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Top 10 Stylist Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top stylist certifications available for aspiring professionals in the beauty industry.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are an important tool for stylists in the job market as they demonstrate a level of expertise and knowledge. They can help a stylist stand out from other applicants and make them more attractive to potential employers. Certifications also show that the stylist has taken the initiative to learn and develop their skills, which can be seen as a sign of dedication and commitment to their profession. Finally, certifications are often required by employers in order for a stylist to work in certain salons or with certain products, so having one can open up new job opportunities.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Stylists and explains how they can help to advance a stylist's career.

What are Stylist Certifications?

Stylist certification is a formal recognition of an individual's qualifications and skills in the field of styling. It is usually awarded to those who have completed a specific course or program, such as a fashion design or styling program. Certification can help stylists demonstrate their commitment to their craft, increase their professional standing, and expand their range of services.

Certification also allows stylists to stay up-to-date with current trends and techniques in the fashion industry, as well as gain access to specialized knowledge about fabrics, colors, textures, silhouettes, and other elements of style. With this knowledge, stylists can create unique looks that meet customers’ needs and express their personal style.

In addition to providing more professional credibility and opportunities for advancement in the field, certification can also help stylists build better relationships with clients. By demonstrating their commitment to the profession through certification, stylists can show clients that they are reliable professionals who take pride in their work and understand what it takes to make successful styling decisions.

Pro Tip: Take the time to research your state's requirements for stylist certification. Each state has different requirements, so make sure you understand what is required in order to become certified and ensure that you are working within the law.

Related: What does a Stylist do?

Top 10 Stylist Certifications

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

1. Professional Image Stylist Certification

Professional Image Stylist Certification is a certification program offered by the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). It is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to become successful image consultants. The certification program consists of three levels: Certified Image Professional (CIP), Advanced Certified Image Professional (ACIP) and Master Certified Image Professional (MCIP).

The CIP level requires 30 hours of coursework, including topics such as color analysis, body language, wardrobe assessment, personal branding and more. To obtain the ACIP level, applicants must have completed the CIP level and must pass an exam. The MCIP level requires applicants to have completed both the CIP and ACIP levels as well as pass an additional exam.

The cost for the AICI certification program varies depending on which level you are pursuing. The CIP level costs $595 USD; the ACIP level costs $795 USD; and the MCIP level costs $995 USD.

To get started in this certification program, applicants must first register with AICI and pay the required fees for their chosen level. After registration is complete, applicants can access online courses that will help them prepare for their exams. Once all coursework has been completed and exams passed, applicants will be awarded their respective certifications from AICI.

2. Certified Personal Stylist Certification

Certified Personal Stylist Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates expertise in the field of personal styling. It is designed to provide stylists with the skills and knowledge needed to become successful in their profession.

The certification is offered through the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI). To become certified, applicants must complete an approved course of study, pass an exam, and fulfill continuing education requirements. The courses typically take four to six months to complete and require a minimum of 80 hours of instruction.

The cost for the certification program varies depending on the provider, but can range from $2,000 - $5,000. This includes tuition fees for the coursework as well as any additional materials required to complete the program.

To get started with Certified Personal Stylist Certification, applicants should first research AICI-approved providers and determine which program best meets their needs. Once they have chosen a provider, they will need to submit an application along with proof of completion of all required courses and exams. Once approved, they will receive their certification from AICI.

3. Wardrobe Consultant Certification

Wardrobe Consultant Certification is a professional certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a successful wardrobe consultant. The program covers topics such as wardrobe design, color theory, fabric selection, styling techniques, and client relations. It also includes an introduction to the business side of wardrobe consulting, including marketing and sales strategies.

The certification is offered by several organizations including the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), the Professional Image Institute (PII), and the American Association of Image Consultants (AAIC). To obtain certification, candidates must complete an approved course of study and pass an exam. The length of the course varies depending on the organization offering it but typically takes between three to six months to complete.

The cost for Wardrobe Consultant Certification varies depending on which organization you choose to pursue it through. Generally speaking, costs range from $500-$2,000 USD for the entire course and exam fee. In addition to this fee, some organizations may require additional fees for materials or additional courses.

