Beauty Schools for Salon Jobs in Illinois

With Illinois being home to top fashion centers, such as Chicago, the beauty industry in the state is booming. Staying on the cutting-edge of style, trends, and fashion techniques will be your job as you enter the fast-paced beauty environment of Illinois. Illinois salons and barbershops have hit the national state multiple times, with three different Illinois salons being listed as Elle Magazine’s “Top 100 Salons in the US,” and Men’s Health Magazine listing a Chicago barbershop as one of the “Manliest Barbershops in America.”

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The Illinois Department of Employment Security estimates an 11.89% growth in the number of beauty professional jobs in the state between 2012 and 2022, which means over 1100 job openings annually for beauty professionals in the state, including cosmetologists, manicurists, estheticians, and barbers.

Becoming an Illinois Licensed Cosmetologist
How to Become a Manicurist in Illinois
Essential Steps to Become an Esthetician
in Illinois
How to Become an Electrologist in Illinois
Guidelines to Become a Barber in Illinois

Taylor Reese Salon, with locations in Chicago, Highland Park, and Lake Forest, has been noted by Elle Magazine and Forest Bluff Magazine, among others. The cosmetologists at Taylor Reese offer all types of cut, colors, conditioning treatments, and specialized services, including Japanese permanent hair relaxers and hydrating masks, using Kerastase and Moroccan oil products. Along with this, the manicurists offer full manicures and pedicures, while the estheticians offer signature, exclusive facials.

Grace’s Electrolysis in Chicago can make your dreams come true by completely eliminating the need for pesky razors for the rest of your life. AS the only FDA-approved method of permanent hair removal, electrolysis is one of the most sought-after hair removal services. Grace’s can remove hair from virtually any part of your body, including ears, legs, underarms, breasts, the bikini area, and sideburns.

Finally, Chicago barbershop, Gabby’s Barber Shop, is bringing back the classic, American style of men’s sophistication. Gabby’s does this by returning to the roots of barbering and only accepting cash, walk-in services, and by having the cheapest cuts around. On top of this, Gabby’s is known for their hot lather shaves and straight razor shaves—the epitome of classic, masculine grooming.

Whether you’re looking to become a cosmetologist, nail technician, esthetician, or barber, Illinois is the place for you. You’ll start your beauty professional career by getting a license from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. This department regulates the education and exam licensing standards for beauty professionals throughout the state.



Becoming an Illinois Licensed Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists are holistic beauty professionals, who are experts in hair styling, and hair cutting, hair coloring, as well as nail and skin care.

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Education Requirements for Illinois Cosmetologists

To begin pursuing your Illinois cosmetology license, you will start by taking the first step of enrolling in a 1500-hour cosmetology training program at a local beauty school. Here, you will get to be immersed in cutting-edge fashion, beauty, trends, and techniques as you learn the theory and art of cosmetology. You will get to take the following Illinois Department-designated cosmetology courses:

Basic Training – 150 hours

  • Tools
  • Shampooing
  • Chemicals
  • Types of Hair
  • Sanitation and Hygiene
  • Skin Diseases and Conditions
  • Electricity
  • Esthetics
  • Nail Technology

Practical Chemical Application – 500 hours

  • Chemical Safety
  • Permanent Waving
  • Hair Coloring, Tinting, and Bleaching
  • Hair Relaxing
  • Hair and Scalp Conditioning
  • Shampooing, Toning, and Rinsing

Hair Styling and Designing – 475 hours

  • Cutting
  • Thinning
  • Shaping
  • Trimming
  • Electrical/Mechanical Equipment
  • Curling
  • Hair Treatments

Shop Management – 200 hours

  • Labor Law
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Client Relations
  • Bookkeeping
  • Marketing
  • State and Local Laws
  • Business Ethics

Esthetics – 85 hours

  • Facials
  • Product Knowledge
  • Cleansing the Face

Nail Technology – 55 hours

  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring

Electives – 35 hours

Examination Requirements for License as an Illinois Cosmetologist

After graduating from your cosmetology school, you will be ready to pass the Illinois cosmetology license examination, listed as follows:

After receiving passing scores on this exam, you will be eligible to receive your Illinois cosmetology license.

Job Opportunities for Cosmetologists in Illinois

As a cosmetologist, you will be able to look for hairstyling jobs at local salons, spas, or hotels that offer salon services. These jobs may either be paid an hourly or commission-based pay. Some salon jobs will allow you to rent your own chair to work as an independent contractor, which will require a strong client-base, sales skills, and marketing skills.

