September 2011

LeAnne Velona

Strictly for Students| by LeAnne Velona


Continuing Education is a Building Block for a Successful Career

The best careers begin with the best in education and experience.

Whether it is perfecting your craft, learning new skills, staying ahead of beauty trends or being able to offer your clients the latest in styles and services, there are many reasons to further your beauty education.

Think of continuing education courses as the building blocks for a successful career in beauty. It is a misconception that training and learning end after obtaining a license in cosmetology, massage or esthetics. The truth is that continuing education courses are necessary for professional development.

To be a trusted professional in the beauty industry, it is important to stay on top of safety and sanitation requirements and be knowledgeable in the industry. Advanced education courses benefit you as a stylist or esthetician.

Furthering your education and adding to your skill set can increase your salary, create opportunities for career advancement and make your day-to-day job more interesting.

There are several ways of finding advanced beauty courses to enhance you cosmetology, massage or esthetics career including through a beauty school, online, and attending workshops and seminars.

Through a Beauty School: Education goes beyond the classroom. Beauty schools offer specialty courses for students and licensed professionals of all levels and can include makeup, haircolor, hair design, skincare and salon and spa business skills.

Advanced educational programs are often a series of workshops, which allow students and graduates to work hands-on with skilled professionals while sharpening their skills. To be sure you are getting the beauty education you need, request more information from your beauty school about their continuing education courses. Check back with your favorite or area beauty schools often to see what new courses are offered near you.

Take Online Courses: Online courses are perfect for learning the latest in beauty and spa disciplines at your own pace and according to your schedule. Course topics can be as broad as cosmetology or focused on specific topics, such as new techniques in nail or skin care, salon safety, business skills and more. As with all seminars and classes, remember to check to be sure the online program you are considering counts toward your state cosmetology or esthetician license requirements. If you are newly licensed, this option may be less desirable since it does not offer opportunities to network or the excitement of attending a workshop or conference.

Attending Workshops and Seminars: Like advanced beauty school courses, workshops and seminars combine theory and hands-on experience and are a great way to stay up-to-date with current beauty trends. Rather than several weeks, workshops and seminars are either one or a few days long. What you will learn can range from mastering the art of the smoky eye and working with bridal parties, to microdermabrasion and eyelash extension courses. The cost of a workshop or seminar typically will include the kits and materials you need for the class.

Choosing the Right Education

Now the question is what courses to take? It can be challenging to find the right courses with so many options online, near and far. Here are my tips for choosing the courses that will be the best fit for you:

Identify your niche: Focus on the area in beauty in which you want to gain expertise and learn new skills in that area. If you are an esthetician, try a course in laser hair removal. If you are a cosmetic or fashion makeup artist, step it up to the next level and try a course in theatrical or film makeup. With advanced specialized training, you will become even more valuable in your field, and benefits can include higher pay.

Find a mentor: Consult estheticians and stylists who work in salons and spas where you aspire to work. Ask how they obtain new skills and further their learning. Business training goes hand in hand with professional training. Just as important as learning the technical skills in hair styling, nail care, massage and skincare is the business side of a career in beauty. Watch how the pros interact with clients and learn how they have built successful careers. Do not forget to network among colleagues as well.

Resources at your fingertips: The internet is a wealth of knowledge. Research courses in the state where you work or want to work. Online is also an easy and convenient place to research the more than 300,000 jobs available at beauty salons across the United States.

LeAnne Velona, director of esthetics and massage therapy education for Marinello Schools of Beauty, has been a certified licensed esthetician for over 18 years and is also a licensed holistic health practitioner. Marinello Schools of Beauty offer cosmetology and esthetics programs at campuses in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. For more information, visit