How Can I Get a Cosmetology Instructor's License?

As an experienced cosmetologist, you have the opportunity to advance your skills through an instructor training program. Completing such a program can lead to acquiring your instructor's license. Schools offering Nail Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Cosmetology Instructor Overview

Cosmetology instructors are trained, experienced cosmetologists who teach novices. To be a cosmetology instructor, you must first complete a cosmetology training program and gain cosmetology licensure from the state in which you work. A cosmetology program introduces you to basic hair, skin and nail care. As you progress, you learn advanced treatments for hair, skin and nail issues, as well as styling, coloring, and safety and sanitation methods and regulations. You may also learn salon shop management topics. You have the opportunity to practice skills on both mannequins and people. Most cosmetology programs require you to complete an internship.

Once you have completed a cosmetology program and gained licensure, you can enroll in a cosmetology instructor program. These are typically offered through private beauty schools and vocational training centers. Once you have completed such a program, many states will require you to gain cosmetology instructor licensure or certification.

Important Facts About Cosmetology Instructors

Median Salary (Dec. 2015) $35,915
Job Outlook (2014-2024 10% (for barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists)
Key Skills Customer service, time management, listening
Similar Occupations Manicurists, skincare specialists

Sources:, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Being a cosmetology instructor typically requires gaining real-life work experience. Many instructor training programs, as well as the licensure process, commonly mandate between two to five years of professional experience. You must also hold a valid state cosmetologist license.

Course Information

To be eligible for a cosmetology instructor license, you're required to complete a cosmetology instructor certificate or diploma program. During the program, you're introduced to instruction theory and teaching principles, record keeping, and classroom and salon management. Additionally, you advance into practicum coursework where you have the opportunity to demonstrate the techniques and methods learned, including professional demeanor, abilities in overseeing and evaluating treatments and services, as well as activities related to safety and sanitation regulations.


State licensing agencies differ on the total number of clocked training hours needed for cosmetology instructor licensure eligibility. Prior to entering a cosmetology instructor program, a person will need to obtain a cosmetology license. This licensure process requires taking and passing a multiple-choice written exam and a practical exam. You must also submit transcripts proving completion of required training.

Once you have obtained a cosmetology license, worked in the field the required two to five years, and completed a cosmetology instructor training program you can take the required exam to earn a cosmetology instuctor's license.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Steiner Education Group

    Steiner Education Group responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Steiner Education Group:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Linthicum
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Western Technology Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Burns Flat
  • West Michigan College of Barbering and Beauty

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Kalamazoo
  • Weatherford College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Weatherford
  • Waynesville Career Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Missouri: Waynesville
  • Vogue Beauty and Barber School

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Hiram
  • Vincennes Beauty College

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Vincennes
  • Woodward Beauty College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Woodward
  • Victoria's Academy of Cosmetology

    Campus Locations:

    • Washington: Kennewick