Apprenticeship or Beauty School?

Apprenticeship or Beauty School? Which one is best for me?

There are two different models of apprenticeship. One model is a full apprenticeship of 3800 hours which focusses on learning everything in a salon environment.

The other model focusses on classroom learning and supervised salon floor practice for 1500 hours, followed by a 2000 hour apprenticeship. Students spend time learning content in a classroom, practising on mannequins, and then apply it with real clients on a salon floor with staff supervision and feedback.

I have done both. I’ve apprenticed people through from start to finish, and I am the owner of a beauty school. There are pros and cons to each model. It really depends on a few factors in deciding which arrangement is right for you.

Let’s start with the first model. Apprenticeship only:

Some questions you might want to ask a salon owner before signing an apprenticeship agreement:

1. How much time per week is dedicated specifically to my training?

2. Is there a training curriculum or standard that is offered by the salon that I must meet?

3. Is it written down in a training manual with tangible and measurable results?

4. How long is the agreement for? Will my training take longer than Ontario’s required hours (3800)?

5. How long until I will be accepting guests on the salon floor?

6. Will I be granted stylist status and receive employment upon completion?

7. How many stylists are in front of me waiting for chairs?

8. Does the salon have apprentices now?

9. How long have they been there?

10. What does their training look like?

11. What is their skill level?

12. And have you sat down and had a candid conversation with them to get what their experience has really been like?

Often salon owners are well intentioned and see apprentices as an opportunity to train new staff while supporting salon operations as a benefit to both parties. Yet often there is no clear system in salons to support apprentices, and salon owners are too busy to dedicate time, discipline and curriculum to learning. There can be a tendency for apprentices to become shampoo girls and support staff, without the time to fully integrate the learning. So be very clear what you’re getting, so you’re able to get the most out of your investment in time and money, complete your required hours, and obtain your license.

Stay tuned next week, we’ll look at what to ask a beauty school.