Industry Legislation

California Passes Student Intern Program

Students in a new California program can gain practical experience in a salon setting, which in turn allows salons to train potential employees and evaluate them at work.

The California Cosmetology Bill (Senate Bill #1498) was recently signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson. The program allows students in private cosmetology schools to work in a salon and have their hours count toward their graduation. Called “externs,” the students in the program will gain practical experience in a salon setting, which in turn allow salons to train potential employee and evaluate them to work.

The bill contains several stipulations, however, including:

  • Students must have reached at least 60% of their required hours for graduation before they may work in a salon.
  • Students may not work in the salon for more than eight hours per week.
  • Students may not work for more than 10% of the total hours required for graduation.
  • Salons who wish to hire student “externs” must be a “cosmetology establishment” in good standing.
  • Students must actually assist in cosmetology duties – not do menial task.

Gary Cooper, who has lobbied extensively for the passage of the bill, says, “The law goes into effect January 1, 1995, but it may be the middle of the year before we’ll see salons participating in the program.” He says that the hours will also count for students in those schools working towards a nail technician’s course. The California Board of Cosmetology & Barbering has not begun implementing the program as of press time.

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