Right now is a perfect time to start your career as a beauty professional in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Bureau of State Employment states that personal appearance professional jobs, which includes cosmetology, manicuring, and skin care specialist jobs, are expected to grow by 12.3% between 2012 and 2022. This means that in Pennsylvania, there will be an average of 1,593 new personal appearance job openings each year.
More than this, Pennsylvania is known for its top-notch salons and barbershops. Four different Pennsylvania salons achieved national-level recognition, making it onto Elle’s “Top 100 Salons in the US,” while two different barbershops made it onto Men’s Health Magazine’s list of “Manliest Barbershops in America.”
|How to Become a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania
|Essential Qualifications for Nail Technician
|Steps to Become an Esthetician in Pennsylvania
|How to Become a Barber in Pennsylvania
Giovanni & Pileggi, on 12th Street in Philadelphia, is just one of the four Pennsylvania salons that made it onto Elle’s “Top 100 Salons in the US.” Along with this, Giovanni & Pileggi has been recognized by InStyle, Allure, and Harper’s Bazaar, making it one of the best loved salons in the city. Giovanni & Pileggi is known for catering specifically to clients’ needs by offering personalized bridal, multi-racial, and organic hair care services, making it a perfect Pennsylvania salon.
Another top salon, Famous Salon and Spa in Wilkes Barre and Hazleton, hires only the best hairstylists, manicurists and estheticians to provide a full-body spa experience. Elemental Nature Massage services are offered side-by-side with Green Science Skin-Renewing facials, Rosemary Mint Awakening body wraps, and spa manicures and pedicures. Here, all facets of beauty, health, and rejuvenation are addressed, helping Famous Salon and Spa truly live up to its name.
Finally, recognized as one of “The Manliest Barbershops in America” by Men’s Health Magazine, Ralph’s Barbershop in Glenside is a Philly sports guy’s ideal destination. With walls covered in famous autographs, photographs, and sports memorabilia, sports guys will start to look forward to that weekly visit to the barbershop.
Whether you’re looking to become a cosmetologist, nail technician, esthetician, or barber, your career will start with getting licensed through the Pennsylvania Board of Cosmetology. The Board sets all of the licensing standards and procedures for all beauty and personal care professionals throughout the state.
How to Become a Cosmetologist in Pennsylvania
Cosmetology is the most all-inclusive beauty profession in Pennsylvania. As a cosmetologist, you will be able to perform all of the functions of hairstylists, estheticians, and nail technicians under a single cosmetology license.
To begin your career as a cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, you’ll start by enrolling in a 1250-hour cosmetology school. At beauty school, you will be able to take the following Pennsylvania Board-required courses:
Professional Practices – 50 hours
- Bacteriology, Disinfection, Sanitation
- Professional Attitude
- Business Practice
- PA Cosmetology Law
Sciences – 200 hours
- Cosmetic Dermatology
Cosmetology Skills – 1000 hours
- Shampooing and Conditioning
- Hair Shaping
- Hair Styling/Fingerwaving
- Chemical Texturizing
- Permanent Waving
- Hair Coloring
- Hair Straightening
- Skin Care
- Nail Technology
- Temporary Hair Removal
- Scalp Treatment
- Care of all hair types and textures
After completing your cosmetology training program, you will be able to take the cosmetology licensing examinations, which is as follows:
Upon your successful completion of this combined theory/practical exam, the Pennsylvania Board will be able to issue you an original, cosmetology license.
Cosmetology Job Opportunities
As a licensed cosmetologist in Pennsylvania, you’ll be able to look for work at some of the nations top salons. Cosmetologists generally work from either hourly-based pay or commission-based pay. If you’re looking to work off of commission, make sure that you’ve honed your marketing and sales skills, so that you can quickly build a strong client base.
Another one of Elle’s top salons, the Jason Matthew Salon, lights up Philadelphia with its world-class hairstyling services, such as Keratin Complex Hair TherapyTM by coppola, Brazilian Blowouts, gloss treatments, and the latest Balayage color treatments. Wedding parties and event planners frequently visit them for their expert styling skills.
Also, consider some other top-rated salons throughout Pennsylvania:
- Luxe Salon & Spa – Lancaster
- Friends the Salon – York
- Grace Kelly Salon – Gettysburg
Essential Qualifications for Nail Technician in Pennsylvania
Nail technicians, or manicurists, specialize in the care of nails, hands, and feet. As a manicurist in Pennsylvania, you will get to learn the science and art behind keeping hands and feet soft, smooth, and beautiful.
Nail Technician Education Requirements
Your career as a nail technician in Pennsylvania begins with a 200-hour nail technician training program in order to meet state licensing requirements. You are likely to find a nail technician training program in a licensed cosmetology school or general beauty school.
Your program will include the following Pennsylvania Board-required coursework:
- Professional Practice – 25 hours
- Nail Sciences – 75 hours
- Nail Treatments – 75 hours
- Pedicures – 200 hours
After graduating from your nail technician training program, you will be able to take the following Pennsylvania nail technician licensing exam:
Manicurist Employment Opportunities
Manicurists, like cosmetologists, will generally find jobs that pay either an hourly, base rate or work off of commission. Some extremely competitive jobs will pay both the hourly base rate and commission, not to mention tips. To snatch a job like this, you will want to take advanced nail technician courses, which will keep you on the cutting edge of the latest in nail fashion.
In Pennsylvania, you will get to join a manicuring culture that is dedicated to personalized, cutting-edge services. “Personal style is as individual as a fingerprint,” is the slogan of Laurentius Salon in Philadelphia—one of Elle’s top 100. The manicurists at Laurentius live up to that slogan, creating unique and personal nail art for their manicure/pedicure clients. The Balinese Ginger Pedicure that these manicurists offer is so exclusive and unique that the technique was featured in a full-page article in Nails Magazine.
Other high-end nail salons throughout Pennsylvania include, but are definitely not limited to, the following:
- Noble Nail Salon – Jenkintown
- Perfect 10 Nail Salon – Greentree, Pittsburgh
- Pearl nail Salon – Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh
Steps to Become an Esthetician in Pennsylvania
Estheticians specialize in the science and art of skin care. As a skin care specialist, you will get to learn the anatomy, histology, and chemistry of both skin and skin care products, making you an expert at facials, hair removal, and makeup artistry.
Your career as an esthetician begins by enrolling in a 300-hour esthetician program to meet Pennsylvania’s licensing requirements, usually found in a licensed beauty school. In this program, you will take courses that meet the following course and training hour requirements:
- Professional Practices – 40 hours
- Sciences – 100 hours
- Facial Treatments – 100 hours
- Temporary Hair Removal – 10 hours
- Makeup – 50 hours
Finally, after graduating from your esthetician training program, you will be able to achieve your esthetician license by passing the following license examination:
Pennsylvania Esthetician Job Opportunities
The esthetics license is versatile, allowing you to find careers with job titles such as makeup artist, massage therapist, beauty advisor, or skin care specialist. Although you are most likely to find these positions in day spas, you will also be able to find jobs in local hair salons, beauty stores, medical spas, hotel spas, and even dermatology offices.
Salon Thalia—the last of Pennsylvania’s four on Elle’s Top 100—is a full-service salon in Philly, employing estheticians that offer facials that will blow your mind. Along with the Thalia signature facial, they offer Dermalogica Microzone treatments (who doesn’t need a little dose of Blackhead Be Gone?), medicated treatments, and even microdermabrasion.
Check out some more of Pennsylvania’s other best-rated salons and spas here:
- Famous Salon and Spa – Hazelton, Wilkes Barre
- Essentials Salon & Day Spa – Doylestown
- Tranquility Salon & Wellness – Carlisle
How to Become a Barber in Pennsylvania
Barbers, like cosmetologists, provide a wide array of beauty services. However, unlike cosmetologists, they specialize in providing these services specifically to men. As a barber in Pennsylvania, you will get to revive the classic, American art of barbershop grooming and pampering.
To become a barber, you will first start by completing a 1250-hour barber training program. These programs may be found in cosmetology schools, beauty schools, or barber training schools. Your education will include coursework in the following barber services:
- Honing and Stropping- 25 hours
- Shaving and Straight Razors – 240 hours
- Haircutting, Styling, and Hair Pieces – 535 hours
- Shampoo and Scalp Massages – 25 hours
- Haircoloring – 25 hours
- Massaging (facials) – 25 hours
- Hairwaving or Curling – 25 hours
- Scalp and Skin Disease – 50 hours
- State Barber Law, Rules, and Regulation – 50 hours
- Physiology – 50 hours
- Sterilization and Sanitation – 50 hours
- Hygiene – 25 hours
- Bacteriology – 25 hours
- Electricity – 25 hours
- Professional Ethics and Barbershop Demeanor – 25 hours
- Manager-barber instruction – 50 hours
After completing your barber training program, you will get to pass the two Pennsylvania barber examinations, leading to your barber license, which are listed as follows:
- Barber Theory Computer-Based Examination given by Pearson VUE
- Barber Practical Skills Examination given by Pearson VUE
Barber Job Opportunities in Pennsylvania
Finally, once you are licensed as a barber, you will get to look for jobs in the great barbering culture of Pennsylvania. Barbers may find jobs that pay an hourly rate, off of commission, or even—once you’re really experienced—renting your own booth within a shop.
Groomed is another one of Philly’s claims to fame, being listed as one of the “Manliest Barbershops in America.” Just like Giovanni & Pileggi Salon, Groomed has caught onto the international feel of Philly, and the owners have decided to make this shop a destination for world culture inspiration. Complimentary shoe buffing and classic, high-quality cuts are offered while customers get to sit and enjoy the Turkish/Moroccan themed atmosphere.
For some other interesting shops throughout Pennsylvania, consider some of the following:
- American Male – Philadelphia
- Chops Barbershop – Harrisburg
- Mackrell’s Barber Shop – Scranton