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Career Spotlight: Cosmetology

Considering a Career in Cosmetology?

Reserve your spot at our free Cosmetology Information Session to learn about this program and how you can start an exciting new career.

RSVP Tuesday, August 21, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Harper Main Campus, Bldg X, Room X-210.

Ready to begin? Call Diane at 847.925.6616 (or email dtarver@harpercollege.edu) to inquire about our cosmetology program’s prerequisite requirements and enrollment.

Gallery: Currently enrolled Harper Cosmetology students, featured at the BEE Beautiful Spring Event at Studio V on March 21st

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Harper College CE is proud to partner with Capelli Academy, a leading cosmetology training facility, to offer our Cosmetology program. To learn more about our program and the industry, please read the following interview with Hans Burkert, owner and education director of Capelli Academy.

About the Lead Instructor: Hans Burkert attended Tristino and Tricoci School of Hair Design, followed by training at Vidal Sasoon in Canada, Karl Kuhnz in Wurtzburg Germany and advanced classes at the Redken Exchange in N.Y. He is a licensed cosmetologist, licensed cosmetology educator and continuing education sponsor. Burkert has 35+ years of experience in the field, starting as an assistant to industry giants, hair dresser, educator, event planner, and partner in Tricoci School of Hair Design. He is entering his 11th year owning and operating his cosmetology school and his 23rd year as a salon owner.

What are possible career paths for people who complete the Cosmetology program at Harper?

The industry has grown exponentially in the past few years and isn’t slowing down. It is diverse, flexible, and allows the freedom for change as you change and grow, and as changes come into your life. For example, if you find yourself balancing family responsibilities with work someday, this industry allows you options without compromising all you’ve achieved. The following examples are some, but by no means all, employment possibilities in cosmetology. You can choose to specialize in cutting or coloring and find employment in a “departmentalized” salon. You may choose to become proficient in both and work in a salon that allows you to shine in both areas, spending more time with each client. There are options for chair rental or suite rental, though this is not what I would recommend for someone fresh out of school, as you would have no client base to support your business or your bills. Some cosmetologists choose to obtain their educator’s license and teach in a school. Other people find their calling as product representatives or product educators. Most recently, the creation of the medi-spa has provided numerous career choices for the licensed cosmetologist. Of course, salon ownership and/or management is always a possibility with proper planning and support.

What are the cosmetology education requirements in Illinois?

1,500 hours broken down in the following areas:

  • Basic training
  • Chemical applications and hair treatments
  • Hairstyling and Dressing
  • Self management
  • Shop management
  • Esthetics and nail technology

You can expect to complete your education in approximately 12 months if you choose full time and approximately 16 months if you choose part time. Capelli Academy is located inside a working salon, where you have the opportunity to see stylists and management in action.

What advice do you have for potential cosmetology students?

I take this profession very seriously. I consider it an honor and a privilege that clients allow me into their lives, not only to create a look for them and to cut/color their hair, but more importantly to hear their stories. Frankly, in a 45 minute appointment, between a relaxing shampoo & massage, cutting and drying and styling the hair, we hairdressers touch clients and spend more time with them than doctors do in an average appointment. I have an opportunity to make them feel good about themselves. Many times they come in weighted down with troubles we can all relate to, and we in this business have time to create a respite. From the moment they walk in to the moment they walk out, it is imperative to me and my business partner that each client feels like the special individual that he or she is. We share this with our students from day one. Students are “in the profession” from the first day of school. They will meet clients, interact with them, and learn the “soft skills” that really are the heart of this industry. Anyone can learn to cut hair, but not everyone can successfully marry that to seeing and treating clients as an important guest in their chair. Vidal Sassoon famously said “the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” This is so true and applies to more than styling hair. I have made this my mantra since I first heard it. If a client leaves happy with his/her look and is feeling good and has been treated well, then we’ve achieved success.

RSVP online or call 847.925.6300


Browse our Cosmetology courses in the May-August CE Course Schedule

or visit our Cosmetology page for additional information.

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