Exploring Careers in Cosmetology

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Introduction to Cosmetology

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student implements the employability characteristics of a successful worker in the workplace. The student is expected to:
      • (A) identify employment opportunities, including entrepreneurship, and preparation requirements in the field of cosmetology services
      • (B) investigate technical knowledge and skills required to be successful in careers in the personal care services area
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • explore careers in cosmetology
    • outline education opportunities available after high school graduation
    • assess salaries, duties, work environment and job outlook for employment
    • investigate interests with an interactive online interest profiler
    • research skills, education, abilities, and work activities for a specific career
    • design a cosmetology career poster
  • Rationale

    What career do you see in your future? What education do you need for this career? How much money will you make? What skills will you need? In this lesson you will explore the answers to these questions as well as additional information regarding cosmetology careers. Let’s get started!

  • Duration of Lesson

    Five 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Career Clusters: Groupings of occupations/career specialties used as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction. Occupations/career specialties are grouped into the Career Clusters based on the fact that they require a set of common knowledge and skills for career success. The Knowledge and Skills represented by Career Clusters prepare learners for a full range of occupations/career specialties, focusing on the holistic, polished blend of technical, academic and employability knowledge and skills. This approach enhances the more traditional approach to career and technical education in which instruction may focus on one or two occupations and emphasize only specific occupational skills

    Career Pathways: Sub-groupings of occupations/career specialties used as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction. Occupations/career specialties are grouped into Pathways based on the fact that they require a set of common knowledge and skills for career success

    Certification: Proof that you are an expert in a specific topic

    Education: The act or process of acquiring knowledge. A particular kind of instruction or training

    Interests: What you like to do

    Job Training: Training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers

    Knowledge and Skills: Industry-validated statements that describe what learners/employees need to know and be able to do for career success within a Cluster and/or Pathway

    Occupations/Career Specialties: Particular careers or occupations based on advanced knowledge and skills specific to that career or occupation

    Program of Study (curriculum framework): A sequence of instruction (based on recommended standards and knowledge and skills) consisting of coursework, co-curricular activities, work-site learning, service learning and other learning experiences. This sequence of instruction provides preparation for a career

    Personal Plan of Study: An individual learner’s scope and sequence of coursework, co-curricular activities, work-site learning, service learning and other learning experiences based upon his/her chosen career goals and aspirations. The Plan of Study should be revisited periodically (at least on an annual basis) to make adjustments as the interests and career aspirations of a learner change. This is a flexible resource designed to change in concert with the interests and needs of the learner

    Organization Skills: Strategies used to organize oneself

    Skills: The talent and expertise a person possesses to perform a certain job or task

    Tasks: A piece of work assigned or done as part of one’s duties

    Work Activities: Activities associated with specific business requirements that users perform to accomplish their jobs

    • Note to Teacher – Some definitions are longer than others and are taken from reliable sources. Use your discretion as to the length when assigning terms and definitions to students for review.
  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for multimedia presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines for Internet access)


    • cardstock
    • index cards
    • play money
    • poster board


    • clipboard
    • notebook
    • step ladder
    • stylist equipment
      • blow dryer
      • comb
      • make-up
      • scissors

    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)

  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Become familiar with:

    Print the Cosmetology Careers O*Net Flashcards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) on card stock ready for use in the Independent Practice tab.

    Gather materials and place in front of classroom. On index cards, write the following titles:

    • Ladder of Success (title at top)
    • On the Job Training (1st step)
    • Certifications (2nd step)
    • Associate Degree (3rd step)
    • Bachelor Degree (4th step)
    • Graduate Degree (5th step)

    Tape cards on the steps of the ladder from the bottom up with the title at the very top. Take a small amount of money on the lowest step representing On-the-Job Training. Place more money on the next step representing Certifications. Continue adding more money until the most money is at the top step, Graduate Degree.

    As students enter the classroom, allow them to visualize that the more education they acquire, the more money they can make.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute the graphic organizer Exploring Careers in Cosmetology Notes (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may take notes during the slide presentation.

    Distribute the Career Cluster Programs of Study Models for Cosmetologist (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may follow along with the slide presentation.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ Exploring Careers in Cosmetology (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Allow time for questions and class discussion.

    Stress the need for continued training opportunities throughout one’s career.

    View the YouTube™ video:

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • peer assistance with notetaking
    • providing printed PowerPoint™ notes
    • extra time to take notes

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce students to:

    • My Next Move – O*Net Interest Profiler website.
      The O*NET Interest Profiler can help you find out what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work. You can find out what you like to do.
      The O*NET Interest Profiler helps you decide what kinds of careers you might want to explore.

    Allow students to answer each question as to whether they like the activity or not.

    There are four sections to the profiler:

    • Interests
    • Results
    • Job Zones
    • Careers

    If possible, allow them to print the results to discuss in the Lesson Closure section.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allow extra time needed to complete handwritten sample job application
    • assisting student in gathering information
    • provide praise and encouragement
    • grade according to work done

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Student will design a poster with a selected career.

    Place the Cosmetology Careers O*Net Flashcards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) in a basket. Ask each student to choose one career that they will research. They may exchange careers with their peers or with you as long as each student has a different career.

    Direct students to the O*Net Online website.

    Students will type in the O*Net SOC (Standard Occupational Classification) code in the Occupation Search.

