What Education Is Needed to Become A Salon Owner

If you’re reading this article, you must have spent some time contemplating becoming a salon owner. Congrats to you on doing your research to figure out what education you need to get there. Becoming the owner of a salon can feel like a big step, so having all of the necessary education to do so is important. So, what kind of education is necessary?

To become a salon owner, most states do not require you to get any education. However, if you wish to be one of the stylists in the salon, then you’ll have to get a cosmetology license. Along with getting a license, getting higher education or taking classes that will teach you marketing, networking, customer service, financial management, project management, time management, and communication would be helpful.

Getting A Cosmetology License

If you plan to open a salon, most states don’t request any kind of formal education. However, some states will require you to get a cosmetology license. Even if your state doesn’t make it a requirement, getting the license would only benefit you as a salon owner. The cosmetology license will give you several benefits:

What Education Is Needed to Become A Salon Owner

  • It will educate you on the basics of the services you will be offering as a salon owner.
  • You will be able to work in the salon as a stylist if the need or desire ever arises.
  • You will be able to connect with your stylists on a better level, as they will be able to talk with you about the struggles of beauty school and the pains that come with some services.

So, even though a cosmetology license might not be required to open a salon, getting one would be a good idea.

How to Get A Cosmetology License

 Getting a cosmetology license so you can open up your salon doesn’t have to be difficult. There are just 4 steps that will get you a license:

  • Have a high school diploma or take the GED.
  • Sign up for either the full-time cosmetology program or the part-time program. The full-time program should take you around 8 months while the part-time program will take you a little over a year.
  • Fulfill the required hours of training. This requirement will vary from state to state.
  • Take the cosmetology license test and get the certificate.

With just these four steps, you’ll be a licensed cosmetologist and better prepared for owning your salon.

Higher Education for Salon Owners

If you’re the kind of person who worries about being underprepared for events and jobs, then it might be a good idea to continue your education in business before you become a salon owner. Continuing education can come in multiple different forms.

One form of continuing education is pursuing a college degree. If you feel like you need to be well-versed in the business world before you start your own, getting an undergraduate degree in business administration. Your degree should teach you all the important things you should know about running your salon.

If you feel like you need more education, you can also get an MBA. However, most learning from the business comes in actively participating in it. Once you know the basics, an MBA might be better left till later if the need ever arises.

What Education Is Needed to Become A Salon Owner

Other Forms of Continuing Education

If pursuing a collegiate experience doesn’t speak to you or you simply would rather get your business started as fast as possible, there are classes you can take in varying subjects that would give you the education that would help you become a successful salon owner. The skills necessary to own a salon are financial planning, networking, marketing, communication, customer service, time management, and project management.

Financial Planning

This is one of the most important skills you need to learn to be a successful business owner, let alone a salon owner. Even if you get a lot of clients and earn a lot of money, if you’re not careful about where that money goes, then you won’t be able to stay in operation.

Some of the key skills you’ll need to keep your salon running are:

  • Knowing how to set a budget on expenses. Maybe you would like to buy new mirrors. However, if they don’t fit into the budget, put it off and spend some time saving for them.
  • Finding the best deals. Why pay a well-known product supplier that takes forever to deliver more when a local supplier can get you the same quality goods faster for less?
  • Setting target prices for services. You need to know the clients you are appealing to. If you’re located in a low-income community, you’ll probably want to offer cheaper services.
  • Learn the average costs of necessities in the industry. Just knowing the average cost can help you avoid getting bamboozled by dishonest people in the industry.

If you’re able to do all of the above effectively, you can expect your time as a salon owner to be much more enjoyable.


What Education Is Needed to Become A Salon Owner

Networking is essential to every business owner. After all, this is how you get people into your shop and how you meet people that can become great suppliers/great employees. 

While this is such an essential skill in the workforce, it is possibly the hardest skill to develop. After all, learning how to budget your money doesn’t sometimes require a complete personality change. For naturally talkative people, just need to learn how to direct conversation. 

For you shyer salon owners, you’ll have to step outside your comfort zone. If talking freely with strangers is a struggle, there is some coaching you can get and books that you can read to help you network, but it will ultimately be left up to your determination.


For those of you that struggle with networking, marketing is the next best option to help you get your name out there, albeit a more expensive one. Some ways you can advertise are:

  • Sharing with friends, family, and neighbors.
  • Putting up lawn signs at your and other businesses.
  • Advertise on social media.
  • Put an announcement in your local newspaper.

Even if you are good at networking, using these other marketing methods can also help you get the word out to a greater number of people. There are courses you can take to learn how to do marketing, but research on the internet can sometimes be just as good.


Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “Communication is key”. This is true for most things in life. If you aren’t able to effectively communicate what you want to suppliers, you’ll end up with products you don’t want. If you’re unable to communicate well with clients, you might end up with a lawsuit.

Most people feel like they are pretty good at communicating, but it never hurts to learn how to be the best communicator you can be. Taking a small class from a local organization on the subject should do the trick.

Check out the apps we recommend to easily communicate with your clients HERE.

Customer Service

What Education Is Needed to Become A Salon Owner

If you’re going to become a salon owner, you’ll have to make sure not only yourself, but your employees are good at customer service. The cosmetology industry is one with a lot of customer interaction, so if you aren’t able to handle the customers well, your salon will have some major setbacks.

Learning how to offer effective customer service is usually offered in training courses that owners buy for their new hires. If you listen to the training course yourself, you should receive the education necessary to deal well with your clients.

Time Management

As the owner of a salon, you can be in a position of having all the time in the world or having no time at all. This depends solely on how involved you are in the business. If you’re the owner, manager, and stylist, then you’ll be so busy that even a minute wasted could throw you off your game.

Luckily, learning time management skills does not necessarily require a class. If you’re able to effectively budget out your time by yourself, then getting training is completely unnecessary.

Project Manager

If you’ve put yourself in charge of running your salon, then you’ve effectively made yourself the manager. If you’re the manager, then you’ll have to know how to effectively manage the salon, your employees, and the suppliers. Ineffective management is one of the leading causes of businesses going under.

Getting training on being an effective manager is extremely important. While there are training videos you can watch, there are also courses you can take that will teach you to have to effectively manage all the aspects of your business.

While there is no limit to continuing education as a salon owner, covering these essential skills should be your priority. Once you can do these things effectively, you’ll be able to be a salon owner for a very long time.

Related Questions

Best Operating Hours for Your Salon

How much does it cost to go to a beauty school?

The cost of a beauty school varies from city to city and from state to state. The price of tuition can range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. The price also varies based on what kind of school you’re going to. 

The good news is that various beauty schools offer scholarships for you to attend. These scholarships are often funded by alumni of the beauty school.

How much does it cost to get management training?

The training you’ll want to become an effective salon owner differs based on the program you take and your expectations. If you want to walk away with a certificate at the end of the training, the course will probably be more expensive than one that just teaches you basic principles. Also, some training programs will offer you their services for a one-time fee while others are on a monthly subscription plan.

Looking to start your own Salon? Get the documents you need to get organized and funded here.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.