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Cosmetologist License

If you're seeking a career in hair and nail design, as well as learning the basics of skin care, you might be a good candidate for a cosmetologist license.

The First Steps in Earning Your Cosmetologist License
The first step in earning your cosmetologist license is to find an accredited school near you that can prepare you for the field. You can start your career as early as high school, as many high schools allow seniors to attend a cosmetology trade school program while dual enrolled, as long as your credits and performance in high school is up to standards.

If you're out of high school, it is never too late to earn your cosmetologist license. After choosing an accredited cosmetology school near you, you can choose to attend classes on a full-time or part time basis. Normally, you can finish your education at a cosmetology school in nine to 12 months. Financial aid is routinely available to those who qualify.

In order to prepare you for graduation and earning your cosmetologist license, you can expect to complete courses in: shampooing; cutting; hair styling; applying relaxers, highlights, lowlights, perms, and color; manicures; pedicures; applying acrylics, gels, wraps, and tips; facials; waxing and make-up application; chemistry, anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, and your state's health and safety rules and regulations.

In order to obtain your cosmetologist license, you will be required to work in your school's beauty salon, as well as possibly being required to complete one to two years of a supervised apprentice program. All states require you to earn a cosmetologist license before setting out on your new career so, when selecting a beauty school, make sure the school is accredited by the board in your state, as well as providing a program that will prepare you for the cosmetologist license exam.

If your goal is to own your own business, some business courses are also recommended, which may be offered through your cosmetology school or could be completed at another accredited school, such as a junior or community college. However, these classes can be completed while you're working on your apprenticeship and gaining skills at a salon, after you've passed your cosmetologist license exam.

How Hard is it to Obtain a Cosmetologist License?
Cosmetologist license exams vary state by state, but they have some things in common. First, you must complete a cosmetology program at an accredited school in your state. Next, you must pass both a written exam, as well as practical tests, which will be reviewed by your licensing board of your state. Written, verbal, practical, and overall people skills are graded when taking the cosmetologist license exam.

Once you've completed and passed the cosmetologist license exam, you will receive a license to practice cosmetology in your state. The time allotted on the license may vary but, generally, a cosmetologist license is valid for two years. Upon the expiration, you will be required to have fulfilled any continuing education requirements in your state, as well as possibly taking and passing the cosmetologist license exam again.

Disclaimer: This site is not connected with any government agency or the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office. If you would like to find more information about government funding please visit: