Should I do an apprenticeship in the Beauty Trades instead of going to a private trade school?
Do you know what kind of learning style works best for you? Perhaps you learn best reading from a textbook and filling out a companion workbook? Or maybe working and studying in a group is your preferred way to learn. Information might make more sense to you by doing things more hands-on or working one-on-one with an educator. Many of our apprentice candidates tend to be strong individuals with a uniqueness in cognitive learning functions. In our experience, this is something that they have in common with the vast majority of people in the beauty industry.
There are usually only two paths to learning the trade: the traditional classroom or a trade based apprenticeship. Both lead to state license to practice. Both have pros and cons; however, having the choice means that you can decide which path will work best for you.
What exactly is a Beauty Trades apprenticeship?
While the backbone of the beauty trades is similar, core requirements will differ from state to state. The salons, shops and spas participating in an apprenticeship program must teach the topics required by their state. However, the Atarashii Apprentice Program works closely with each state and/or federal agency to ensure that the curriculum exceeds those requirements for each state.A beauty trades Apprenticeship is the same as a brick and mortar trade school in one way: you will be required to meet core learning requirements and skill goals set forth by your state licensing agency. The difference: your learning takes place in a salon, shop or spa with a mix of hands-on training and the freedom to advance at a pace that works with your individual learning style. Some of the topic you can expect to encounter during your training include:
State laws and regulations.
Industry Management and Personal development
Customer relationship management
Scalp and Hair Care
Essential Skill Training
Scientific Theory relating to the Beauty and Hair care industry
How does an apprenticeship differ from a trade school?
A Beauty Trades apprenticeship program is an alternative path for career candidates to gain the training needed for professional licensure. Apprentices work directly with licensed professionals in a salon/spa/shop and receive one-on-one training. Apprentices usually start by observing their mentor journeyman trainers and gradually work into practical application on real clients with the ultimate goal of becoming a full time service provider. In the traditional trade school model, those students typically spend the first months of their training with textbooks, lectures and demonstrations while an apprentice gets hands-on-training at the very start.
While some apprenticeships do charge a tuition, most are low or no cost. Aside from a training fee and buying their individual tools, this is almost always less costly than a trade school tuition. And, unlike a traditional trade school, Atarashii apprentices must be paid a wage and often receive tips and gratuities. While an apprentice program may take more time to complete than some trade school programs (those specific hours requirements vary from state to state), a huge advantage is that the apprentice is building a clientele and earning while learning.
How long does a Beauty Trades Apprenticeship take?
Time and cost factors are two of the most important considerations career candidates must make when deciding whether a Trade School or an Apprenticeship is best for them. Traditional classroom learning generally requires on average 1000 to 1800 hours of instruction before you can take the appropriate State Board exams. In an apprenticeship situation you can expect the hours to be 2000 or more as a minimum, depending on the state and the program of study.
As to cost, a Trade School brick and mortar school can cost upwards of $28,000 depending on the state, and sometimes even the region of that state. Apprenticeships are generally low-cost or no-cost, except for any state fees or sponsor program fees that the apprentice may be required to pay for filing and application fees. Which, as you can tell, usually leaves the apprentice graduate with no school debt to contend with when they complete their training, unlike many trade school graduates.
How do I find a Beauty Trade Apprenticeship?
The Atarashii Apprentice Program is designed to help the apprentice candidate in connecting with a salon/spa/shop Training Agent. The easiest way is to apply directly to the program HERE.
After completing all of the appropriate background information and approved through the Apprentice Vetting Commitee, the apprentice candidate is placed in a catalogue of eligible candidates that our multiple Training Agent partners often review.
The second is to search our list of Training Agent Partners and apply directly with them. If a Training Agent Partner hires you, then they will follow through with placing you in our program.
What are the benefits of working as a Beauty Trades Apprentice?
One-on-one mentorship by a practicing professional!
Earnings potential (from day one!)!
Experience in a real work environment!
Valuable professional connection potential!
Getting the ‘in’ and ‘outs’ of the business from those who are most active in the industry!
The ability to plan your studies around your “other life”!
Does my state allow for a Beauty Trades Apprenticeship?
How will you spend your time?
Your time as an apprentice is generally divided in three ways in order to prepare you to learn the appropriate skills, but to also prepare you to take and pass your state’s Practical and Written Exams:
Hours of curriculum study (varies by discipline)
Professional training hours (learning the practical skills)
Hours spent servicing clients (hands-on experience)
This method of learning isn’t always a perfect fit for everyone, so it’s important for you to consider if it’s the right environment for you. In order to help you ‘decide before you buy’, you might ask a participating salon/ spa/shop if you could shadow a service provider for a day or maybe have a sit down talk about how your apprentice learning might be structured.
What exactly is Theory and why do I need to learn it?
In a sentence, theory education tells you why something works the way it does. For instance, how Hair Coloring works in and on the hair shaft and the science behind the chemicals used in your business. Theory is important because it teaches you the ‘why’ and not just the ‘how’, which will lead to a better understanding and more professional use of the various chemical products used in the Beauty Trade industry.
