One thing that a lot of people get wrong is that a felon’s life does not start nor does it end in jail. In addition to that, getting free from one’s conviction is not the end goal of a felon. Consequently, it is also not the only thing that a felon must strive for. For a short term goal, it could be valid. However, for a long term goal, it is not. A felon must always plan ahead of time and think as to what to do after getting one’s freedom back.
If you are already roaming around and enjoying your freedom, you have most probably experienced a lot of hardships and even discriminations out here. As such, you also know that the world and life continue without waiting for you to catch up. All of these being said, it is important to take note of the important things in life. Things like job and career.
A felon must understand that his or her previous career may not be suitable for oneself. In fact, a felon can also consider pursuing a different career. That is where we come in. We will help you decide as to what path in life is available for you to take.
Getting that conviction on your history is not a death sentence. In fact, there are a lot of available resources out there and even evidence of employers acknowledging felons as good employees.
What we will be tackling in this article is being a cosmetologist. Those who have prior experience with the beauty and skincare field may find this more interesting.
What does a cosmetologist do?
Each and everyone should have already met a cosmetologist at least once in our life. Simply speaking, a cosmetologist works as a hairdresser and a stylist. However, a cosmetologist possesses a huge amount of knowledge about all areas of beauty in general. Focusing on being a hair care expert, a cosmetologist is expected to provide a numerous amount of services for a client. Here are a few of those services.
- Cutting, straightening, as well as styling the client’s hair
- Shaping and trimming the client’s eyebrows
- Removing the client’s facial hair
Each of these services requires a different set of skills. Of course, techniques and procedures will also vary depending on the client’s preferred style. That is only talking about styling the hair. A cosmetologist may also offer different services not connected to the hair. These services include.
- Providing appropriate skincare which includes applying different kinds of beauty treatments and moisturizers
- Applying makeup and doing total makeovers
- Giving the client’s nails some tender lover and care which can constitute cleaning, trimming, and polishing
What do I need to legally practice cosmetology?
When one says license, that usually pertains to a state-issued document. Generally speaking, a license is a symbol that proves that a certain individual is legally allowed to practice a profession. Another topping to the already appetizing sundae that is called a license, an individual may then call himself as a licensed professional for holding a license.
Technically speaking, a license symbolizes that a certain individual possesses a specific set of knowledge and skills that are necessary to do a certain job. These kinds of credentials are usually only received after finishing a certain set of educational requirements. Of course, government organizations legally require individuals to have licenses prior to practicing in a profession.
Here is a general rundown as to what a license is:
- It is given by an official government licensing agency
- It gives legal authority to an individual to do jobs and ask for payment as a certain professional
- It requires meeting a certain set of criteria which typically includes obtaining a degree or passing a state-administered exam
If an individual has a cosmetologist license, then that means that the individual is allowed to perform some basic hair, skin, and nail care services. However, it is also important to take note that some states require people to have different licenses to provide services catering to different parts of health and beauty. Be sure to check your state’s guidelines and laws regarding this first.
What do I need to do to get a cosmetology license?
If what you are reading is lighting that fire within your body to become a cosmetologist, then you should read further. What we do advise you to do is go to your state’s website and search up as to what the requirements are to get a cosmetology license as an ex-felon. After all, each state has its own set of criteria and procedures before awarding an individual with that much-wanted cosmetology license.
On the other hand, we can provide a few general information. First and foremost, the typical minimum age for anybody to be a candidate for cosmetology licensure is usually around 16 to 18 years old. If someone from that age range wants to enroll in a board-approved cosmetology training program, then that person will most probably be required to have a high school diploma or a GED first. However, do note that this still varies from state to state.
In order to get a license in cosmetology, an individual must accomplish all requirements set by the state. This usually includes attending a licensed beauty school and, of course, finishing the entire course. In addition to that, there is also a licensure exam that has to be passed at all costs.
Something that does not differ in different states is that a cosmetologist is legally required to have a state license. In order to do that, a person must undergo and complete a state-approved cosmetology course, then pass a written and practical exam.
When you found a state approved school, then you might be wondering what the program includes. A typical course usually has around 1500 hours of lectures and other courseworks. Then, there is also a licensure exam.
To help you prepare, here are the typical parts of the licensure exam:
- There is the written exam about theories and procedures
- There is a practical exam focusing on cosmetology skills
- There is another written exam, but this time about state regulations
If you have not found a school that offers a cosmetology program, it might help to know that schools, community colleges, and vocational schools usually offer it. After graduating from the course, the graduate will usually receive either a certificate, a diploma, or an associate’s degree.
If you have a license you are usually allowed to practice esthetics, manicuring, eyelash extension, and hair weaving. Of course, while charging clients for your services.
There are also a lot of cosmetology schools that let students to get a certificate. It usually takes around nine to fifteen months to complete certification programs. Of course, these programs also include all needed training to become a licensed professional.
Can I Get a Cosmetology License with a Felony?
Can a felon be a cosmetologist? As what we have already stated earlier, the requirements for a cosmetology license varies from state to state. The good thing about this though is that these requirements do not say anything about criminal convictions. After all, getting a cosmetology license is all about skills and knowledge about the craft. Having or not having any criminal history does not contribute to that. Although there are some state departments which are involved with the licensing and regulating part of the profession, there should still be nothing much to worry about.
On the other hand, there are still some possibilities of getting denied a cosmetology license. This usually happens if an applicant was already convicted of a crime. However, do still take note that each application for cosmetology licensure is still reviewed on a case to case basis. When considering your criminal history, the board usually considers the nature of the crime, severity of the crime, how recent is this conviction, any display or receiving rehabilitation, and if there are any other factors connected to your conviction.
The board will only give you a resolute answer after carefully reading and going over your entire application as well as other supporting evidence to your case.
It is very important, to be honest during this entire process. If you do not disclose a certain crime or conviction, then they found about it during their investigations. This basically constitutes fraud. You will be denied a cosmetology license at the very least, and you are probably going back to prison. If you do not want that then just tell everything honestly in a good and humble manner.
You may opt to get your records expunged if you want to legally remove your charges off your history. You may then report that you have no such history of a convicted criminal. Obviously, this increases your chances while lessening the hassle your conviction brings you.
There are a lot of stories out there about felons being good employees and successfully integrating back into society. If you want to be part of this population, keep calm and persevere. We are always at your back ready to support you in any way we can.
Should I or should I not?
It definitely will not be easy to be a licensed cosmetologist, but a felon may and should still consider being one. Of course, before getting there, a felon must first receive proper training and get the required requirements such as education and passing the exams. However, all of these hardships only make the cake sweeter at the end of the road.
Best of all, nothing beats the love and support given by family and friends. Heck, even your past co-workers and employers may be rooting for you. Bring all these feelings and emotions on your back, raise your chin, and conquer the world!
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.