Once certified, individuals can use their credentials to market themselves as a professional wardrobe consultant and increase their earning potential in this field.

4. Visual Merchandising and Styling Certificate

Visual Merchandising and Styling Certificate is a certification program designed to provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful visual merchandisers and stylists. The certificate program covers topics such as visual display, store layout, product selection, customer service, and styling techniques. It also provides an understanding of the principles of marketing, fashion trends, and the use of technology in visual merchandising.

The Visual Merchandising and Styling Certificate typically takes between six months to one year to complete depending on the institution offering it. To get the certificate, you must complete all required courses as well as a final project or portfolio that demonstrates your understanding of the material covered in the program.

The cost for a Visual Merchandising and Styling Certificate varies depending on where you are taking it from. Generally speaking, it can range anywhere from $500 to several thousand dollars depending on the institution offering it.

5. Hair and Makeup Artist Certification

Hair and Makeup Artist Certification is a certification program that provides professional recognition for those who specialize in hair and makeup artistry. This certification is offered by a variety of organizations, such as the American Association of Cosmetology Schools (AACS) and the Professional Beauty Association (PBA).

The length of time it takes to get certified depends on the organization offering the certification. Generally, most organizations require applicants to complete a certain number of hours of training, pass an exam, and submit proof of experience before they can receive their certification.

To get certified, applicants must first find an accredited organization that offers Hair and Makeup Artist Certification. Once they have found one, they must complete the necessary training hours and pass the exam. After completing these requirements, applicants will need to submit proof of their experience in order to receive their certificate.

The cost of Hair and Makeup Artist Certification varies depending on which organization you choose to become certified through. Generally speaking, however, most certifications range from $100-$500 depending on the program you choose.

6. Fashion Design and Styling Certificate

A Fashion Design and Styling Certificate is a professional certificate program that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to become successful fashion designers and stylists. The program typically takes one year to complete and covers topics such as fashion history, design principles, patternmaking, fabric selection, garment construction, styling techniques, marketing strategies, and more. Students can also learn about the business side of fashion design and styling in order to better understand the industry.

To get a Fashion Design and Styling Certificate, students must first complete an accredited program from an accredited college or university. Depending on the school or program chosen, courses may be offered online or in-person. Additionally, some programs may require internships or other hands-on experiences in order to gain practical experience in the field.

The cost of a Fashion Design and Styling Certificate varies depending on the school or program chosen. Generally speaking, tuition for these programs ranges from $2,000 - $10,000 USD depending on the length of the program and any additional fees associated with it.

7. Bridal Styling Certificate

Bridal Styling Certificate is a certification program that teaches you the fundamentals of bridal styling. It covers topics such as hair and makeup, wedding gowns, accessories, and more. The program usually consists of a series of online classes or workshops that can be completed at your own pace. It typically takes around 6-12 months to complete the program depending on how much time you are able to dedicate to it.

To get the Bridal Styling Certificate, you must first register for the course online or through an accredited school. Once registered, you will need to complete all course requirements including lectures, assignments, and exams. After successfully completing all course requirements, you will receive your certificate from the school or organization offering it.

The cost of the Bridal Styling Certificate varies depending on where you take it and what type of program it is. Generally speaking, most programs cost between $500-$1000 USD for the full course.

8. Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate

A Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate is a professional certification that recognizes individuals who have achieved a high level of expertise in styling luxury brands. The certificate is awarded by the International Association of Professional Stylists (IAPS) and is designed to help stylists gain recognition in the fashion industry.

The certificate program typically takes between six and nine months to complete, depending on the student's commitment and pace. To qualify for the Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate, students must complete a series of courses covering topics such as luxury brand marketing, product knowledge, styling techniques, client relations, and more. Upon completion of the coursework, students must pass an exam administered by IAPS in order to receive their certificate.

To get started with the Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate program, interested individuals should contact IAPS directly for more information about enrollment requirements and fees. Generally speaking, the cost of the program will vary depending on the number of courses taken and other factors.

