Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Job requirements for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in 2018

April 24, 2019

Is there anything worse than a bad hair day? With hot and humid weather just around the corner, people are gearing up for the inevitable frizz and unwanted poof. But don’t fret too much—hairdressers and hairstylists have the skills and tools to make sure your hair looks its best all year round. In honor of National Hairstylist Appreciation Day, on April 25, we present some data on the people who take care of our hair and help us look our best. In 2018, preemployment training (such as a license or certificate) was required for all hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists. Combined education, training, and experience—or specific vocational preparation—of between 6 months and 1 year was required for 55.3 percent of these workers. An additional 24.3 percent had specific vocational preparation requirements of more than 1 year and up to and including 2 years.

Percent of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists with education, training, and experience requirements, 2018
Job requirement Percentage

Preemployment training required


On-the-job training required


High school diploma required


Prior work experience required


No minimum education required


More than half (58.3 percent) of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists were required to have at least a high school diploma, while 28.0 percent had no minimum education requirement. Prior work experience was required for 30.1 percent of these workers, and on-the-job training was required for 68.5 percent of them.

These data are from the Occupational Requirements Survey. For more information, see “Occupational Requirements in the United States — 2018” and the Occupational Requirements Survey estimates for 2018 (XLSX). The Minimum Education Fact Sheet provides additional information about minimum education levels in the Occupational Requirements Survey. To learn more about hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists, see “Barbers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists,” in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Job requirements for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists in 2018 at (visited June 18, 2024).

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics