Calgary Board of Education
Career and Technology Centre (CTC) at Central Memorial High School
2336 – 53 Ave. S.W., Calgary AB T3E 1L2 | Grades 10-12 Career & Technology courses t | 403-243-4500 
  • overview
  • hairstylist apprentice
  • esthetics certificate
  • expectations
  • student profile
  • competitions
washing hair in a salon

program overview

The Cosmetology program provides a personalized, self-paced experience for students seeking industry credentials in Hairstyling Apprenticeship or Esthetics Certification. The program is taught by both Journeymen Hairdressers and Alberta Education certificated teachers.

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

Under the Personalized Learning Program approach the students benefit with the understanding that building strong relationships with industry professionals, and in the industry as a whole, gives them an 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.

Read about the Cosmetology Program:

student cutting hair, supervised by a teacher

course information (hairstylist apprentice)

Hairstylist Apprentice is based on 50 Credits for the first and second period of the Hairstyling trade, instruction follows the Alberta Education curriculum Upon graduation from high school and with the support of an employer, the individual may then enter into the post-secondary apprenticeship program as a first period apprentice with advanced standing. Some students start their apprenticeship program while still in high school.

Services are also offered to customers (haircut, hairstyle, conditioning treaments, colouring...) at a low rate: enough to cover the supplies used.

Specific courses are identified and must be delivered and assessed by a journeyman person to qualify a student to write the first-second period exam(s).

The CT Center offers students the opportunity to complete 50 specified credential pathway courses, related to the hairstylist trade and certain credit toward the Alberta Apprenticeship program. Download the Apprenticeship Application and Contract form.

Hairstylist Apprentice Level 1 (25 Credits Available)

The Level 1 course develops a student's specific basic career skills. The personal and transferable skills the student acquires can be applied towards earning 50 credits and/or 1400 apprenticeship program hours. Students develop increased appreciation for the significance of personal grooming in various life situations, as well as the knowledge and skills required to perform basic grooming practices. They develop a more positive self-concept as they assume increasingly complex roles and responsibilities related to this trade.

As student make progress in developing fundamental skills they build on earlier competencies and broaden their industry perspective. At this level, students may begin to perform client services in all areas of cosmetology.

Student follow an intense curriculum that includes hair cutting, styling, colouring, highlighting, up-dos, hair extensions, business, and client retention classes.

Topics include: forming, finishing and designing of hair; infection control procedures and hygiene that applies to salon/spa ecology; manicures; facials, interpersonal skills, scalp care, advanced roping; knotting and braiding; hair cutting; chemical texturizing; introduction to colouring; colour removal; skin care; facials and make-up, manicuring, and sales and service.

Students that successfully complete 25 specified CTS courses related to the hairstylist trade may be credited with the first period of formal instruction and will require 400 hours of on-the-job training toward the first period apprenticeship.

Detailed course list

Hairstylist Apprentice Level 2 (25 Credits Available)

The Level 2 course expands the skills needed in the different areas of cosmetology. Through customer service, the student is given the opportunity to practice advanced techniques and gain the confidence needed for working with the public. In addition to hairstyling, students will perform other services of a cosmetologist such as manicures, make-up application, facials and facial hair removal.

Topics include: advanced colouring, colour removal and bleaching techniques, advanced chemical texturizing techniques (design wraps), hair goods and extensions, make-up application, professional ethics, hair removal, pedicures, manicures, competition and creative cosmetology, customer relations and shop management.

*In addition, students who successfully complete 50 specified CTS courses may be credited with the first and second periods of formal instruction and will require 700 hours of on-the-job training toward the second period of apprenticeship. Students may also challenge the first or second period examinations.

* Upon completion of this course and completion of ten credits of Work Experience in a salon setting, students may apply for apprenticeship status.

Detailed course list

hair with flowers

course information (esthetics certificate)

The Esthetic Certificate program is based on 33 identified credits in the Esthetics specialization. Student who successfully complete the introductory, intermediate and advanced courses will receive a program certification. All three levels are designed for students to progress from foundational knowledge to full client services in a client spa setting.

Services are also offered to customers (manicures, pedicures, waxing...) at a low rate: enough to cover the supplies used.

Esthetics Introduction (5 Credits Available)

The Introductory course explores foundational skills in Esthetics. Students develop increased appreciation for the significance of skin care practice and personal grooming in various life situations, as well as the knowledge and skills required to perform basic esthetic practices. They develop a more positive self-concept as they assume increasingly complex roles and responsibilities related to this field.

Students completing this course have the necessary pre- requisite knowledge and skills to enter the intermediate course.

Detailed introductory course list

Esthetics Intermediate (10 Credits Available)

The Intermediate course builds on the foundational skills presented at the introductory level. Students develop skills related to client services in the area of facials, make-up, manicures, nail art and theatrical make up. Student are encouraged to begin client services in the related field of study and develop the necessary inter-personal skills to manage and build a client base in the field of esthetics.

Detailed intermediate course list

Esthetics Advanced (15 Credits Available)

The advanced course has a focus on client related services and advanced nail techniques/makeup. Students study spa awareness, body therapy, hair removal, pedicures, acrylic and gel nail enhancement, advanced theatrical make up and providing services in a spa environment.

Detailed advanced course list

washing hair in a salon

expectations of students

Hygiene and Cleanliness

Standards of dress and grooming include the Calgary Board of Education regulations and additional, specific standards related to the Hairstyling Program at the Center. Industry specific standards of dress and grooming have been added from the Cosmetology Curriculum to ensure success for students.

Criteria to be used include… +

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 and the equipment lists can be found below:

Kit A – (view kit contents)
Kit B – (view kit contents)
Kit C – (view kit contents)
Kit D – (view kit contents)
student cutting hair, supervised by a teacher

student profile

The following student profile is based on qualities and criteria directly related to the hairstyling / cosmetology industry, culture and marketplace.

As this is a personal service industry/culture 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 artistically inclined but also have strong interpersonal skills to build rapport and connect with individuals regardless of if they are a hairstylist, makeup artist, etc. The individual's livelihood depends on if they can market themselves and engage others and create relationships.

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

Students need to be very positive, enthusiastic, caring, good listeners and love to be of service. Some students get into the industry believing it is very glamorous; yes there is a lot of glamour, however, this profession requires you to work…not just look pretty!

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 all the time is very important. You need to personally strive for excellence at all times; it is required that you be very self-directed and deal effectively with all types of people. In order to learn and grow and because of the interpersonal skills required it is of utmost important that the student be gracious and open to being coached to improve continually. They need to have the ability to manage and deal effectively with people and respond appropriately.

As this is an Apprenticeship Program, it is extremely important that the student be physically healthy (standing all day long), be accountable and very self-directed. Foundational to this concept, student will be encouraged to understand that, "If it is going to be…it is up to me"!


In addition to credentialing the Cosmetology program offers specialized training for students interested in the area of competitions. Skills Canada provides an excellent venue for students to show their personal creativity and skills to the industry at large. The competitions include hairstyling, hair cutting and colouring and competitors are recognized locally, nationally and internationally. For information on provincial and national competitions, you are welcome to visit their website.

We also provide specialized training for students who want to compete in industry tradeshows which allows them to show their creativity and network with industry leaders. They can choose to enter the New Talent category or Makeup category. This is a very incredible opportunity for students that like the competitive arena and want to keep abreast of the many changes and trends and build their social media. Information on the competitions organized by the Allied Beauty Association.