Cosmetologist Occupational Licensing
License required in 51 states
24th most burdensome licensing requirements among moderate-income occupations
Average Fee for License:$179
What They Do
Cosmetologists and hair stylists provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling hair, and massaging and treating the scalp. They may also apply makeup, dress wigs, perform hair removal, and provide nail and skin care services.
Cosmetologist Licensing Overview
All 50 states and D.C. require a licence to work as a Cosmetologist. On average, these laws require $179 in fees, 342 days of education and about 2 exam. Cosmetologist Licenses have the 24th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied.
Where is a Cosmetologist the most regulated?
Out of the 51 states that require an occupational license, an occupational license for a Cosmetologist has the highest burden in Iowa. Iowa requires $118 in fees, 1 exams, no experience, and 2100 clock hours education.
Where is a Cosmetologist the least regulated?
Out of the 51 states that require an occupational license, an occupational license for a Cosmetologist has the lowest burden in Massachusetts. Massachusetts requires $218 in fees, 2 exams, no experience, and 1000 clock hours education.
Where is a Cosmetologist license the most expensive?
An occupational license for a Cosmetologist costs the most in Alaska. Alaska requires $450 in fees, 2 exams, no experience, and 1650 clock hours education.
Where is a Cosmetologist license the least expensive?
An occupational license for a Cosmetologist costs the least in Oklahoma. Oklahoma requires $60 in fees, 2 exams, no experience, and 1500 clock hours education.
Where does it take the longest to obtain a Cosmetologist license?
An occupational license for a Cosmetologist takes the longest to obtain in Iowa. It takes 490 days (1 years and 5 days). Iowa requires $118 in fees, 1 exams, no experience, and 2100 clock hours education.
Where is it fastest to obtain a Cosmetologist license?
An occupational license for a Cosmetologist takes the least time to obtain in California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Vermont (233 days).
What states require exams for a Cosmetologist license?
To obtain an occupational license for a Cosmetologist there is at least one exam required in: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming. Minnesota, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia require 3 exams.
All 50 states and D.C. require a license to work as a cosmetologist. On average, these laws cost aspiring cosmetologists $177 in fees and over a year (386 days) in education and experience and require them to pass two exams—the 30th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. And because cosmetologists are licensed by every state and D.C., the occupation is the fourth most widely and onerously licensed.
Licensing burdens vary significantly. Fees range from $51 (Ohio) to $450 (Alaska). Similarly, education and experience requirements range from about 233 days in New York (1,000 hours of education) to about 963 days in Massachusetts (1,000 hours of education and two years of experience).
States Ranked by Average Licensing Burden for 102 Lower-Income Occupations
More Burdensome Less BurdensomeBased on data released in November 2022
|Burden Rank||State||Occupations Licensed||Fees||Estimated Calendar Days Lost||Education||Experience||Exams||Minimum Grade||Minimum Age|
|5||Alaska||64||$450||385||1650 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|18||Alabama||63||$255||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|27||Arkansas||72||$125||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|19||Arizona||68||$247||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|49||California||75||$125||233||1000 clock hours||None||1||10||17|
|35||Colorado||34||$177||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||0||16|
|40||Connecticut||65||$100||350||1500 clock hours||None||1||9||0|
|23||District of Columbia||61||$175||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||18|
|20||Delaware||42||$225||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|45||Florida||55||$64||280||1200 clock hours||None||2||0||16|
|22||Georgia||41||$139||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||17|
|3||Hawaii||64||$92||420||1800 clock hours||None||1||12||16|
|1||Iowa||71||$118||490||2100 clock hours||None||1||12||0|
|9||Idaho||66||$109||373||1600 clock hours||None||2||10||17|
|38||Illinois||41||$230||350||1500 clock hours||None||1||0||16|
|34||Indiana||37||$88||350||1500 clock hours||None||1||10||17|
|17||Kansas||35||$210||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||17|
|16||Kentucky||38||$200||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|31||Louisiana||77||$75||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|51||Massachusetts||50||$218||233||1000 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|29||Maryland||58||$104||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||9||17|
|41||Maine||46||$150||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|24||Michigan||48||$200||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||9||17|
|11||Minnesota||35||$280||362||1550 clock hours||None||3||0||17|
|26||Missouri||33||$138||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||17|
|15||Mississippi||65||$245||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||17|
|14||Montana||32||$269||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|39||North Carolina||66||$222||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|25||North Dakota||65||$145||350||1500 clock hours||None||3||12||0|
|4||Nebraska||61||$78||420||1800 clock hours||None||1||12||17|
|32||New Hampshire||37||$218||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||12||0|
|43||New Jersey||54||$179||280||1200 clock hours||None||2||12||17|
|7||New Mexico||66||$263||373||1600 clock hours||None||3||0||17|
|6||Nevada||75||$195||373||1600 clock hours||None||3||10||18|
|50||New York||41||$70||233||1000 clock hours||None||2||0||17|
|30||Ohio||40||$77||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|33||Oklahoma||42||$60||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||8||16|
|46||Oregon||69||$90||266||1150 clock hours||None||3||0||0|
|42||Pennsylvania||50||$104||292||1250 clock hours||None||1||10||16|
|44||Rhode Island||70||$100||280||1200 clock hours||None||2||12||18|
|28||South Carolina||60||$100||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|36||South Dakota||32||$100||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||0||18|
|21||Tennessee||69||$200||350||1501 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
|48||Texas||38||$172||233||1000 contact hours||None||2||12||17|
|12||Utah||64||$234||373||1600 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|37||Virginia||72||$277||350||1500 clock hours||None||2||0||0|
|47||Vermont||31||$375||233||1000 clock hours||None||3||12||0|
|10||Washington||76||$319||373||1600 clock hours||None||2||0||17|
|13||Wisconsin||42||$391||362||1550 clock hours||None||2||0||18|
|2||West Virginia||67||$186||420||1800 clock hours||None||3||12||18|
|8||Wyoming||26||$148||373||1600 clock hours||None||2||10||16|
License to Work
The data and information here come from IJ’s License to Work report, released in November 2022.View Report