Do I Need A Second License?

Read Time: 6 Minutes
Expertise Area: All Career Fields
Career Stage: Recently Licensed and Seasoned Professionals

Perhaps you’re a licensed cosmetologist who loves men’s haircutting and you have been thinking about venturing into barbering or you’re a licensed esthetician and would like to offer your clients nail services to create the perfect “treat yourself” package. For many beauty and wellness professionals, taking on a second license offers many benefits: you can now add more services to your menu (which will bring in more money) and it can make you more attractive to potential employers.

Depending on your state requirements and your goals, earning a second license might make sense. Dual licensing can certainly open a world of services and career opportunities for beauty and wellness professionals. The formula is simple: when you broaden your service options, you can increase your bottom line by offering additional services to your clients. Additionally, holding dual licenses can widen your career options and make you more valuable as a beauty and wellness professional.

Whether you’re considering a second license or are looking to offer other specialty services related to your current license ,do your homework and view your state’s licensing requirements. Based on your state’s requirements you may have to go back to school to obtain a second license or you may be able to attend an advanced certification program/training to provide you with the extra training needed to offer specialty services. It's important to note that in most states, if you have your cosmetology license, you can perform services like facials and manicures. In that case, you don't need a second license to offer these services. But, if you're looking to offer lash extensions or microblading, almost all states require additional training.

Paying for Your Second License or Advanced Certificate

Education is vital to your growth and success, but not every business can afford to pay for their service providers’ continuing education. If you are an employee, it is wise to learn if there is an education reimbursement policy at your salon, spa, or shop.

If you are a booth renter, you are an independent consultant and sole business owner and as such are responsible for all your own costs. Though not all is lost as most education may be tax deductible. Check with your accountant, as tax laws do change.

When you are going for a second license or certification, you need to balance investment and budget. In order to do this, you need to think through the following:

  • What is your ROI (return on investment)?– Will the new skill you want to learn up-level your skills and pay for itself? i.e. if you are currently an esthetician and you want to do injectables, is it worth the time and money to earn a nursing degree?
  • Will this new endeavor put you in debt and, if so, how much? Will you need to cut your hours to be able to take the classes needed to obtain a second license or specialty certification? How much time and money do you need to invest? What are you willing to sacrifice today to have the life you want tomorrow?

Whatever your findings are, don’t let money keep you from advanced education. Enhancing your skill set will never be something you wished you didn’t do. Depending on the financial investment, you can take out a loan, get a grant, apply for a scholarship or pay for it from your savings. Most learning establishments will have payment terms and may be able to offer guidance. Don’t hesitate to ask.

Asking your Owner/Manager for Financial Assistance

Depending on the size of the salon, spa, or shop you work for, some will offer education incentives and may even offer financial assistance to those seeking to bring in additional revenue by adding to their skillset. To find out what education reimbursement policies your current employer has in place, take the following steps.

  • Schedule a meeting with your owner to talk about your education goals.
  • Gather information and prepare for the meeting. Do your research on the class/course you want to take. If this is a new trend, how many people are doing it? How long is it projected to last? How can it make the salon, spa, or shop more money? You want to talk about how this new skill/service will benefit the business; not just you. Explain how it will bring in more clients and keep the service menu current.
  • Do your research on the places offering the class/course and present the top three places to learn this new skill. Talk about costs, in terms of time and money, and offer your plan. i.e. “I can achieve this in 3–6 12 months, I will need to reduce my hours by XXX a week, however, when I am fully licensed or certified, I will be able to increase my earnings by XXX.” This shows you have thought this through and understand both the pros and cons.

Open your meeting by thanking your owner for taking the time to meet with you. Explain that you want to discuss education opportunities you’d like to participate in and how, together, you can make it a win-win for the salon, spa, or shop. Some ways to pitch this is to offer becoming an educator for a manufacturer, and if the owner agrees to pay and send you to the train-the-trainer event, you will agree to teaching a certain number of times in the salon, spa or shop to repay them.

Another compromise, is to request a 50/50 deal. The owner pays 50%, you pay 50%, and you agree to bring back what is taught and share it with the team in the next team meeting.

If there isn’t an education reimbursement policy in the salon, spa, or shop discuss how, perhaps, this is a great opportunity to start one. There are many ways to earn education reimbursement such as a percentage of retail sales above a set goal that is then put into an education fund.

If the only thing holding you back from obtaining a second license or a specialty certification is the cost, don’t stress. It doesn’t have to be a large financial investment or a huge investment in time. If you spend the time upfront doing your research and then create an action plan based on your findings, the timeline of reaching your goal shouldn’t matter. Now that you know what you want and how much it costs, you can create a plan to save the needed money.

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