The Atlanta Beauty Student's Resource Guide
The bustling beauty scene in Atlanta is full of a diverse array of salons and spas, many of which are minority and female-owned. Dubbed the Hollywood of the South, Atlanta is a hub for beauty innovation across many industries.
If you hope to launch your cosmetology career in Atlanta, you can expect to find ample opportunities to work with natural hair, unique skin care treatments for every skin color, and state-of-the-art hair design.
Learn what to expect from a beauty career in Atlanta, including average salaries, projected job growth, top employers in the area, and other resources to help you on your way to a dream career in beauty.
Salary and Job Growth for Atlanta Beauty Careers
In general, salaries for beauty professionals in Atlanta are higher than those in the state as a whole, which may make the city an ideal location to build your career. And the projected job growth for cosmetologists, estheticians, and barbers in Georgia is positive, with available jobs in each profession expected to increase through 2030.
|Career||Georgia Average Salary 2021||Atlanta Average Salary 2021|
|Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists||$37,420||$39,620|
|Nail Technicians/Manicurists and Pedicurists||$25,100||$26,210|
|Career||Statewide Anticipated Employment Change 2018-2028||Nationwide Anticipated Employment Change 2020-2030|
|Hairdressers, Hairstylists, and Cosmetologists||11%||19%|
Top Beauty Employers in Atlanta
With various beauty careers available in Atlanta, you have many choices of unique places to work—from women and minority-owned salons to non-chain and big-name employers. Below are a few interesting businesses that represent the best Atlanta has to offer, but make sure to contact any prospective employersthem directly to find out if they're currently hiring.
Pika Pika Hair Salon
2550 Pleasant Hill Rd., Suite 116
Duluth, Georgia 30096
Pika Pika has big-name clients, like T-Pain and Future. This Korean-owned hair salon has been in business since 2003 and has a plethora of positive reviews on its Facebook page. The salon is located just 28 miles northeast of Atlanta and is well-known for precision cuts and gorgeous chemical services.
You can expect to see some of the most beautiful hair color ideas here, and the shop also offers makeup application services.
Madam C.J. Walker Museum
54 Hillard St. NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
Stylist Ricci de Forest transformed one of the final remaining Madam C.J. Walker beauty salons in Atlanta into a museum, beauty shop, and a busy hair salon, creating the Madam C.J. Walker's Beauty Shoppe Museum. You can even rent out the space for events.
Located blocks from Atlanta's Sweet Auburn district, the small brick building has a rich history. The historic space honors the first Black female millionaire in America and features cosmetic tools from the 1940s and 50s.
Buckhead–The Shops at Pharr
320 Pharr Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
4365 Roswell Rd, Suite 4385
Atlanta, Georgia 30342
1062 St. Charles Ave. NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
4300 Paces Ferry Rd, Suite 230
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
60 11th St, Suite 3A
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
3500 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 2061C
Atlanta, Georgia 30306
Lenox Square Mall
3393 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 5025C
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
Sugarcoat Lash Bar
256 Pharr Rd.
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Hair Bar by Sugarcoat
260 Pharr Rd NE, Suite 5
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
In 2010, Peiru Kim started Sugarcoat Beauty as a single hair salon. It has since branched out to include services in nails, lashes, skin care, and waxing for the greater Atlanta area across many locations. The company even has a designated Lash Bar, and they have more locations opening soon.
Sugarcoat Beauty has won tons of awards, including the Best of Atlanta in 2022 and 2021. They're also Modern Luxury Weddings Atlanta's Diamond Awards Winner 2022 and the 2021 and 2020 Best Self Winner for best nail salon. The company is always looking for licensed beauty professionals to join the team.
The Skin Trap Spa
576 Lee St. SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Esthetician Shoquor Wright opened a holistic and wellness med spa called The Skin Trap Spa, which offers dermaplane facials, microdermabrasion, and waxing services. Wright is a popular name in Atlanta's beauty and entertainment scene, and this Black-owned med spa even offers advanced treatment courses for estheticians, such as dermaplaning training.
2195 Lake Park Dr. Apt K
Smyrna, Georgia 30080
Owner Alicia Scott left her fashion public relations job in her home state of New York to head to Atlanta and break into the beauty industry as a Black female entrepreneur. She started Range Beauty, a clean beauty brand, four years ago, and her products are now in popular stores like Target.
Range Beauty creates skin care products and makeup for ultra-sensitive skin, filling the need for products that won't compromise on color or care. The ingredients include all-natural botanicals to prevent eczema flair-ups and acne.
Specialties and Certifications Atlanta Beauty Students Should Consider
You must earn a license to work in the beauty industry in Georgia, and the state offers cosmetologist, esthetician, barber, and nail technician programs. You can also earn many specialties and certifications beyond these main licensure options. For example, if you want to become a makeup artist, you can earn a certificate to practice in the state.
More advanced specialties in Atlanta include master cosmetologist and master barber programs. That said, one of the most popular programs in Atlanta is the hair designer license. Completing a hair design program allows you to learn unique techniques to transform the appearance of hair without attending a longer cosmetology program.
You may also need to apply to a different board if you're interested in working with lasers. An esthetician license doesn't cover all forms of hair removal in Georgia, unlike some other states. If you want to become a cosmetic laser practitioner, you must obtain licensure through the Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB) rather than the cosmetology board.
Beauty School Scholarships and Grants for Atlanta Students
Your beauty school is one of the best places to look for scholarships and grants, so ask what financial aid it offers. You can also search for local scholarships, like the Atlanta Barber & Beauty Supply Scholarship, which has served the metro area for 74 years, helping technical school students who want to pursue barbering.
In Georgia, you can also apply for the Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally (HOPE) Grant. This helps students pursuing a certificate or diploma pay for their education at a public technical school or university. The scholarship is only available to Georgia residents who demonstrate academic achievement.
Top Beauty Student Supply Stores in Atlanta
Explore the following top-rated beauty supply stores in Atlanta for all your student needs. Don't forget to ask about student and professional discounts for a deal on supplies!
Atlanta Beauty Depot
J&J Beauty Supply
Beauty Exchange Beauty Supply
Atlanta Barber & Beauty Supply
Other Resources for Atlanta Beauty Students
Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers
You can head to this licensing board website for beauty careers in Georgia for information about licensing, approved schools, and more.
Georgia Composite Medical Board
The GCMB regulates licenses for cosmetic laser practitioners.
Atlanta Magazine—Best of Atlanta
Looking for a top-rated spa or salon in Atlanta to visit or apply to? Check out the best of the best in this popular magazine.