Cosmetology Licensing Examinations
Upon completion of your beauty school program, either in a cosmetology school or through a cosmetology apprenticeship, all states require potential cosmetologists to take a state board examination in order to obtain their working cosmetology license.
Cosmetology licensing examinations in most states consist of two parts: a written portion as well as a practical exam. Many cosmetology examinations may also include some questions regarding the cosmetology laws of their state. Some states require that the practical portion of the examination be performed on a model provided by the person taking the exam, while others permit the practical exam requirements be performed on a mannequin. The practical examination covers all hands-on aspects of cosmetology, including haircutting, styling, chemical texturizing, hair coloring, nails, and skin care.
Licensing requirements vary state by state. A comprehensive list of each state's requirements can be found at www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com. Hours and minimum requirements are always subject to change, however, so you should contact the state board licensing agency in your state if you have any questions.
Reciprocity is the ability to transfer training hour credits or beauty industry experience if you attend beauty or cosmetology school in one state and then wish to work in a different state.
Cosmetology licenses are renewable annually and require a fee. Some states also require the completion of a specific number of hours of continuing education in order to qualify for license renewal.