Career Profile: Careers in Cosmetology & Beauty in Portland

Career Profile: Careers in Cosmetology & Beauty in Portland

Mankind has been fascinated by altering one's appearance through the use of cosmetics, perfumes, and other means since the dawn of time.

The ancient Egyptians used makeup to define features and add color to their faces. Some Egyptians also believed that makeup also played a "magical" role and protected against illness. Ancient Romans used oil-based perfumes in baths and fountains.

Through the 19th century, it was common for people to use poisonous substances to whiten one's face, add sparkles and color to eyes, and redden lips. In ancient times, it was also common for people to experience severe illness and even death-- all in the name of beauty.


Considering a career in cosmetology in Portland, Oregon? Well, the field of cosmetology covers a wide range of jobs, including hairdressers, barbers, manicurists and pedicurists, and skin care specialists. Cosmetologists are generally concerned with helping customers look neat and well-groomed. Hairdressers and barbers cut, shampoo, and style hair. Manicurists and pedicurists work on nails. Skin care specialists offer skin care services.

Day-to-day duties in Portland salons include booking appointments, cleaning and sanitizing work areas and supplies, stocking and selling beauty products, and, of course, handling client requests. Cosmetologists who operate their own salons also have record keeping and managerial duties. Since workers in the field depend on tips, it is also important to be a good communicator and to enjoy working with people. Repeat business is an important source of steady income and good tips. Weekend and evening working hours are common although some cosmetologists only work part-time.

Education & Training

To work as a cosmetologist, esthetician, or nail technician in the state of Oregon, you will need to be licensed. Every state requires cosmetologists to be licensed, though requirements for licensure vary. Most states demand completion of an accredited program with a set number of hours spent in the classroom and gaining hands-on experience. For more information on the requirements for cosmetologist in Portland, Oregon, visit the Oregon Board of Cosmetology.

In order to work as a hairstylist or cosmetologist, one must also attend a state-licensed barber or cosmetology school and be at least 16 years old. In some states, a high school or equivalency diploma is required as well. Training programs in hairstyling and cosmetology last approximately nine months and may result in earning an associate degree. Manicurist training programs are not as long.

There is an obvious hands-on component to a cosmetology education. Of course, a lot of information can be learned through lecture notes and reading materials, which are easily delivered online, but teaching someone how to cut hair or apply makeup through the Internet isn't easy or practical, so there aren't many online cosmetology programs.

Cosmetology Schools in Portland, Oregon

For more information on careers in Cosmetology, visit For cosmetology careers in Portland, Oregon, visit

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