August 2011

Steve Sleeper

Beauty Insider| by Steve Sleeper


Beauty Careers on the Rise

How You Can Help Spur Growth and Stay Ahead

The beauty industry is a phenomenal place to work.

Not only is there an array of jobs ranging from hairstylist to a distributor sales consultant, there is opportunity at every level. Whether you are just starting out or a career professional, opportunities for advancement, personal growth, and making a great living are available for those who want it.

Fortunately, more and more people are realizing what a career in beauty can be and our industry is poised for growth. The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) continues to analyze the beauty industry along with other industries for comparison purposes. Based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in personal appearance are expected to increase 31% from 2008 to 2018. More importantly, that is 20% more than the total expected U.S. job growth for the same period.

In particular, skincare specialists are expected to see the greatest amount of career growth followed by hairstylists and then nail care professionals. Even more importantly, these jobs, and our industry as a whole, provide employment for a broader representation of women and minorities than the general U.S. workforce does. The salon and spa industry provides a great way for individuals of all backgrounds to learn how to operate a business and eventually start one of their own.

So what does all this mean for you and how can you help bolster the industry? To start with, all beauty professionals must be advocates for the profession and explain to others just how many opportunities there are. PBA's mission, in short, is to advance the industry and help provide the tools and resources for personal career growth. Even though we have made great strides, there is still, at times, a negative perception of a career in beauty. Help PBA and your fellow beauty professionals by letting others know what a career in beauty means. Starting with your clients, explain the opportunities for advancement and the ability to earn a great living while helping people look and feel their best every day.

Secondly, with more people entering the beauty profession, there will naturally be more competition for clients. Consequently, it is imperative to stay up to date on not only the latest techniques, but also how to better market yourself and your business. All beauty professionals must continually take advantage of ongoing educational opportunities that are available to them. This will help make you more marketable and be able to service your clients more effectively.

So where do you go to continue to expand your education and training? There is a vast amount of resources through PBA, various manufacturers and distributors, and other qualified third parties. PBA has made a concentrated push to expand the array of educational opportunities for all of our membership sectors. Our industry trade events bring beauty professionals together from all backgrounds and experience levels so they can learn from top professionals within and outside the industry. Furthermore, opportunities to interact and learn from fellow professionals are always available and help enhance your overall experience.

For online and on-demand education and training, there is PBA's BeautyU, which targets manufacturers, distributors, owners, and licensed professionals.

This is a great web portal to connect you with various educational opportunities year round, when you need them. To enhance BeautyU even further, PBA is collaborating with Milady, a leading provider of beauty and wellness solutions to help support beauty professionals in personal career development and overall business success.

By working with Milady, PBA will be able to expand top-notch education on topics such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, leadership, safety guidelines, new style techniques, human resources and more. The menu of offerings will include online classes, live and archived webinars, CDs, DVDs and books.

It is exciting times for our industry and PBA needs support to continue growing. Stay involved and share your passion with others. PBA is here to help advance not only your individual career, but also the industry as a whole.

Steve Sleeper is the Executive Director of the Professional Beauty Association | National Cosmetology Association (PBA | NCA), a non-profit membership organization made up of beauty professionals, salons and spas, distributors, and manufacturers dedicated to improving their careers, individual businesses and the industry as a whole. For information, visit or call 1-800-468-2274.