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Top 10 Esthetician And Cosmetology Schools In The U.S.

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For you to be the best in the esthetician and cosmetology field goes way beyond passion. You need a college education!

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Although you may be an expert in skincare, it is likely that you don’t know all the details. While your style may work in your hometown or high school, it might not work for you elsewhere.

There are several perks to attending a beauty school, but one major reason is that you can be part of a vibrant community and you can leverage the connections and networks.

Here is a list of the top 10 Esthetician and Cosmetology School in the US

  1. Ogle School
  2. Aesthetic Science Institute
  3. Make-Up Designory
  4. Merrell University of Beauty Arts & Science
  5. Bellus Academy
  6. Empire Beauty Schools
  7. Aveda Institutes
  8. Paul Mitchell The School
  9. Xenon Academy
  10.  Elizabeth Grady Schools

1. Ogle School

Ogle School has established itself as one of the best cosmetology and esthetics schools in the US. This outcome is attributable to the practical learning offered by the institution over the years.

It was founded by Shelton Ogle, an internationally-renowned hairstylist and an icon in the Beauty industry.  The idea was borne out of a passion for hairstyling and fashion and later developed into a school. Since 1973, they have prepared tens of thousands of professionals in the beauty industry. 

Ogle School offers both full-time and part-time courses in cosmetology and esthetics. Day and Night school are also available depending on your schedule. 

Do you need finances to support your passion to study? Ogle school offers financial aid and scholarship resources to invest in your education. 

2. Aesthetic Science Institute

For over fourteen (14) years, Aesthetic Science Institute has developed and trained the finest estheticians in Beauty, Health, and Skin profession. The school has been a recipient of over seven (7) awards since its opening in 2002. This record has earned them a seat as one of the best esthetician schools.

The owner and operator, Michelle D’allard Brener is a world-renowned esthetics educator, an internationally certified CIDESCO Diplomat, and licensed esthetician.

ASI offers advanced classes in microdermabrasion, chemical peels, anti-aging treatments, electric current, laser, LED light, micro-current, radio frequency, infra-red, and other courses that equip you to be the solution to various esthetic and cosmetology needs.

Aesthetics Certification Course Tuition and Fees

$100 Enrollment Fee (non-refundable)

$1,000 Kit Fee

$8,500 Tuition

$9,600 Total Tuition and Fees

3. Make-Up Designory

In 1997, a team of professional make-up artists came together and founded Make-Up Designory (MUD). Hence, they popularly quote that “MUD is a School by Make-Up Artists, for Make-Up Artists”

Make-Up Designory provides a rigorous education for students around the globe in professional make-up artistry. This includes training in film, television, fashion, and theatre.

MUD offers courses that are about 3-6 weeks long which help students to focus on a particular area of study. While the programs are about 12- 24 weeks long. They also offer a range of evening and weekend courses to suit your schedule.

Over the years, graduates of MUD have made successful careers as make-up artists in a variety of fields. They also have received awards for excellence, including those in television, theatre, retail, print, and film.

Name: Hugo Villasenor

Award: 2019 Emmy® Winner

Nominated For: Star Trek: Discovery, “If Memory Serves”

MUD Graduation Year: 2004

Name: Emma Faulkes

(AKA: Emma Sarah Sheffield)

Award: 2018 Emmy® Winner

Nominated For: Game of Thrones: The Dragon and the Wolf

MUD Graduation Year: 2007

4. Merrell University of Beauty Arts & Science

For over 30 years, Merrell University has succeeded in providing high standards of education in cosmetology Arts and Science. They have long fulfilled their motto in educating students “We inspire you to inspire others”.

Merrell offers courses in Cosmetology, Esthetics, Barber, Manicuring, Instructor Training that suit your passion. Their classes are planned around a three (3) step approach

  • Learn it – understand the theoretical aspect through lectures and visual guide
  • Watch it – Live exhibitions from teachers and visitor moderators
  • Do it! -Performing real administrations on life-sized models and genuine customers.

You may be wondering how much it would cost you to study at Merrell. Here, take a look!

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees – 12,300 USD

The tuition fee looks like a lot but here are some benefits for studying at Merrell University

  • You can get assistance for job placement in an entry-level position
  • The average salary you get after attending graduation is estimated at 22,000 USD
  • You have professional knowledge of the industry
  • You have access to join other professionals in a limitless industry

5. Bellus Academy

Bellus Academy is an honor-winning excellence and wellbeing establishment devoted to graduating vocation-prepared experts. They represent considerable authority in cutting-edge preparing and have gained notoriety for creative schooling, reliably grabbing top distinctions in Modern Salon’s public Excellence in Education program.

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They offer courses in Esthetics, Cosmetology, Massage, Make-Up, and Barbering which take about 4 to 60 weeks depending on your study and schedule. They also offer day and night classes, online classes to meet your schedule needs.

Lead by a group of industry experts, Bellus gives inside and out schooling and preparing about each part of skin revival and care. Undergraduates leave the program completely ready to acquire a permit from the state administration.

6. Empire Beauty Schools

Empire schools were founded in 1934, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. It started as a small family-owned business operating 3 campuses. However, through the years, they have grown to over 80 schools in 21 states.

The tuitions fee is estimated at 19,300 USD which varies depending on your course of study. Other charges may apply like the cost of books and supplies, room and board charges, etc.

When you study with Empire schools, you get hands-on experience in your area of passion. You are also equipped with professional skills to succeed in your career. You can apply to the school by going to their website to fill a form and select the campus of your choice.

7. Aveda Institutes

Horst Rechelbacher founded Aveda Corporation, which is now owned by Estée Lauder Companies and headquartered in the Minneapolis suburb of Blaine, Minnesota.