George The Salon, located in Chicago, another of Elle’s Top 100, is dedicated to keeping each stylist on the cutting-edge of hairstyle trends, styles, and techniques. To do this, George mentors each stylist on a one-on-one basis, provides consistent meetings and lectures, and promotes external courses and seminars, as well, such as national trade shows or international hair color exchange courses. Because of this, the cosmetologists at George the Salon are prepared to offer any type of innovative style, treatment, or color to meet the individual needs of each client.

If you’re looking for other top-rated salons throughout Illinois, consider some of the following options:

  • Niki Moon Salon – Naperville
  • Best Salon & Spa – Buffalo Grove
  • Effigy Salon – Elmhurst



How to Become a Manicurist in Illinois

Manicurists in Illinois specialize in the beautification and cleansing of nails, hands, and feet.

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Illinois Manicurist Education Requirements

To begin your manicuring career, you’ll start by enrolling in a 350-hour manicurist training program. This type of program is normally found as a specialized program within a larger beauty school. In this program, you’ll be able to learn the science, theory, and art behind perfect nails, including the following manicurist subject areas:

Basic Training – 50 hours

  • History of Nail Care
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Professional Ethics
  • Sterilization, Disinfection, and Bacteriology
  • Nail Disorders

Related Concepts – 15 hours

  • Cells, Metabolism, and Body Systems
  • Theory of Massage
  • People Skills

Practices and Procedures – 255 hours

  • Fabric Procedures
  • Sculpting
  • Light Cured Gels
  • Machines
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Hand, Arm, and Foot Massage
  • Product Knowledge

Business Practices – 30 hours

  • The Illinois Manicuring Laws
  • Management
  • OSHA Standards
  • Workers’ Compensation Act

Manicurist Examination Requirements for an Illinois License

After graduating from your manicurist training program, you will be eligible to pass the Illinois manicuring license examination, listed as follows:

After receiving passing scores on this exam, you will be eligible to receive your Illinois manicuring license.

Job Opportunities for Manicurists in Illinois

As a manicurist, you can look for part-time or full-time jobs in local nail salons, full-service salons, or day spas that offer nail services. You’ll find jobs that pay an hourly or commission-based pay. Some jobs will even allow you to work as an independent contractor by renting a booth from within their salon. To obtain the most competitive jobs, you will want to develop strong sales and marketing skills, perfect advanced nail services and techniques, and build a strong clientele. To build a clientele, consider looking for jobs at full-service salons or day spas, where you may get overflow clients, who are already visiting the salon for other services.

Modern Nails Salon, located in Champaign, is one of the top nail salons in the state, offering natural nail care, nail enhancements, spa mani/pedis, and additional services, such as waxing, paraffin treatments, nail art, and more. They don’t skimp on the spa pedicures, either, which include hot towel treatments, aroma therapy soaks, foot and leg massages, flavored sugar scrubs, and a flavored treatment masque.

For other top nail salons throughout Illinois, consider some of the following options:

  • Northshore Nails and Day Spa – Glenview
  • Hot Nails – Chicago
  • Diva Nail Spa – Schaumburg



Essential Steps to Become an Esthetician in Illinois

Esthetician are the specialists in skin care, able to perform expert facials, body wraps, waxing, makeup artistry, and more.

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Illinois Esthetician Educational Requirements

To begin your career as an esthetician, you’ll start by enrolling in a 750-hour esthetician training program. This type of esthetician program can be found as a specialized track within a larger beauty college. In this program, you’ll be able to learn the science underneath unveiling perfect skin by taking the following courses:

Basic Training – 75 hours

  • History of Skin Care
  • Personal Hygiene and Public Health
  • Professional Ethics
  • Sterilization and Sanitation
  • Introduction to Skin Analysis

Scientific Concepts – 150 hours

  • Cells, Metabolism, and Body Systems
  • Bacteriology
  • Physiology and Histology of the Skin
  • Human Anatomy
  • Chemistry
  • Skin Disorders

Practices and Procedures – 500 hours

  • Non-Therapeutic Massage
  • Nutrition and Skin Health
  • Skin Analysis
  • Cleansing Skin
  • Mask Therapy and Facial Treatments
  • Electricity, Machines, and apparatus
  • Hair Removal
  • Professional Makeup Techniques
  • Product Knowledge

Business Practices – 25 hours

  • Illinois Laws
  • Management
  • OSHA Standards
  • Worker’s Compensation

Esthetician Examination Requirements in Illinois

After graduating from your esthetician training program, you can take the Illinois esthetician license exam, listed as follows:

After passing this exam, you will be eligible to receive your Illinois esthetician license.

Esthetician Job Opportunities in Illinois

As an esthetician, you can obtain jobs with many differing titles, including makeup artist, skin care product salesperson, beauty advisor, waxing specialist, facialist, skin care specialist, and more. You’ll be able to look for salon or spa jobs, and even skin care specialist jobs in medical spas or dermatology offices. Often, these jobs will pay an hourly or commission-based pay, and many estheticians will be able to earn more based on their sales skills, being able to sell their favorite skin care products to their clients.

