West Virginia is home to a variety of postsecondary institutions that offer hair programs for students seeking to work in the industry. The programs provide classroom and practical instruction to prepare students for positions in the cosmetology and hair care field. The programs provide instruction on all aspects of hair care including:
– hair cutting
– hair coloring
– hair styling
– hair extensions
– permanent waving
Examples of courses required in hair programs include history beauty culture, scalp and hair treatments, hair coloring techniques, ethics, salon management, salesmanship, and decontamination and infection control. Students learn about a wide array of hair care products for different types of clients and hair types. They also learn about communication techniques and business skills to help attract clients and possibly run their own business. Many programs offer education in actual salon environments to enable students to get a feel of what future positions will entail. The programs range in length from around six months to 15 months and they prepare students to take state board examinations to earn their licenses and pursue entry-level employment options.
Hair Cutting Licensing Requirements in West Virginia
The West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists relates hair cutting and related professions in the state. All individuals providing hair services to the public must be licensed. Hair stylists must complete a minimum of 1,000 hours at an approved institution of higher learning and receive a passing score on a licensing examination. They must also pass a Tuberculosis test. License renewal is required every year in January. Continuing education is not required, but always recommended to stay up to date with current trends in the field.
Employment Outlook for Hair Stylists in West Virginia
In the U.S., the career outlook for hair stylists and other related jobs is positive, with a projected increase rate of 16 percent from 2010 to 2020. Population increase and heightened demand for a variety of hair services will fuel the growth for hair care workers. Favorable job opportunities are expected, especially for those with advanced training and extensive work experience. In 2012, there were approximately 1,240 hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists working in West Virginia. This figure is about 1.744 for every 1,000 jobs. The average yearly wage in the state was around $24,010, or $11.55 hourly. Actual pay varies on employer, training, experience, and specialty.