• Part of the Health, Recreation & Human Services (HRH) Cluster


The Cosmetology program provides a personalized, self-paced learning experience for ambitious students seeking industry credential as a Hairstyling Apprentice or Certified Esthetician. The program is taught by Journeymen Hairdressers, Certified Estheticians, and Alberta Education certified teachers.

Both the Hairstyling Apprenticeship program and the Esthetics Certification program are designed around the personal learning plans of each student whose passion for the health and beauty industry has invigorated their desire to start their Hairstylist or Esthetics' training in pursuit of a successful career. 

Students’ will begin in the Exploratory Program, upon completion they will choose to go into either the Hairstyling Apprenticeship or the Esthetics Certificate program. There are 11 credits available based on a single-block explore student.

Under the Personalized Learning Program approach, the students benefit with the understanding that building strong relationships' with industry processionals, and the industry as a whole, gives them optimum opportunity to develop their skills to full potential in the ever evolving and changing Cosmetology field. Students complete the program with a sense of ownership in skill development as they learn in a client service based salon and/or spa

Cosmetology Introductory

This course is offered to students who are interested in the Hairstyling and Esthetics trades and would like to begin exploring the practical and theoretical skills of these trades. At the exploratory level, students discover their specific area of interest and examine the opportunity to take a full Credentialed Hairstylist Program and/or Esthetics Specialization.

Specific skills gained in this course include wet setting, thermal blow dry styling, braiding, consultation and draping, hair and scalp analysis, shampooing, basic manicuring, skin analysis, basic facial techniques, and daytime and evening makeup applications.

There are up to 11+ credits available in the single-block Explore class. Double-block is granted on specific circumstances, with additional credits available. These credits will be applied toward the completion of the Cosmetology Credential or Esthetics Certification programs, if students choose to continue on in Cosmetology and pursue a career in one or both of these specialized areas.

Hairstyling Credential

Once students have completed Cosmetology Explore, they may choose to continue in Cosmetology Credential if they are interested in pursuing Hairstyling or Barbering as a career. In the Credentialed Hairstylist Program, students will have the opportunity to master their skills and complete all the required educational components of the Alberta Hairstylist Apprenticeship. 

The Hairstylist Credential Apprenticeship Program is based on a total of 46 HSA specified credential pathway courses for the first and second period of the Hairstyling trade. The completion of all 46 credits is the equivalent of completing a post-secondary diploma in Hairstyling, and provides students with certain credit toward the Alberta Hairstylist Apprenticeship program. This program is offered as a double-block only, to high school students and returning grade 12 students, up until the age of 20. 

As students make progress in developing fundamental skills, they build on earlier competencies and broaden their industry perspective. Students will develop skills and knowledge in a dynamic, full-service salon/spa customer service center.

Students follow an intense curriculum that includes forming, finishing and designing of hair; infection control procedures and hygiene that applies to salon/spa ecology, hair & scalp care, haircutting, barbering, hair colouring, highlighting, up-dos, chemical texturizing, wigs and hair extensions, salon business, and professional ethics.

Hairstylist Apprenticeship – 46 Credits

At the CTC, Cosmetology students will have the opportunity to complete 46 HSA courses. Course selection is based on the personal learning plan of the individual student. See Cosmetology Course link (top right) for courses offered.

In-Class Training (Period 1 & Period 2):

  • 25 Credits in Period 1    = 1400 hours

  • 21 Credits in Period 2    = 1400 hours

(70% and higher is recommended for all courses to meet industry standards.)

In-Salon Requirements  = 2800 hours (Students must find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an Apprentice. Employers must be holders of an existing trade certificate).

  • 1400 hours - Period 1 including a theory and practical exam 

  • 1400 hours - Period 2 including a theory and practical exam 

Helpful Links:

Esthetics Certificate

In the Esthetics Certificate program, students will have the opportunity to develop and master all of their Esthetics skills in a full-service spa environment. Upon successful completion of all 37 EST credits  (see Cosmetology Course link on top right of this page), students will be granted their basic Esthetics Diploma and will be ready to start their careers in industry. 

Students will explore all aspects of the Esthetics industry, including but not limited to facials, makeup, theatrical makeup, waxing, body treatments, lash and brow tinting, pedicures, manicures, nail art, and gel gloss nails. Double-block is preferred for this specialized program.

Course selection is based on the personal learning plan of the individual student.

Student Profile

The following student profile is based on qualities and criteria directly related to the hairstyling/esthetics industry.

As this is a personal service industry, the soft skills and/or personal skills are very important. To be successful and develop employable skills in this profession, one must not only be passionate for the industry, but also have strong interpersonal skills to build rapport and connect with individuals regardless of if they are a hairstylist, esthetician, etc. The individuals’ livelihood depends on if they can market themselves and engage others to create lasting client relationships.

Technical skills can be taught; passion, enthusiasm, confidence, and caring come from within. The students have to build relationships with their employer, teacher, clients, and the industry as a whole. Students are continually marketing themselves, how they build these relationships will depend on how successful their career is.

Students need to be very positive, enthusiastic, caring, and willing to learn and work. The individual needs to love fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and be open to learning as the industry is all about transformation and change. Advancing and being open to learning is very important. Students need to personally strive for excellence at all times; it is required that you be self motivated and deal effectively with all types of people. In order to learn and grow it is important that students be gracious and open to being coached to improve continually. 

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Standards of dress and grooming include the Calgary Board of Educations’ regulations. Additional specific standards related to the Hairstyling and Esthetics Programs have been added into the Cosmetology Curriculum to ensure success for students.

Criteria to be used include

  • Cleanliness, neatness, and generally positive attitudes
  • Personal grooming with emphasis on the personal hygiene component; high level of hygiene examples would be – no body odour, fresh breath, clean and well-groomed nails and hands
  • Appropriate, laundered clothing suitable for indoor wear
  • Smocks are to be worn when in the Hairstyling or Esthetics Lab
  • Suitable footwear
  • Neat and well-groomed hair and makeup


Cosmetology Kits

Students in the cosmetology program will need to purchase equipment kits required to complete apprentice training. Three kits are available for purchase and are required as student advance in their course work. For kit costs see fee schedule.

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