How long does it take to become a qualified hairstylist?

How long does it take to become a qualified hairstylist?

To obtain your qualifications as a hairdresser, hairstylist or barber there are 2 main phases you need to complete.

Phase 1: Hair school education 
Phase 2: Apprenticeship training 


Phase 1: Hair school education 

Hair school education is delivered through cosmetology schools. More commonly known as beauty schools, these institutions provide higher education and specialized professional vocational training for aspiring hairstylists, hairdressers and barbers. Hair schools combine both theoretical education as well as clinical (hands on practical) training experience. 

In Ontario, to become a qualified hairdresser or hair stylist, school takes 10 months or 1500 vocational hours to complete. Upon completion, you will be awarded an official diploma recognized by the provincial government. 

If you are looking to legally work as a hairstylist or perhaps own your own hair salon someday, you will also need to complete 2000 apprenticeship hours before you obtain your license. 


Phase 2: Apprenticeship training 

How to become a hair styling apprentice?
An apprenticeship is official and can count towards your licensing requirements if 2 conditions are met. 

  1. First: your sponsor is licensed through OCOT and in good standing. 
  2. Second: you, your sponsor and a Employment and Training Consultant 
    must register your paperwork before you start your job. 

An apprenticeship is a paid entry level position at a salon or barbershop. While you work, you can simultaneously collect work experience hours - apprenticeship hours  to go towards your licensing requirements. 


How long will an apprenticeship take to complete? 

An apprenticeship is deemed official when the apprentice is working under the supervision of someone who have successfully obtained their license (a Journeyman). Depending on your employment contract, most graduates who work full time hours (approximately 40 hours per week) will be able to complete the apprenticeship hour quota of 2000 hours within one year before they are eligible to write their Ministry Licensing examination to obtain their hairstyling status in NOA-332A Hairstyling. 

Hairstyling is a rewarding career path. Taking into consideration both the time spent in school in addition to the time required to complete your apprenticeship, the path to obtaining your hairstyling license may take approximately 2 years to achieve.  


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