Another one of Elle’s Top 100, also mentioned in Allure, Glamour, and Vogue, is Maxine Salon in Chicago. Along with a selection of beer, whine, champagne, and sparkling water, Maxine offers top-of-the-line cuts, colors, textures, and waxing by expert esthetician, Jamie Lewis. Having spent 14 years as an esthetician and having trained with MD Formulations, Lewis has perfected her eyebrow and Brazilian bikini waxing skills so well that even Playboy hired to her to wax a Playmate of the Month.

For other top spas and resort spas in Illinois, consider some of the following options:

  • Heartland Spa – Gilman
  • Galena Day Spa – Galena
  • Oak Terrace Resort & Spa – Pana



How to Become an Electrologist in Illinois

An electrologist is the beauty professional who specializes in the permanent removal of hair through the method of electrolysis.

Illinois Electrolysis Education Requirements

To start your pursuit of an Illinois electrolysis license, you’ll begin by enrolling in a 600-hour electrolysis training program. In this program, you’ll learn the science to permanent hair removal by taking the following courses:

  • Introduction to Electrology
  • Basic Skin Histology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Dermatology
  • Hair Structure and Growth
  • Microbiology
  • Electricity
  • Modes of Electrology: Electrolysis, Thermolysis, and Blend

Electrologist Examination Requirements in Illinois

After graduating from your electrologist training program, you’ll take the Illinois electrolysis licensing exam:

After passing this exam, you’ll receive your Illinois electrology license.

Job Options for Electrologists in Illinois

As an electrologist, you’ll be able to look for jobs at electrolysis institutes, laser hair removal clinics, medical arts centers, dermatology offices, or you can even open your own electrolysis center. Jobs may offer salary or commission-based pay, with the most competitive jobs offering salary plus commission.

A Permanent Effect Electrolysis is just one of Illinois’ top clinics. Marcy Shefler, the owner of A Permanent Effect, became a certified professional electrologist and has had over 20 years of experience. A Permanent Effect makes sure to use only state-of-the-art electrolysis technology, ensuring that a minimal amount of electricity is very gently applied to your hair follicles, giving you a safe, comfortable, and fast treatment.

For other best-rated electrolysis clinics, consider some of the following options:

  • Deborah Davis Day Spa – Elmhurst
  • Dermalight Laser Clinic – Chicago
  • High Tech Electrolysis – Park Ridge



Guidelines to Become a Barber in Illinois

Barbers are the experts in men’s sophistication, reviving the classic, American art of men’s grooming.

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Illinois Barber Education Requirements

To begin your career as a barber, you’ll start by enrolling in and graduating from a 1500-hour barber training program in a local barber school or beauty school. In this program, you’ll learn the history, science, and art of men’s grooming by taking the following courses:

Theory – 150 Hours

  • General Classroom Theory

Theory and Practice – 1350 Hours

  • Barber History
  • Bacteriology
  • Infection Control and Safe Work Practices
  • Implements, Tools, and Equipment
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Chemistry
  • Electricity and Light Therapy
  • Properties and Disorders of the Skin
  • Properties and Disorders of Hair and Scalp
  • Treatment of Hair and Scalp
  • Facial and Scalp Massage
  • Shaving and Facial Hair Design
  • Haircutting and Styling
  • Chemical Texture Services
  • Hair Coloring and Lightening
  • Barbershop Management
  • Illinois Laws, Rules, and Regulations
  • Workers’ Compensation Act

Barber Examination Requirements in Illinois

After graduating from your barber training program, you will take the Illinois barber license exam, listed as follows:

After passing this exam, you will be eligible to receive your Illinois barber license.

Barber Job Options in Illinois

As a barber, you’ll get to look for jobs in barbershops or salons, where you can find hourly, commission, or rental positions. To build your clientele, you’ll want to develop strong personal marketing and sales skills, so that you can eventually work in a rental position or open your own barbershop.

Punch Barber Shop, located in Glen Ellyn, truly reinvents classic barbering. Punch barbers are boxing fans who create a strong, masculine presence in their shop through old-fashioned, leather chairs, the traditional barber pole, and classic memorabilia. Along with that, this cash-only business offers a shoe shining machine and all types of cuts, trims, and shaves at reasonable prices.

For some other great barbershop options throughout Illinois, consider some of the following shops:

  • Shorty’s Barber Shop – Normal
  • Slim’s Barber Shop – Crystal Lake
  • Lockhart’s Barber Shop – Decatur

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