies depending on the individual’s circumstances but generally ranges from $400-$600 USD for tuition plus any additional fees associated with taking the certification exam.

7. Master Cosmetologist (MC)

A Master Cosmetologist (MC) is a professional who has achieved the highest level of cosmetology licensure. This designation is offered by the National Cosmetology Association (NCA). To become an MC, you must have at least 5 years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist and pass the NCA's comprehensive written and practical exam.

The exam consists of three parts: Theory, Practical Skills, and Business Knowledge. The Theory portion covers topics such as anatomy and physiology, hair care, skin care, makeup application, chemical services, safety and sanitation procedures, infection control practices, laws and regulations governing the practice of cosmetology in your state. The Practical Skills portion requires you to demonstrate your ability to perform various services on mannequins or live models. The Business Knowledge portion tests your understanding of business principles related to running a successful salon or spa.

It typically takes several months to prepare for the MC exam. You can find study materials online or purchase them from the NCA website. You'll also need to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain your license after becoming an MC.

The cost of taking the MC exam varies depending on where you take it and what materials you purchase for preparation purposes. Generally speaking, it will cost around $500-$1000 for everything including registration fees and study materials.

8. Advanced Esthetics Educator Certification (AEEC)

Advanced Esthetics Educator Certification (AEEC) is a certification program designed to help estheticians become more successful educators. This certification is offered through the National Coalition of Estheticians, Manufacturers/Distributors & Associations (NCEA). The AEEC program provides an in-depth look at the skills and knowledge needed to be an effective esthetics educator.

The AEEC program consists of two parts: online coursework and a practical assessment. The online coursework covers topics such as curriculum development, teaching methods, classroom management, and student assessment. The practical assessment includes hands-on demonstrations of facial treatments, waxing services, and chemical peels.

The total time required to complete the AEEC certification program varies depending on the individual's experience level and how quickly they can complete the coursework. Generally, it takes between 6 months and 1 year to complete the entire program.

To get started with the AEEC certification process, individuals must first register with NCEA. Once registered, they will receive access to all of the necessary materials for completing the coursework portion of the program. After completing all of the coursework requirements, individuals must then pass a practical assessment in order to receive their certification.

The cost for registering for the AEEC certification program is $200 USD plus applicable taxes. This fee covers access to all materials necessary for completing both parts of the program as well as a one-year membership with NCEA upon successful completion of the program.

9. International Dermal Institute’s Post-Graduate Educator Program

The International Dermal Institute’s Post-Graduate Educator Program is a comprehensive program designed to prepare professional skin care professionals for teaching and instructing in the field of skin care. This program is specifically tailored to the needs of those who wish to become educators and help others learn about skin health and treatments.

The program consists of two main components: an online course, which takes approximately 8 weeks to complete, and an onsite practicum, which takes place at one of the International Dermal Institute’s campuses. The online course covers topics such as anatomy, physiology, product knowledge, treatment protocols, business practices, communication skills, and more. It also includes a final exam that must be passed in order to receive certification.

The onsite practicum consists of hands-on training with experienced instructors. During this time, students will gain practical experience through observing demonstrations and participating in supervised treatments. They will also have the opportunity to practice their teaching skills by leading classes and seminars.

To get the Post-Graduate Educator Program certification, students must successfully complete both the online course and the onsite practicum. Upon completion of the program, they will receive their certificate from International Dermal Institute.

The cost of the Post-Graduate Educator Program varies depending on location but typically ranges from $2,000 - $3,000 USD (not including travel or accommodation expenses).

10. National Cosmetology Association’s Instructor Certification Program

The National Cosmetology Association’s Instructor Certification Program is designed to provide cosmetology instructors with the qualifications and credentials necessary to teach in a professional environment. The program covers topics such as instructional techniques, curriculum development, classroom management, and safety.

The program consists of two parts: an online course and hands-on instruction. The online course takes approximately 8 weeks to complete and includes modules on topics such as teaching strategies, communication skills, and student assessment. The hands-on instruction is conducted at a local NCA-approved school or facility. During this portion of the program, students will receive additional instruction on classroom management and safety protocols.

To get certified, applicants must have a valid cosmetology license in their state of residence, submit proof of completion of the online course, and pass both a written exam and practical demonstration. The cost for the program varies depending on the school or facility chosen but typically ranges between $500-$700 USD.

Do You Really Need a Cosmetology Educator Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your goals. A cosmetology educator certificate is a great way to demonstrate expertise in the field of cosmetology and help you stand out among other candidates when applying for jobs. It also shows potential employers that you are committed to continuing your education and knowledge in the field. However, if you do not plan to teach cosmetology courses or make a career out of educating others, then a cosmetology educator certificate may not be necessary for you.

In some cases, employers may require a cosmetology educator certificate as part of their hiring process. If this is the case, having one can help increase your chances of getting the job. Additionally, having a certificate can give you access to exclusive educational opportunities that may not be available without certification.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a cosmetology educator certificate depends on your individual goals and situation. If teaching or furthering your education in the field is important to you, then it might be worth considering investing in one.

Related: Cosmetology Educator Resume Examples

FAQs About Cosmetology Educator Certifications

1. What qualifications do I need to become a cosmetology educator?

Answer: To become a cosmetology educator, you must have an associate’s degree in cosmetology from an accredited institution, plus at least two years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist. You may also need additional certification depending on the state you practice in.

2. How long does it take to complete a cosmetology educator certification?

Answer: It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the certification process, depending on the state's requirements.

3. Is there an exam required for cosmetology educator certification?

Answer: Yes, most states require that applicants take and pass an exam in order to receive their certification. This exam will test your knowledge of cosmetology laws, regulations and safety protocols.

4. How much does a cosmetology educator certification cost?

Answer: The cost of the certification varies by state and can range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the requirements of the program. Additional fees may also be required for materials or exams.

5. Are there continuing education requirements for maintaining my cosmetology educator certification?

Answer: Yes, most states require that certified cosmetology educators complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their certifications. These courses are typically offered online and cover topics such as new trends in technology and safety procedures for salons and spas.