A career can be a lifetime journey. We can know your path before we set off to college, or we can fall into it accidentally, by chance.
Whether we end up doing what we always dreamed of or explore life as it comes at us, there is one thing that a few people mention when they repeat clichés such as “follow your dreams” or “do what you love” – money. When it comes time to choose a school, money can play a massive part in our decisions.
When we finish high school, we either go to college or land straight in the workforce. Perhaps we take a leap year to get to know the “real world” a little bit. However, throughout all of this, most of us can hear the beat of a distant drum – independence, financial security, and responsibility.
Some people can’t wait to spread their wings. For a large group of people, spending another 5-7 years in college, grad school, or university is not an option for many reasons.
Maybe they are in a hurry to start their lives and be completely on their own, without debilitating debt, or perhaps they have been forced into adulthood early, and they are taking care of a loved one. They do not have the luxury of going to school full time for years and years.
While mainstream society seems fixated on the 4-year college route, there are a lot of options open and a lot of useful, fulfilling, in-demand jobs that can lead to a very fruitful and profitable career.
We need to think outside of the box. A vocational education does not cost as much as a B.A. and grad school, and you can see the returns a lot faster.
Let’s take beauticians for example. While it seems like a luxury, the fact is that in the deepest of recessions beauticians flourished while other professions suffered.
The reason for this is a simple fact that people needed to be cheered up. Also, while they couldn’t afford to buy a new car or a house or even an expensive new pair of shoes, they splurged on a trip to get a facial or to get their nails done or a new haircut.
Maybe it wasn’t vacation in Hawaii, but it sure made them feel a lot better. Nail salons saw an increase in profits during the recession.
The fact is people who go to beauty school, or a vocational college are ready to start gaining real-life experience and open their own business reasonably quickly.
It takes drive and ambition like with most things, but for the right creative mind, vocational colleges can be the right path to not only a profitable career but personal fulfillment as well.
Here are some of the most popular and in-demand beauty careers in the US today:
1. Makeup Artist
A make-up artist is not a nine to five job, but most beauty professions aren’t. There are several fields to choose from in this branch of the beauty industry. Make-up artists work in the wedding industry; they team up with professional photographers to help during shoots or work for the entertainment industry.
Everyone that is being filmed or photographed, from a news anchor to a politician, to an actor needs their make up done. Same for opera singers or theatre performers. You have a lot of choices, all of them exciting.
To become a makeup artist, you should have a good sense of fashion and aesthetics. Some states require that you have a license before you start practicing. A lot of basic programs can take as little as eight months to finish.
2. Nail Technician
Nail technicians usually work in the late hours or on weekends, but the chance to start your own business is great. After you develop a customer following, you can make these customers come back to you as an artist and as a person.
Most states require nail technicians to be certified, and certification can take from 3 to 9 months, roughly. You will learn all sorts of techniques and safety measures necessary for this job, and the rest is up to your creativity.
In today’s job market, the beauty industry is very visual. The chances are that after becoming a qualified nail technician, you will also need to take great pictures of your work, share them on social media, and get creative. Fashion always changes, and people that work in this industry need to be flexible and excited about new trends. Becoming a spokesperson for new styles and innovations will only attract more potential customers.
With the advent of the era of hipsters, you can be sure that the career of a barber will be a profitable one. Carefully manicured facial hair, razor shaves, dapper mustache waxes, and beard oils that smell of musk and lavender are “in,” and they are expensive.
To become a professional barber, you’ll need to commit 1500 hours. You may choose to go further with this, and pursuing further knowledge in male skincare and cosmetics with the help of vocational colleges.
The barber is a profession for those beauticians who like the more straightforward, but more exact life. You will spend a lot of time on your feet, taking care of the tiniest details, and being very up close and personal with your customers. When it comes to a perfectly groomed beard, every hair counts! You have to be on top of the latest news and trends.
For example, even if recent trends of lumberjack facial hair and early twentieth-century mustachios changes, men who enjoy being properly shaved and taken care of will most likely continue to need beauty professionals who know how to help them.
Creativity and Grit
If you love the fashion industry and want to give a beautician career a try, it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing years of your time and getting into debt for the next 20 years. The greatest thing about it is that it can be an experiment or a chapter in your life. Maybe you will love it and will develop it into your own business, and become a guru of your field.
Alternatively, perhaps you will discover that while a great way to make money, you should try something different. Vocational colleges open up a great choice of possibilities before you, and anyone who wants to start their futures now should consider what they have to offer.