Aveda Institute offers training with a combination of age-old Ayurvedic knowledge and modern science. This model results in a holistic approach to skincare thereby producing one of the best graduates in esthetician and cosmetology.

The institute’s service offerings are well reflected in their Core Values which is listed below:

  1. They create a comprehensive, diverse, and all-inclusive curriculum.
  2. They offer Job placement & Career Support
  3. You are open to Creative opportunities in fashion editorial
  4. You are part of an eco-friendly and Cruel-free brand to be proud of.

Graduates of Aveda Institute have received nominations, notable awards, and recognitions to be proud of. Between 2011 and 2020, Aveda Institute students represented 37 of the 50 NAHA Student Hairstylist of the Year nominees and 7 of the 10 winners!

As a cosmetologist and/or esthetician, here are some career paths you can explore with Aveda Institute.

  • Salon Stylist 
  • Salon Owner
  • Salon Manager 
  • Color Specialist 
  • Updo Specialist
  • Extension Expert
  • Curly Hair Specialist 
  • Bridal Specialist 
  • Personal Stylist
  • Makeup Artist 
  • Lash or Brow Specialist
  • Fashion Show Stylist 
  •  Film, Theatre, Television Stylist
  • Editorial/Advertising Stylist
  • Brand Educator/Platform Artist
  • Artistic/Creative Director  
  • Beauty Blogger/Influencer
  • Style Consultant 
  • Hair, Makeup and Skin Specialty Retailers 
  • Manufacturer/Product Inventor  
  • Pure-fessional
  • Aveda Global Director 
  • Institute Director.

At Aveda Institute-Minneapolis, the average tuition and fees are 20,650 USD. The average cost of books and supplies for a program is 2,950 USD.

8. Paul Mitchell The School

Are you still intrigued about becoming a cosmetologist and/or an esthetician? At Paul Mitchell Schools, you can learn from the best. They have been a known brand for over 40 years. With a network of over 100,000 salons in 81 countries, they produce nearly 10,000 graduates annually. 

The major program in Paul Mitchel is Cosmetology, the tuition and fees are 16,950 USD for the academic year 2020-2021. When a student lives off-campus, the living costs, in addition to tuition and fees, are estimated at 32,625 USD.

The average undergraduate tuition and fees are estimated at 19,500 USD.

The average annual cost for students receiving federal aid: 15,192 USD.

With Paul Mitchell School, you can widen your horizon, network with like minds in the industry and even your potential employer at large.  This is largely attributable to their training style that exposes students to several learning and recognition opportunities.

9. Xenon Academy

Xenon Academy offers excellent education in a supportive and caring environment. The institute is located in Nebraska and has been serving the professional beauty industry for more than 30 years.

Xenon who is an internationally known guest artist and industry shaker founded Xenon Academy. Today, Xenon’s legacy is carried on through dedication to excellence.

The Cosmetology program takes about over a year to complete. This is because they dive deep into training you to become a beauty professional. Their comprehensive education style covers beauty techniques, career prep, safety and sanitation, client relations, and business/marketing practices.

The tuition fee for Cosmetology/Cosmetologists in Xenon Academy is 17,500 USD, cost of books and supplies is 2,087 USD. You can complete this program in 14 months or 1,800 hours.

The cost to become an Aesthetician/Esthetician and Skin Care Specialist in Xenon Academy is 9,500 USD, the cost of books and supplies is 1,038 USD. You can complete this program in 4 months or 600 hours.

10. Elizabeth Grady Schools

The Elizabeth Grady School was founded in 1975 to meet the need for quality esthetics education and it continues to be a vital force in the beauty industry, graduating nearly 200 students each year. The school is currently in over 24 locations and growing

The Elizabeth Grady School’s 600-hour Esthetician Program allows participants to gain a thorough understanding of the tools and techniques required to become successful licensed professionals in today’s industry.

The school allows aspiring estheticians to practice and perfect their hands-on skills. The following are examined from both theoretical and real-world perspectives: Skincare and waxing services; product knowledge, business operations, and sales; the art and technique for application of make-up; and the scientific foundations of skin, health, and wellness.

How to become an esthetician online.

Having examined the 10 best esthetician and cosmetology schools in the U.S, you might want to ask, what if I want to take the courses online? Your answer is waiting right here for you.

While I will advise that you take esthetician training physically, it is good to note that you can take the training online! There are schools that offer online training for cosmetology and estheticians. Below are the steps you are required to take:

  • Enroll in a program for estheticians online.
  • Complete the requirements for esthetician training.
  • Choose a specialization
  • Obtain your esthetician’s license

If you are interested in taking classes for esthetician training online, you should research a few different schools to find one that presents the information that works well for you.

How to obtain the esthetician and cosmetology license

Obtaining your esthetician and cosmetology license is not as difficult as it seems. You just need to follow these few basics steps and voila! You have your license.

  • You are required to first complete an esthetician training program or an apprenticeship (allowed in some states).
  • You would further proceed to submit proof of training/apprenticeship hours to your state board.
  • The next step is to ensure all required exams are taken and passed.
  • The final step is to pay a license fee.

FAQ

What can estheticians do that cosmetologists cannot?

The work of cosmetologists and estheticians are very similar however, The fact that an esthetician does not cut/style/color hair or perform nail services distinguishes them from cosmetologists.

What is the difference between a cosmetologist and an esthetician?

An esthetician is a person who specializes in skin assessment and beautification by performing facials, recommending skin care treatments, and analyzing their clients’ skincare needs. A cosmetologist is someone who specializes in beauty beyond the skin, including hair, nails, and skin!

  • How long does it take to become an esthetician?
  • The length of time it takes to become an esthetician depends on whether you are a full-time or part-time student, as well as how many training hours your state requires. Full-time students can complete the program in as little as 4 to 6 months, whereas part-time students can take up to 9 to 12 months.
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