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Cosmetology Schools in California

A cosmetologist in California has the opportunity to work in some of the most glamorous salons in the world. From Beverly Hills to Orange County, cosmetologists in California have the chance to work with celebrities, fashion models, and other high-profile clients. In addition, cosmetologists in California often have the opportunity to travel to major fashion shows and events. As a result, a career as a cosmetologist in California can be both exciting and rewarding. Review our listings below to find a cosmetology school near you in California and begin your new career today!

Cosmetology Schools in California

State Requirements for Cosmetology Licensing in California

Interested in working as a cosmetologist in California? Before you can legally work as a professional, you’ll need:

  • Complete and pass an accredited program
  • Once you’ve completed training, apply for a license examination through the California State Board of Cosmetology
  • Pass a written and practical examination
  • Renew your cosmetology license every two years

Minimum hourly requirements are needed for both classroom instruction and hands-on practice. The minimum hours for cosmetology in California are 1000 classroom hours or 3200 apprentice hours. To attend school, you must be 16 years old, have two years of high school or equivalent, and provide proof of age (state ID or DL).

How Much Do California Cosmetology Programs Cost?

You can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 for tuition. Programs usually take about 10-15 months to complete. The first few months will be spent in class learning theory and basics. The remaining time will be spent completing hands-on training in a salon setting.

Required Skills and Classes

Cosmetologists are in high demand, and there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right training and skills. Subjects you will study include:

  • Hair design and styling
  • Cutting and coloring hair
  • Product knowledge
  • Treating common scalp conditions
  • Hairstyling for special occasions
  • Braiding and updos
  • Facial treatments
  • Makeup application
  • Manicures and pedicures
  • Salon management and marketing

State Licensing Exams

The requirements for taking the exam vary from state to state. After you complete your training, you’ll be ready to take the state cosmetology licensing exam. Fees for first-timers are $125 for the examination and license fee.

California uses the Interstate Council of Board of Cosmetology’s (NIC) exams. The practical exam tests your ability to perform basic cosmetology treatments, and the written exam tests your coursework knowledge. If you don’t pass the exam the first time, you can take it again after a waiting period set by the state.

As of January 1, 2022, the board no longer requires cosmetologists to take a practical exam.

The time it takes to complete the written exam can vary depending on the person’s ability to learn and retain the material, but there is a 120-minute time limit. You need a minimum score of 75% on the written exam to pass.

How Much Do Cosmetologists Get Paid in California?

Cosmetologists are in high demand, and there are plenty of opportunities for those with the right training and skills. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the median annual salary for skincare professionals was $30,310 in 2020. The median hourly wage was $14.57.

Does California Have Continuing Education Requirements for Cosmetologists?

There are no continuing education hours required to renew your cosmetology license in California. Licenses are good for two years.

Contact Information for Licensing Board

For more information, you can contact the California Board of Cosmetology directly. Office hours are 8 am to 4 pm M-F.

Phone: 501-682-2168 | Fax: 501-682-5640
Email: [email protected]