    • Note to teacher – If you do not have a computer lab for your students, you may print the information needed for the careers from your computer so that students may be able to complete the assignment.

    Not all careers are available in the O*Net database. Allow students to research information needed from reliable sources.

    Distribute the Rubric for Cosmetology Services Career Poster or the Rubric for Cosmetology Services Career Glogster™ EDU (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may understand the assignment. The poster or Glogster™ should include an image of the career and the following information:

    • Tasks
    • Tools and Technology
    • Knowledge
    • Skills
    • Abilities
    • Work Activities
    • Job Zone
    • Education
    • Interest Code
    • Work Styles
    • Work Values
    • Wages and Employment Trends

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • allowing extended time for typing resume
    • extending possible tutoring time before and after school
    • allowing time at home if a computer is available

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson plan objectives, terms and definitions.

    The O*NET Interest Profiler can help students find out what their interests are and how they relate to the world of work. It will also help them decide what kinds of careers they might want to explore.

    There are six interest areas:

    • Realistic
    • Investigative
    • Artistic
    • Social
    • Enterprising
    • Conventional

    Students will share their top three scores from their personal score report with the class.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will present their career poster or Glogster™ to the class.

    Presentations will be assessed with appropriate rubric.

    Option: Display the posters on a wall outside your classroom so that students may view the possible careers in Cosmetology Services.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • allowing assistance in typing final resume
    • allow extra time for turning in resume

  • References/Resources


    • Frangie, C. M. (2012). Milady standard cosmetology. Clifton Park, NY: Cengage Learning.



  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism, and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Allow students to read the following article about careers in cosmetology.

    • Reading Strategy:
      • The “Word Attack” Strategy will be utilized. Advise students prior to reading the article, to skim the article and circle / underline words that are unfamiliar to them.
      • The students will be encouraged to use http://www.dictionary.com and to check the word wall to help with decoding. This procedure will help with their understanding of the meaning and pronunciation of the words.
  • Quotes

    I’m undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair.
    -Hillary Clinton

    Too bad all the people who know how to run this country are busy running taxicabs or cutting hair.
    -George Burns

    I’d luv to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair.
    -Bette Davis

    I don’t think I could live without hair, makeup and styling, let alone be the performer I am. I am a glamour girl through and through. I believe in the glamorous life and I live one.
    -Lady Gaga

    I was all about my thoughts, my work, my inspiration. I was always in hair.
    -Vidal Sassoon

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Exploring Careers in Cosmetology
    • Presentation Notes – Exploring Careers in Cosmetology


    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • Exploring Careers in Cosmetology Notes
    • Exploring Careers in Cosmetology Notes (Key)


    • Cosmetology Careers O*Net Flashcards
    • Cosmetologist
    • Rubric for Cosmetology Career Glogster™ EDU
    • Rubric for Cosmetology Career Poster

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • I have always liked creating or copying hairstyles because . . .
    • I would like a career in . . .
    • It is important to list your skills on an employment application because. . .
    • My favorite way to wear my hair is (list steps) . . .
    • I would prefer to work at my own salon because . . .

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT writing strategy
      • Role: student
      • Audience: salon
      • Format: letter
      • Topic: requesting permission to job shadow
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • In order to obtain the career I want, I have to …………
    • Three things about the career that I am interested in are ….
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Allow students to research what hair stylists and make-up artists salary is in Hollywood and for celebrities. They may investigate this through the internet or beauty magazines.

  • Family/Community Connection

    Students can ask experienced hair stylists and salon owners to speak to the class about their career.

    Option: Students may interview experience hair stylists and salon owners and report back to the class.

  • CTSO connection



    • Cosmetology – Students will demonstrate their skills in haircutting, hair styling and long hair design in four separate tests. All work is performed on mannequins so everyone begins with the same model and the same type of hair. Contestants will create one 90 degree women’s haircut, one woman’s and one man’s cut from a finished photo. A display of creativity is seen in the long hair segment of the competition where these future salon professionals demonstrate their own design skills. A parade finale closes the contest with each contestant walking down the stage with their completed mannequins to present to the audience.
    • Entrepreneurship – A team event testing students’ knowledge in starting their own businesses by developing business plans that identify needed products or services in a local market. Emphasis is placed on financial planning and practicality of product/service. Teams give oral presentations based upon their written plans and the team must successfully answer questions by a team of judges in response to typical problems encountered by entrepreneurs during their first year of business.
    • Esthetics – The Esthetics competition evaluates the contestants’ techniques and professionalism in the field of skin care. Students will be tested in four different areas: an oral skin consultation; a written exam covering the fundamentals of skin care; sanitation; skin analysis; a hands-on basic facial demonstration; and, a day time and fantasy make-up application.
    • Nail Care – The purpose of this contest is to evaluate each contestant’s preparation for employment and to recognize outstanding students’ excellence and professionalism in the field of nail technology. The contest consists of 6 separate segments; oral communication skills, acrylic application, tip and wrap application, nail polish application, nail art pedicuring and a written exam. The written exam tests basic knowledge of proper sanitation, chemical safety, salon procedures and so forth. The practical applications evaluate the contestant’s ability to perform the most common nail services in the salon today.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Possible idea:
    Students may organize a career fair specifically for cosmetology. They may invite specialists for different techniques and salon owners to speak to the students about the training, abilities and skills needed for their career.

  • All Attachments