The Atarashii Apprentice Program partners with Pivot Point International by using their premiere online learning lab (LAB) platform to teach theory. You will also be partnered with an Atarashii Coach, a licensed instructor in the industry, who will help you to navigate your chosen learning path. This allows the onsite Journeyman trainer the flexibility to hone in on your hands on skills more effectively and efficiently. The Atarashii program chose the The Pivot Point Learning LAB because of its comprehensive ongoing commitment to up to date teaching methodologies.
Will I still need classroom time?
With the Atarashii Apprentice Program, the classroom is on-demand, online, at your fingertips through our Canvas Learning Path and the Pivot Point Learning Lab (LAB). The classroom is wherever you are.
An apprenticeship will encounter a less rigid curriculum simply because you are learning one-on-one, hands on instead of a group. Because you are learning and working in a salon/spa/shop, you’ll be exposed to more real life scenarios and learning opportunities than you might get in a classroom setting.
What are the Job prospects like?
According to Department Of Labor the number of jobs for Beauty Trades service providers is expected to increase by 13% through 2022. And as beauty services expand, the need for qualified service providers will continue to grow!
Apprentices who earn their education through an apprenticeship and pass the same state exams as those who graduate from a brick and mortar trade school, are equally employable. Even though the requirements for licensure are the same for everyone in the beauty industry, the Apprenticeship does give the newly licensed professional a solid hand up! Unlike the trade school student who is ‘working a job’ while also attending school, the apprentice is actively earning while learning. And, as a bonus, the Apprentice is building a clientele at the same time!
How much do Beauty Trade Apprentices get paid?
According to federal law, an Apprentice must be paid according to the individual States’ minimum wage regulations. The wage progressions are based upon skill development as well as time in the program. Basic wage in the Beauty Trade Industry is directly proportional to your skill, and the ability to confidently market yourself. And, of course, larger cities have an overall higher earnings potential.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics show the median income of a Beauty Industry provider to be between $25,000 and $30,000, but those figures do not include gratuities. And, these are the median percentages, meaning middle. We encourage you to have a chat with your favorite service provider in the industry.
What hours do apprentices work?
Each State decides the hours an apprentice may work. As an example, The State of Wisconsin mandates a 7 hour work day and no more than 40 hours per week. Some states even set a requirement for the number of training hours (OJT) per month. For instance, Wisconsin apprentices must accomplish at least 80 hours per month and a maximum of 120 per month. Of course, the salon/spa/shop will also have their own requirements. If the location is open nights, holidays and weekends, you can likely expect to work during some of those hours as well.
How does apprenticeship benefit the future professional?
Future professionals can benefit greatly from a properly structured apprenticeship program provided by a qualified, passionate employer.
In trade schools schools, students are at the mercy of the curriculum and the student/teacher ratio. Apprentices will find that they get more focused attention and have more control over the education they receive.
Although they are typically required to complete more hours than traditionally educated beauty professionals, apprentices are compensated while learning. Apprentices complete their education debt-free and unlike trade school educated licencees, have not lost 18 months to 2 years of compensable time.
Apprentices are also less likely to have gaps in their education when compared to a traditionally educated student. Unfortunately, our beauty school curriculum hasn’t evolved much in the last 50 or 60 years, and it’s impractical to expect textbook publishers to keep pace with the rapid developments in techniques and product technology. It’s a well-established (and infuriating) fact that too few schools bother to give highly textured hair the training time and focus it deserves, leaving many graduates ill-equipped to properly serve all clients. As a result, cosmetology graduates are often not trained in vital areas (braiding and chemical texture services, for instance). Thanks to the flexibility afforded to many sponsors, apprentices are more likely to gain experience and training in the areas our schools have neglected to adequately address.
Apprentices receive invaluable real-world experience interacting with customers on a daily basis. While traditionally educated beauty professionals can gain this experience working on the clinic floor, there’s an important distinction between the expectations of a clinic client and a salon customer. Apprentices will typically be held to a higher standard when interacting and serving customers than a student will, and the stakes for the former are much higher than those for the latter. A negative interaction may result in disciplinary action for a student, but an apprentice could lose their job and their sponsor.
There are 2 sets of hours to accomplish in an apprenticeship. Why?
The first numbers are the portion of the apprenticeship that covers the hands-on-training or learning called On-The-Job-Training (OJT) or On-The-Job-Learning (OJL) depending upon the State. These are essentially ‘clinic’ hours that the apprentice clocks in for and is physically working as a service provider, assisting the journeyman trainer, as well as salon sanitation and front desk duties. All of these count as OJT/OJL hours.
The second set of hours is called Related Supplemental Instruction (RSI) or Related Technical Instruction (RTI) depending upon the State. These are essentially the hours where they are studying and practicing their skills. The Atarashii Apprentice Program manages these hours through evidencing assignments such as Written Exams and Performance Exams. The RTI/RSL hours are input monthly based on the weekly completion rate of the individual’s learning path.