Beauty on a Budget and Training for a Great New Career: Think Beauty Schools!

WHN heard from a reader who is investigating options for a career change. In the process, she discovered a great way to work beauty services back into the family budget. A beauty school visit proved to be a great investment of her time. Here is her story.

Hello WHN.

Since the economy caused my former employer to lay off almost 20% of its staff at the corporate headquarters, I have been among the growing ranks of the unemployed. While the competition for a shrinking number of openings is increasing, I started researching ways to train for a new career.

Although I have a bachelor’s degree, the cost of returning to college to finish my master’s degree eliminated that option. My husband and I have two sons well on their way to needing our help with college tuition. Anticipating those expenses led me to look for a career with a lot of growth possibilities that doesn’t require such large investments of time and money.

A career in beauty fits all of my criteria, including the desire to do something creative in an environment where every day brings new challenges. I visited a school as a client to see what the students had to say about their education and what a typical day looks like.

I was totally impressed and excited. Not only did I get a fantastic manicure at a great price, the students said they loved their training and the time was flying. No wonder. It was obvious they were having fun every day doing a wide variety of services on their way to becoming licensed.

As a client, I was treated with complete professionalism for a price that I could afford. Finally, I don’t have to put off having my hair and nails done! Manicures at the school I chose, Regency Beauty Institute, start at $11 (plus tip, of course). In addition, I received an OPI nail color of my choice. That alone has a retail value of $8.50. A supervisor checked with the student before the service and was always nearby. After the manicure, she was back to make sure I was 100% satisfied. That was easy. It couldn’t have been better. The hand and arm massage was so relaxing that I felt almost guilty to be paying so little and getting so much!

Regency has the best loyalty/referral program I have ever joined. No paperwork and lots of benefits make this the perfect perk for everyone. I’ve already posted my recommendation on Facebook and now my friends are spreading the word, too. I’m going back next week for a pedicure (starts at $15 and includes the complimentary OPI) and another manicure. (The client next to me was having a pedicure and it looked like a slice of heaven.) I had given up facials, but they are back on my to-do list.

There are beauty schools in virtually every city. I highly recommend that you check one out. I’ve found that the time it takes to complete the requirements varies by state and the services/prices vary by school. A website with answers to all of my questions is hosted by the American Association of Cosmetology Schools. You’ll find schools in your area and links to all of the AACS member websites in minutes. (Click on Careers in Beauty.)

I think we all feel more confident facing the economy with a contemporary hairstyle and color. Remember to tell the men in your life, too!

Thanks for sharing my story. An encouraged WHN reader.

  • WHN TIP: AACS Executive Director Jim Cox says, “Regency, Empire Beauty SchoolsMarinello Schools of Beauty and International Academy of Hair Design each have multiple locations across several states. The hours required for licensing range from 1,000 in New York and Massachusetts, for example, to over 2,000 in Oregon, Utah and Iowa. The requirements for every state are listed on our site in the Student Resources section.” Mr. Cox also commented on the wide range of tuition across the country. “The cost you can expect could be anywhere from about $8,000 to $18,000 depending on programs offered, location, etc.” As our reader mentioned, the services offered and price lists also vary. Check the school’s website or call the location near you for specifics.

For more information or to share your experiences, please email me: Leann (at)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>