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The beauty industry includes salons, barber shops, nail studios, and spas, as well as retail outlets. It also includes individuals who share their talents as makeup artists or stylists for performing arts and editorial projects. These diverse settings enable individuals to find their niche and develop their unique skill sets. Social media provides increased opportunities to share those talents with an even broader audience, which can open doors to new business endeavors. The beauty industry is a big business, which continues to grow and remain strong even during periods of economic downturn.

In New Jersey, hair stylists, barbers, nail technicians, and skin care specialists (estheticians/aestheticians) must be licensed by the NJ State Board of Cosmetology. County vocational-technical school cosmetology programs prepare high school and adult students to pass these rigorous licensing exams and jumpstart their careers.

Why Cosmetology?

  • Employs more than 1 million people
  • Growth expected at a higher-than-average rate compared to other industries over 10 years
  • Business is booming, accounting for $57 billion in sales each year
  • Resistant to economic downturns
  • Opportunities for entrepreneurship, with the majority of salons and spas owned by local industry professionals and social media providing opportunities for individuals to build their own solo business and brand
A Passaic County student gets hands-on cosmetology experience on a mannequin.
Two Sussex County students pose in front of a “Cosmetology Rocks” sign.
A Hunterdon County adult education student practices giving a facial.

Career pathways in this area include:


Hair stylist

Make-up artist

Nail technician

Salon and spa owner

Skin care specialist

For Students And Parents:

To see what cosmetology programs your county vocational-technical school offers, find your school.

For Adult Students:

To find cosmetology career training opportunities at county vocational-technical schools near you, use the “Find Adult Career Programs” tool.

For More Information About Cosmetology:

O*Net OnLine has comprehensive information on all types of jobs, including surveys that help people find careers they might enjoy.

Review information from the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology.

View videos on career pathways in the beauty industry:

From US Department of Labor Career One-Stop:

Cosmetology News

Read more news about Cosmetology

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