Cosmetology Schools in Iowa

Whether you live in Des Moines, Davenport or the Quad Cities, you don’t need a fortune teller to advise you that once you decide to make good on your cosmetology career dream, your next move is finding the right school. In our “hair today and gone tomorrow” world, your school choice can mean the difference between stresses and tresses, so choose wisely using the following information.

Accredited Beauty Schools in Iowa

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

72kb-cosmetology-schools-in-iowaThe Internet could become your new BFF if you want to minimize search time to locate training schools that meet your accreditation criteria. If there’s a junior or community college in your county, take advantage of in-state tuition and the school’s credentials. Alternately, private cosmetology schools like PCI Academy (Ames; Dubuque), Capri College (Cedar Rapids; Davenport), Aveda (Des Moines), Paul Mitchell (Davenport), The Salon Professional Academy (Iowa City) and La’James—with facilities in Cedar Falls, Davenport, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Johnston, Mason City–and Iowa School of Beauty (Ottumwa; Sioux City) all claim to be accredited, so start your search with these.

Job Demand for Cosmetologists in Iowa

Some may joke about Iowa being a “fly-over” state, best seen from 30,000 feet between New York City and Los Angeles, but you couldn’t live in a better state as a beauty professional if you tried! Job demand is healthy and it’s expected to get healthier in the future. According to, the overall job outlook for hairstylists and cosmetologists has stayed strong since 2004. Vacancies have increased 5.48-percent nationwide since then. Demand is expected to increase as new boutique salons and those offering services auxiliary to cuts and colors—waxing, threading and even massage therapy—open regularly. projects a 14.61 increase in job openings as the industry fills 408,280 openings by 2018.

Cosmetology and Beautician Salary Ranges in Iowa

Since the cost of living in Iowa is reasonable, supporting yourself as a cosmetologist should be a breeze. The median annual salary for Des Moines-based cosmetologists is $32,700. Smaller Iowa cities and towns–where the cost of living is cheaper—have lower wages: As of April 1, 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published average Iowa beauticians’ salaries at $25,950 ($12.48 per hour). Set up shop in remote areas of the state and anticipate between $23,000 and $25,000 annually. Compared to other geographic regions, Iowa has lots to brag about: 2014 BLS average wages for cosmetologists in Texas, California, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida only range from $21,000 to $25,000. Factor in the high cost of living in these states’ major cities and Iowa offers a better-than-competitive wage.

Nearby States

List of Top Beauty and Cosmetology Programs in Iowa

Since there are no ranking entities evaluating U.S. beauty and cosmetology programs (“US News and World Reports” and “The Princeton Review” rank college and university programs), turn to Iowa’s cosmetology licensing board to ascertain the state’s top programs. The Iowa Community College network earns high marks from students. If you choose a private school, talk to current students—not sales personnel—to find out how programs compare. Here’s why this is important: Iowa’s La James College of Cosmetology consistently appears on top rated cosmetology school lists, but on July 21, a “Des Moines Register” story broke news that the school was fined $10,000 for Iowa Board of Cosmetology sanitation violations. Some students ascribe “top program” status to schools with national reputations. If that describes you, Aveda Institute or Paul Mitchell may have exactly the training program you seek.

You may want also to check the following Cosmetology Schools: