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Becoming a beautician or cosmetologist requires some years of training and practical experience in the field. In many regions, beautician qualifications stipulate that a person cannot legally work as a beauty technician until he or she has obtained a professional license based on a successful training program. Training programs typically include education about hair cutting and grooming services, business management, hygiene, and licensing requirements. Other beautician qualifications may include training in skin and nail care. Outside of a professional qualifications, a successful beautician may also need to cultivate personal skills that will serve him or her well with customers.
One of the most important beautician qualifications in many regions is a professional license to practice. A license is usually granted after a student has completed a qualifying course at a beauty school. Aspiring beauticians often need to demonstrate their obtained skills through a written or practical examination, or a combination of both. In some regions, a beautician must also possess a high school degree or equivalent, but in others this is not required, so long as training courses are completed. Some areas also require beauticians to complete a certain amount of practical hours as an apprentice, before considering them qualified for licensing.
In addition to a basic training course, many beauticians choose to expand their range by training in skin and hair care. In skincare training, beauticians may learn how to assess and treat a variety of skin concerns, though most are not certified to treat skin ailments that may require medical care. Some areas may require a separate license to practice skin care, while others include the permission to practice basic skin services under the same license. Beautician qualifications can also include seminars or classes on nail care and the application of different styles of nail polish or nail art. Attending a nail training course may result in a diploma or certificate of completion from the program, but nail care in general is not usually regulated by licensing standards.
While proper training is critical to becoming a skilled and licensed worker, beautician qualifications also include excellent customer service skills. Beauticians must be good communicators and good listeners in order to truly understand a customer's request, and give them fantastic results. Customer service skills can also help beauticians deal with difficult or uncertain customers, and may make managing payments easier to handle. Since beauticians often work together in a salon, good personal skills can also help each worker fit in comfortably in a competitive environment.
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