Beauty & Cosmetology School Guide

Allow your passion and skills to shine in a fun career field.

A beauty and cosmetology school in Canada can teach you what you need to know to become a hairstylist, esthetician, nail technician, or another spa or salon professional. You can get fun yet practical vocational training that's aimed at helping you attain and refine the skills that often lead to real success in this stable and vibrant industry.

Why Becoming a Cosmetologist or Beautician Makes Sense

Feeling confident in exterior beauty contributes to giving people the power to fully express themselves and take on the world in their own distinctive ways.

So, is it any surprise that Canadians regularly pay for beauty and cosmetology services, even when the economy takes a dip? We all want to feel good. That's why thousands of spas and salons are able to reliably thrive across the country. Just check out some of the facts:

  • In 2014, Canada was home to over 33,300 esthetic and hair care establishments, including more than 18,450 beauty salons. On average, a small or medium-sized business in this category generates over $145,000 in yearly revenue.*
  • Households in Canada spent an average of nearly $1,200 on personal care products in 2013.**
  • The Canadian beauty industry often follows a similar pattern to the American industry. And between about 2010 and 2013, the U.S. salon and spa industry—worth about $46 billion—grew at a faster rate than the overall economy.***

Cosmetology and Beauty Career Possibilities

With good training and experience, a professional in this diverse field can find all kinds of intriguing opportunities to go after. As a student, that means you'll be learning skills for an industry that is filled with exciting options. Some of the most popular roles include:

  • Hairstylists—cutting, colouring, and styling hair, providing scalp treatment services, and giving hair-care advice
  • Estheticians—providing skin-care services such as facial treatments and waxing
  • Nail technicians—giving manicures and pedicures
  • Make-up artists—applying cosmetics for beauty or costuming purposes
  • Laser technicians—removing unwanted hair or providing skin treatments using cutting-edge laser technology
  • Spa practitioners—providing relaxing massages, aromatherapy, body scrubs, facial cleansing, and other related services based on practices from around the world

Beginners to these fields typically find employment with salons and spas. However, it's also possible to build a career and reputation that lets you travel to interesting locations or work on television and movie sets. Plus, you could start your own beauty business, or even become a cosmetology instructor. With imagination as your guide, there's no telling where your skills could take you.

How Much Money You Can Make

Hourly wages for professionals like estheticians and hairstylists in Canada tend to range from about $10.50 to $21.00.**** Keep in mind, however, that tips and commissions can greatly increase the amount that a spa or salon professional takes home. And if you become a beauty entrepreneur by forming your own company, there is no limit to your salary potential.

Training Requirements

On average, you can finish a Canadian beauty school program in less than one year. Of course, it's also possible to find options that take a little longer if they happen to incorporate a full range of in-depth cosmetology training.

Then, depending on the specific career you're after and the province you wish to work in, you might need to apply for trade certification. Currently, only Manitoba has this type of requirement for areas like hairstyling and nail technology. However, it is often still a good idea to pursue some kind of designation beyond your college diploma or certificate. Organizations like BeautyCouncil offer certification options. And hairstyling is designated as a Red Seal trade, giving you the option of earning a credential that's recognized across the whole country.

Look Into Your Program Options Right Now

Find a beauty and cosmetology school in Canada and ask for more information so they can go over all the details you're looking for, like scheduling options, tuition, and more. Finding one is simple. Just use this site's online school finder tool to search for a school with your postal code.

Main Sources

* Industry Canada, website last visited on October 26, 2016.

** Statistics Canada, website last visited on April 7, 2017.

*** Professional Beauty Association, website last visited on November 4, 2019.

**** Job Bank, Government of Canada, website last visited on February 28, 2018.