Cosmetology is a four semester diploma program that requires 1,500 clock hours for completion. Graduates are prepared to take the cosmetology licensure exam administered by the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barbering.

Employment Stats

  • Program Length 16 months (Diploma)
  • Job Placement 85%
  • Average Earnings $35,175 / yr
  • Cost $7,238

About Program

Cosmetologists focus on providing hair care services to enhance the appearance of their clientele. Other personal appearance workers, such as manicurists and pedicurists, shampoo technicians, and skin care specialists, provide specialized beauty services that help client’s look and feel their best.  A number of cosmetologist offer specialized services, such as natural hair care, hair color, texture, cutting, skin care and nail care.

In addition to working with clients, cosmetologist keeps records of hair color or skin care regimens used by their regular clients. A growing number of cosmetologists actively sell hair, skin, and nail care products. Barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers who operate their own salons have managerial duties that may include hiring, supervising, and firing workers, as well as keeping business and inventory records, ordering supplies, and arranging for advertising.

Classroom and laboratory learning experiences in the program focus on the basic skills required for state board licensing. The students are introduced to other areas of specialized training such as entry level salon employment, receptionist, salon trainer, distributive sales consultant, cosmetology instructor, salon management, and or owner. This program is job training!

Job Expectations

Cosmetologists work a 40-hour week but longer hours are common, especially for self-employed workers.   Work schedules may include evenings and weekends and other times that salons are the busiest and, in many cases, cosmetologists are allowed to design their own work schedule.

Work conditions for cosmetologist are clean, pleasant surroundings with good lighting and ventilation.  Many cosmetologists work in salons but some may work in a hotel, resort or for a cruise line.   Good health and stamina are important, because cosmetologists are on their feet for most of their shift.   Safety procedures must be observed at all times while performing salon services.

Tennessee requires that cosmetologist be licensed by the Tennessee State Board of Cosmetology.  To qualify for a license, job seekers are required to graduate for a state-licensed school and receive certified hours from their Instructor. 

Expected Earnings

Earning as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor 2010 - 2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook are as follows
Percentile 10% 25% 50% 75% 90%
Hourly Wage $7.86 $8.81 $13.16 $14.66 $25.68
Annual Wage $16,350 $18,320 $22,760 $30,490 $41,950

Course Schedule

Students who are eligible to enroll will be given an opportunity to register for one of the open seats during the enrollment period of each term.

  • Full-time classes
  • Day and Evening classes
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 students in each class

Full-Time Program Schedule


Day Class
(Monday – Friday)

Evening Class
(Monday – Thursday)

Fall (450 hours)

8:00 am – 2:45 pm

2:30 pm – 10:45 pm

Spring (450 hours)

8:00 am – 2:45 pm

2:30 pm – 10:45 pm

Summer (390 hours)

8:00 am – 3:00 pm

2:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Fall (450 hours)

8:00 am – 2:45 pm

2:30 pm – 10:45 pm


The Cosmetology kit must be purchased from the Chattanooga State bookstore
Quantity Description
1 Cosmetology Kits & Books (must be purchased from the Chattanooga State Bookstore)


4 semesters – 1,500 clock hours -*Tuition will increase every fall semester
*Fall 450 hours $1,383
Spring 450 hours $1,383
Summer 390 hours $1,383
*Fall 450 hours $1,383
Kits (estimate) $1,250
Books (estimate) $456

TCAT Special Fees

Charged in Addition to Maintenance and Tuition

  • Credit by Examination Fee - The regular course fee is charged for each special examination and must be paid prior to taking the examination. Non-refundable. (See Academic Regulations.)
  • Credit for Life Experience Fees - Assessment Fee for Experiential Learning $45.00.  Experiential Learning Credit $15.00 per credit hour in excess of 3.0 credit hours. $90.00 maximum.
  • High School Equivalency Test (Hi-SET) - $75
  • Placement Test Fees - ACT - $45.00. (Refer to Admissions Policy.)


Textbook bundles are available at the Chattanooga State Bookstore.

  • Milady’s Standard Cosmetology Bundle - ISBN-13:978-1-4180-4935-5 (Copyright 08 | Publisher:  Cengage Learning)
  • Pivot Point Book Bundle w/ lab access
  • Pivot Point Hair Tool Kit
  • Burmax Extra Tool Kit

*Students are required to wear a uniform (black scrubs) each day.



  • History and Career Opportunities
  • Life Skills
  • Your Professional Image
  • Communicating for Success

General Sciences:

  • Infection Control: Principles and Practice
  • General Anatomy and Physiology
  • Skin Structure and Growth
  • Nail Structure and Growth
  • Properties of hair and scalp
  • Basics of Chemistry
  • Basics of Electricity

Hair Care:

  • Principles of Hair Design
  • Shampooing Rinsing and Conditioning
  • Hair Cutting
  • Hair Styling
  • Braiding and Braid Extensions
  • Wigs and Hair Enhancements
  • Chemical Texture Services
  • Hair Coloring

Skin Care:

  • Skin Diseases and Disorders
  • Hair Removal
  • Facials
  • Facial Makeup

Nail Care:

  • Nail Diseases and Disorders
  • Manicuring
  • Pedicuring
  • Nail Tips, Wraps and No light Gels
  • Acrylic Methacrylate
  • UV Gels

Career Opportunities

Salon or Day Spa owner
Manufacturer’s Representative
Product Distributor
Platform Artist
Salesperson or Sales Manager
Cosmetology Writer or Editor
Travel Industry
State Licensing Inspector or Examiner
State Board Member