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Industry Description
Cosmetologists, also called hairstylists, provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling hair. They may advise clients on how to care for their hair, straighten hair or give it a permanent wave, or lighten or darken hair color.

Cosmetology is an exciting people-oriented profession. It is a time-honored yet changing career with excellent career possibilities. The future for cosmetologists includes specialization, travel, teaching, employment as a workshop technician, sales of cosmetic supplies and materials, and management opportunities. Cosmetology can be a rewarding profession for the individual who is hardworking, creative and who enjoys working with people.

Department Overview
The Cosmetology program provides the theory and practical application necessary to obtain a Washington State Cosmetologist License or a Washington State Cosmetology Instructor License. The primary objective of the program is to prepare students for employment in all areas of beauty culture. Instruction and practice in the cosmetology course include training for shampooing, scalp and hair analysis, haircutting and trimming, trimming and removal of facial hair, thermal styling, wet and dry styling, skin care, temporary removal of superfluous hair, first aid, permanent waving, chemical relaxing, hair coloring, bleaching, rinses, manicuring, pedicuring, and the styling of artificial hair. The Cosmetology curriculum is guided by the Washington State Cosmetology license requirements and reviewed by an advisory board composed of local and regional industry members. 

Students may earn an Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Cosmetology upon completion of the two-year program of study. This degree prepares students to take the Washington State Board of Cosmetology Licensing Test. Individuals that have a current Washington State Cosmetology License and at least one-year of current work experience in a salon may enter the Instructor-Trainee program.

Career Opportunities
  • Skin Care Specialists
  • Day Spa Personnel
  • Hairdressers
  • Hairstylists
  • Cosmetologists
  • Manicurists
  • Pedicurists


Entrance Requirements
  • Students must have a high school diploma or GED® before entering the Cosmetology program. Exception: Running Start students may enroll in Cosmetology as long as all other requirements are met.
  • Completion of the placement tests offered by WWCC's Testing Center.
  • Mathematics competence: eligible to enter BUS 112.
  • Reading skills: college level reading.
  • Writing: eligible for WRITE 100.
  • Students shall contact one of the Cosmetology instructors regarding appropriate program placement to determine specific quarter start in the program.
  • Students may enter the program fall, winter, or spring quarter, depending on space availability.
Physical Requirements:
  • Normal visual acuity (with or without correction).
  • Physical dexterity, i.e. to grasp small objects and perform hand, finger manipulations.
  • Must be able to work for extended periods of time with arms at shoulder level.
  • Must be able to work for extended periods of time standing.
  • Students are advised to consult their physicians as to possible health problems (i.e., allergies, asthma, dermatitis, etc.) before enrolling.

Other Information
For additional information including regional employment data, completion rates, student characteristics, and employment see