So you’re thinking about being an educator? Congratulations! It’s a great way to stay current, meet other passionate and like-minded stylists, and give back to such a great industry. Having been on the education side of the business for over a decade, I can tell you there are many ways to get involved.
A great place to begin is to figure out what direction you want to go in. In my experience there are three main types of educator paths:
Manufacturers / Brands
Each one has its own set of pros and cons. Having worked in each area myself I can tell you it’s a lot of hustle and sacrifice. You have to really have a desire to want to help people navigate the challenges of learning and help them grow professionally as well as personally.
Let’s say you’re up for all that, here are some ways to get your foot in the door no matter what option you choose:
Working for a beauty school is a humbling experience. It gives you the opportunity to help mold impressionable minds and develop solid habits that can propel their futures. If you already have your cosmetology instructor's license, the best way to get your foot in the door is to develop a relationship with your local school.
If there are several in your area, get to know each of them until you decide which school aligns with your own values. Volunteer to be a guest artist or engage in a career fair. The more you offer your help the closer the relationship you’ll build with whoever is responsible for recruitment.
If you do not have your cosmetologist instructor's license, give a call to your local beauty schools and ask if they offer a program to help you down that path. In rare cases, a school can wave tuition and include placement at the end of the licensure completion. Find out what instructor licensure entails.
If working with a brand or manufacturer is your desire, contact your local sales rep or distributor about recruitment. As brand and manufacturers expand, so do their need for educators to represent them through distributors.
Typically this involves some sort of audition and a lot of study in both content, knowledge and presentation skills. It may take several attempts, depending on how prepared you are in these two areas.
Once you’re in, you choose your level of involvement. Sometimes the most dedicated can move up the ranks to work directly for the brand/manufacturer instead of a distributor. In any case, make it a priority to cultivate a positive reputation as a helper and doer.
Independent education is the most challenging of the three. Most independent educators I know, myself included, found success by starting as a beauty school or brand/manufacturer educator first.
The reputation you build there will help you on your path to carve out space for your independent work and those who want to learn from you.
There is a lot of hustle involved in simultaneously taking on the roles of educator, marketing, manager, etc. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend it as a serious option to start with.
I personally know a few Indy educators who built a solid reputation without having a beauty school or brand/manufacturer background. They went the social media route instead. I can tell you each and every one of these indy educators can attest to the gargantuan amount of effort and sacrifice (and a little bit of timing) that led to their success.
In this post, we broke down the different paths you can take to become an educator, what it requires and the best way for you to get your foot in the door. Transitioning to the next level can be scary, it takes skill and knowledge. Here are two tools to help give you the confidence to move in the direction of your dreams:
Goal Setting Basics Online ClassWhether the educator path is for you or not, goal setting is an essential ingredient in achieving success. This online class will help you reveal your deepest career desires and what you need to do to achieve them.
Organization and Planning Online Class
Great educators are prepared and organized and planning is key to their success. This online class helps you succeed in front of the classroom, on the road for a brand, and behind the chair.
Proud hairdresser. Passionate educator. Follow me on insta - Christianawesome
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