Obtaining Your Cosmetology License

Creating beauty is a great career and if you choose this as your profession, you will have to train to become a cosmetologist.  Many countries and all states in the US require cosmetologists to have a cosmetology license.  Requirements vary depending on where you live, but typically you would need schooling and training before you can apply for a cosmetology license.  Most cosmetology licenses are specific to a particular state.

The steps in obtaining a cosmetology license are simple but they require a lot of time and effort.  In addition to a high school diploma, you will need to obtain an accredited cosmetology education.  There are many cosmetology schools in every state.  You can even obtain part of your education online.  Choosing the exact school to attend will depend on your finances and the area of cosmetology that you want to specialize in.

A general cosmetology education can take anywhere from 9 months to 2 years.  General classes cover the basic aspects of cosmetology, while specialized classes focus on specific fields.  However, you do not automatically become a cosmetologist once you finish your education.  You will need hands-on training before you can apply for a cosmetology license.

Cosmetology training provides practical experience on your chosen field of cosmetology.  This allows you to work in an apprenticeship program.  You will be working with experienced co-workers who can guide you.  This happens in a real-life setting such as a beauty salon or barber shop.

The exact number of training hours you need varies from one location to another.  Regardless of where you are, you will have to complete a designated number of hours in instruction and practice at an accredited cosmetology school before you can apply for a cosmetology license.  You will have to pass both written and practical tests.  Part of the test may involve coloring or perming hair.  This is where your hands-on training experience can be put to good use.

Make sure the cosmetology school you attend is accredited, meaning their educational program has been reviewed for comprehensiveness and the ability to prepare you to take the cosmetology licensing test.

You are expected to have a cosmetology license before you can start working.  As a cosmetologist, you are expected to be proficient in hairstyling, colors and perms, hair and skin care, makeup, chemical use and applications, etc.  There are numerous opportunities for cosmetologists.  You should also plan on adding new skills as part of your professional growth.  With the trend towards full service salons, the ability to offer different services will help you build a loyal customer base faster and you will be able to earn more money.


  1. I am really considering going to a beauty school to further my dream of wanting to work in the atmosphere of beauty. I am 19 years old, and this would be a great experience for me. I actually want to be a make-up artist but I want to work in different areas as well just to build up skill, and knowledge.

  2. jessica smith says

    wow becoming a cosmetologist sounds fun i think ill try it out

  3. Thanks. This article helped me a lot. I’m obsessed with makeup. I love make up so much