Top 10 Cosmetology Careers For After Graduation

You just graduated from cosmetology school and now you’re wondering which cosmetology career path you want to explore. After working hard during your time at cosmetology school, you want to find a fulfilling and exciting job. 

Well, the good news is that there are dozens of options you can specialize in , and even more companies that are eager to hire you! If you’re looking for some inspiration for what path to choose, check out our top ten cosmetology careers for after graduation. 

Top Cosmetology Career #1: Nail Technician

Nail technicians are consistently in high demand and customers frequently look for someone who can give them unique, creative nail art on a frequent basis. Being able to provide that to your customers will allow you to build your client list extremely fast. Nail technicians provide manicures, pedicures, acrylics, gel sets, and a variety of other hand and foot services. 

A significant benefit to being a nail technician is being able to provide your services through a salon or independently working with clients. Nail techs are also able to share their work easily online and showcase their talent to help build their client list. 

Top Cosmetology Career #2: Hairdresser

Hairdressing is often one of the first cosmetology career paths people think of when pursuing cosmetology. Rightfully so, many cosmetology students move on to become hairdressers in salons across the country. Similar to nail technicians, the demand for hairdressers is frequently very high while the barrier to entry for this career is fairly low. 

This is a great opportunity for new graduates to build their client base and make new and long-lasting relationships. This job includes providing services such as hair cutting and coloring, hair styling, and style consulting. 

Top Cosmetology Career #3: Makeup Artist  

Makeup artists provide a variety of services for their clients. MUAs are needed to provide glam for weddings and other events, however many industries—such as news and media, retail stores, fashion, and theatres—need a makeup artist on staff for providing their clients and talent with any necessary makeup services. 

Makeup services can range from maintenance and touch ups for everyday looks to more creative and stylistic choices for different clients. The best way to establish yourself in this industry is to build your network and have a strong portfolio of your work and capabilities. 

Top Cosmetology Career #4: Cosmetologist 

Being a cosmetologist is an umbrella of responsibility and your job description will likely change depending on your employer. Licensed cosmetologists are trained in hair, makeup, and nails, therefore they can provide these types of services regardless of their exact job.   

Top Cosmetology Career #5: Massage Therapist 

After you graduate, you have the option to continue your education if you want to pursue massage therapy. While you need additional licenses to become a massage therapist, it is a very popular route that many new graduates take. 

Massage therapists tend to work for a salon, independently, or in the sports field. This cosmetology career path combines therapeutic and medicinal qualities to provide comfort and relief to their clients. As there are many health benefits to massage therapy, massage therapists also have the opportunity to further their education and work for chiropractors or hospitals. 

Top Cosmetology Career #6: Esthetician 

Similar to massage therapists, you will need a specific license to work as an esthetician. However, if you find that you have a passion for skincare and are looking to provide services such as waxing, non-medical cosmetic enhancements, facials, and related services, this may be something you want to pursue further to establish your cosmetology career. 

Top Cosmetology Career #7: Beauty Influencer 

While you don’t necessarily need a cosmetology license to create online content about skincare, nails, hair, or anything related to cosmetology, you can certainly take what you have learned in school and combine it with your own personal creativity to build an online presence. Having a cosmetology license can increase your channel’s reputation and set you apart from your competitors. 

You can begin to create a presence on platforms such as Youtube, Instagram, or TikTok. The great thing about being a beauty influencer is that you have full creative control over what type of content you want to share—whether you want to focus on one specific specialty or share information in all areas of cosmetology, the choice is up to you.

Top Cosmetology Career #8: Beauty Writer

Similar to beauty influencers, you don’t need a license to create content about beauty. However, if you find yourself enjoying content creation about beauty and cosmetics in general, the good news is that there are large and small publications that need a beauty consultant to keep up with all of the latest trends. 

A job in this field allows you to combine your expertise in cosmetology and your professional opinion of trends and other hot topics to create content across a variety of publications. 

Top Cosmetology Career #9: Stylist

A cosmetic stylist is someone that works directly with models, companies, and other clients to make their creative vision come to life. This job title is broad and can be applied to many different industries, however, this position allows the stylist to make creative decisions in collaboration with their client.  

This job requires strong relationships, and networking is a huge part of the role. As you become more established in this role, you will be able to introduce yourself to high-priority clients and have more creative freedom.  

Top Cosmetology Career #10: Salon Owner

If you want to be your own boss, opening your own salon might be the best option for you. After working as an employee at an already-established salon, cosmetologists build their client base and then move on to open their own business, bringing their clients with them. 

However, with strong networking and marketing, it is possible that you can open your own salon shortly after graduating. Once you establish what services you are able to offer, find a salon space, and get the word out to potential new clients, you can start the process of opening your own salon.


With numerous options available, you should have no problem finding a fulfilling cosmetology career once you graduate from your cosmetology program.

If you’re just getting started on your cosmetology journey, however, consider taking a look at Signature Design Beauty Academy’s Cosmetology Program. Talk to an advisor today to learn more!