There are four ways to find cosmetology continuing education courses: online, through an approved cosmetology school, attending an approved seminar, and participating in an approved residential training program. The rules vary, but most states require a specific number of cosmetology continuing education course hours before your license can be renewed. Read your state cosmetology licensing board website to find out how many hours are required.
All courses submitted toward the cosmetology continuing education course requirements must be taken from an approved provider. Visit your licensing board's website to get a list of approved providers in your area. Any courses taken from an unapproved provider will not be accepted. The provider is required to submit the record of your courses to the licensing board directly. The continuing education course hour requirement must be met before your license will be renewed.
Online courses are available over the Internet. These distance learning or correspondence courses have pre-recorded lectures, written assignments, quizzes and online tests. The main advantage of online courses is the flexibility. You can attend the lectures on your own schedule and watch them as many times as you need.
Most online schools provide any textbooks or written materials necessary as part of the course fee. Ask about the support services available with the course. This should include student discussion boards or forums, email communication with the instructor, opportunities to ask questions and a clear list of due dates and expectations.
Take a look at the courses offered through the local cosmetology or beauty school. Many offer a wide range of continuing education courses. The classes are usually scheduled for evenings and weekends to provide additional flexibility for working professionals.
Review the seminars and demonstration sessions hosted by the local community college. Check with the program organizer to ensure they are offering an accredited program and that the hours will be reported to the licensing board. Be prepared to pay a seminar fee for this type of program. The course itself should focus on a specific skill or technique and include written materials.
When selecting the types of cosmetology continuing education courses that you want to take, there are two options, stay current with your core skills and adding new services. Techniques and styles are constantly changing. Pay attention to the trends and make sure that you are able to offer the latest styles and services to your clients. Look at the trends in your area and think about the potential revenue possibilities if you expand your services to meet this need.