In addition to completing courses and passing exams, those who wish to obtain their Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate must also demonstrate their knowledge through hands-on experience in styling luxury brands. This can be done through internships or other job opportunities that allow them to work with luxury brands directly.

Overall, obtaining a Luxury Brand Stylist Certificate can open up many doors for aspiring fashion professionals looking to make it big in this competitive industry. It provides recognition from respected industry organizations and can help differentiate stylists from their peers when applying for jobs or seeking clients.

9. Color Analysis Certification

Color Analysis Certification is a professional certification program that teaches individuals how to accurately assess and analyze skin tones, hair color, and eye color in order to determine the best clothing colors for each individual. The program covers topics such as personal color theory, seasonal analysis, facial features, and body shape. It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the coursework and receive certification.

In order to get Color Analysis Certification, individuals must first complete a comprehensive training program. This can be done through an accredited school or online course provider. After completing the training, students must pass an exam in order to receive their certification.

The cost of Color Analysis Certification varies depending on the school or online course provider chosen. Generally speaking, courses range from $500-$1500 USD depending on the length of the program and any additional materials required.

10. Accessory Design and Styling Certificate

Accessory Design and Styling Certificate is a program that provides students with the knowledge and skills to design and style accessories. The program covers topics such as fashion trends, fabric selection, pattern making, sewing techniques, accessory construction, styling techniques, and business practices. It also includes hands-on projects such as creating an accessory collection or styling an editorial look.

The Accessory Design and Styling Certificate typically takes between six months to a year to complete depending on the school offering the program. Students must complete coursework in areas such as fashion design fundamentals, patternmaking, illustration, color theory, textiles, garment construction and marketing.

To get the Accessory Design and Styling Certificate you must attend an accredited college or university that offers the program. You can find these programs by searching online for "accessory design and styling certificate" or by contacting local colleges or universities directly.

The cost of the Accessory Design and Styling Certificate varies depending on the school offering it. Generally speaking costs range from $1,000 to $5,000 for a six-month program or up to $10,000 for a one-year program.

Do You Really Need a Stylist Certificate?

Having a Stylist Certificate can be beneficial for many aspiring fashion stylists, but it is not necessary to become successful.

A certificate from an accredited styling program or school can provide you with the skills and knowledge required to excel in the field of fashion styling. It will give you a solid foundation and allow you to gain valuable experience that could help you land jobs in the industry. Additionally, having a certificate will demonstrate to potential employers that you are serious about your career and have a basic understanding of the principles of fashion styling.

However, having a certificate does not guarantee success in the field. In addition to your technical skills, employers also look for other qualities such as creativity, an eye for detail, good communication skills and networking abilities. A certificate alone may not be enough to get your foot in the door; it is important to develop these qualities as well if you want to make it in this competitive industry.

In conclusion, while having a Stylist Certificate can be helpful when starting out in the world of fashion styling, it is not necessary for success. Having knowledge of styling principles and techniques is important but it should be supplemented with other qualities such as creativity and networking ability if you want to stand out from the crowd.

Related: Stylist Resume Examples

FAQs About Stylist Certifications

1. What is a stylist certification?

A stylist certification is an official recognition of a person’s expertise in the field of styling and fashion. It verifies that the individual has met certain educational and professional qualifications, such as completing courses or training programs in styling, fashion design, and other related topics.

2. How do I get a stylist certification?

In order to become certified as a stylist, you will need to complete an approved course or program of study that covers the necessary skills and knowledge required for the job. You may also be asked to take an exam or pass an assessment before being certified.

3. What are the benefits of having a stylist certification?

Having a stylist certification can help you stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs in the industry, as employers will view your credentials with more credibility. Additionally, it can open up opportunities for higher pay and advancement in your career.

4. Is there an expiration date on my stylist certification?

Most certifications do not have an expiration date; however, if you want to maintain your certification status it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements within the field of styling and fashion.

5. Are there any additional requirements for maintaining my stylist certification?

Yes, depending on where you obtained your certification from, you may need to participate in continuing education courses or workshops in order to keep your credentials current and valid. Additionally, some certifying organizations may require that you renew your credential every few years in order to remain certified.