Students at Chatt Tech make the cut
by Mark Andrews
Jan 12, 2012 | 2776 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cosmetology student Jordan Schaefer, left, applies a dryer to a mannequin with human hair at the Chattahoochee Technical College’s North Metro Campus. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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For Cartersville residents Teandria Winters and Haley Hogan, beginning their first cosmetology classes at Chattahoochee Technical College's North Metro Campus is just another step in their separate, but similar, long-term goals.

"I like to do hair and I'm going to open up my own salon," Winters said as she washed the hair of her mannequin, Whitney.

Hogan said being previously exposed to the industry encouraged her to pursue cosmetology as a career.

"I worked at a hair salon when I was in high school washing hair and I really liked it," she said. "I'll probably build up my clientele just a little bit and then open my own salon."

The school's cosmetology diploma program emphasizes specialized training in areas like theory, safety, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, skin and nail care, and hair coloring. The curriculum also covers law and meets licensing requirements of the State of Georgia Board of Cosmetology reception.

Instructor Colette Arp explained the program utilizes class time and students have to complete standard core courses before they can enter the program.

"It's a hybrid class so they're doing all their work online, and they're starting with ... learning how to shampoo, blow dry, use all the brushes, flat irons, curling irons and then they'll go onto haircutting and then they'll go on to advanced haircutting," Arp said, adding students in the program take five classes a semester.

The economic outlook for the cosmetology field is growing, and Arp said income varies depending on location and there are many opportunities available. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median salary for starting cosmetologists is about $26,000.

"By the time they're ready to graduate, we have a lot of shops that will call and a lot of them pick out their own shops," Arp said.

Instructor Penny Cannon and Arp agreed a certain personality is necessary for success in the field.

"You have to be comfortable with the public and working on people because we're one of the few professions that do that," Colette said.

Cannon added, "You need to have a personal service personality because if you're withdrawn you're not going to have too many customers."

While students at the North Metro campus come from Cartersville and nearby areas, instructors say graduates often begin their careers in various parts of the region.

"We've had girls to work down in Buckhead and I've had one who went to Blue Ridge," Cannon said.