How Long Is Cosmetology School?

How long is a cosmetology school? Most often this and more are some of what you really need to consider before going to a beauty or cosmetology school.

Cosmetology schools teach hands-on skills and techniques for hair cutting, coloring, the styling of different sorts, skin testing and treatments, professional makeup applications and many more.

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Pursuing a  career in the fashion and beauty niche is very promising and has high-end returns but often times people get confused.

Their confusion sets in because they really don’t know how long it will take them to pursue and complete their program.

Have you a penchant for good looks? Do you really have something in the beauty and fashion world that keeps calling you out to it?  But you are worried about what time it might take you to pursue your career and complete it, then…

I’m here for you!

I’m definitely going to help answer this question and any other questions you may have concerning pursuing a career in cosmetology. Come with me as I take you on this soft ride.

If probably this is your first time coming across the word cosmetology, then I’m going to start by telling you what cosmetology is.

What Is Cosmetology?

Cosmetology is simply the science of cosmetics. It is a field in the beauty industry that covers a wide range of services for hair, skin, and cosmetics.

Generally, everyone into the styling of hair, makeup, nail manicure, and pedicure is a cosmetologist.

So, a cosmetologist is a licensed beauty professional who works in one or more of these fields related to either hair, skin, and or cosmetic services.

However, there are other areas of cosmetology growth such as the use of laser hair removal and art of permanent makeup.

Why You Need To Attend A Cosmetology School

You see, becoming a professional cosmetologist that earns really big isn’t something you just pick on a platter of gold.

It will require some pieces of professional training by some already made experts who are already doing really good in the industry.

Just the same way you don’t just wake up some morning and say you want to be a chef or a nutritionist. You will have to undergo some professional training to build your competence.

Recently I got to find out from a study done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that every state mandates that a cosmetologist must complete cosmetology school. They must become licensed in order to practice in that state.

So, If you don’t go to school to undergo the necessary training in cosmetology, you cannot become a cosmetologist.

Furthermore, an observation made by shows that there is absolutely no way to work around this requirement. Unless you just want to do some kind of quackery.

So If you want a career in cosmetology, you must go to school to earn a license.

Let’s now get down to your big question: How long is cosmetology school?

How Long Is Cosmetology School?

I know you are already engaged in some sort of work that will not allow you to focus solely on school, and you want to know the length of time it will take to take the course.

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Or you are a newbie that wants to enroll in a cosmetology school but you worry if you are going to spend ages there.

Whichever of these you are, I got you covered…

If you are a newbie who has all the time, then you are probably going to enroll in a full-time program.

On average, a full-time cosmetology program can be completed in about 12 to 24 months.

So It will take you at least 12 months or a little more to complete your program. Sometimes it might be less though.

But if you are working already and you don’t have all the time it may require, then, it may take even a while longer. may help you with a variety of options that may enable you to know the average number of days a cosmetology student will likely spend in school depending on which state he or she is attending school.

What Factors May Affect Length of Your Cosmetology School

A number of factors may affect how long you are going to stay in your cosmetology school.

One of the things that affect it is the state in which you are going to study. Each state has its own requirements for cosmetology professionals.

If you are going to a school in New York or Massachusetts, the number of days here ranges from approximately 233 days.

And If your school of choice is located in South Dakota, Nebraska, or Iowa, the number of days could be up to 490 which is obviously more than a year.

Also, if you are choosing a program that covers all the packages like; hairstyling, makeup, esthetics, nails, and more all put together, it might take you a little more time than when you are choosing a particular specialty.

Are There Part-time Cosmetology Programs For Me?

If what you want is to do a part-time program in cosmetology while you work or do some other pieces of stuff, Then there is an option for you.

You can actually do part-time programs in cosmetology. Quite a good number of cosmetology schools would actually allow you the flexibility of working while you are doing a program with them.

This is very important:

Be sure while selecting your cosmetology school that your state does not place a benchmark on how long you must finish your course. It is very important.

Are There Online Cosmetology Programs For Me?

No!, there are definitely no one cosmetology programs you could find online.

Ah! This is quite unfortunate. Yeah, it is.

But I will tell you why.

This is why: the reason there are yet no certified online programs for you online is that cosmetology exposes you to acquiring a set of hands-on skill which requires full commitment and practice.

These skills are not what you can learn online. You need to be tutored and mentored through it.

But nevertheless, you can still find some related programs you could do.

More schools these days are moving toward offering portions of their training online. But the truth still remains that you can’t find a 100% online cosmetology program that qualifies you for a license.

Is There Any Difference Between Beauty School and Cosmetology School?

If you would really love to know, Yes!, there is definitely a difference between cosmetology school and Beauty school.

Though they are used by many interchangeably to mean the same thing they are not completely the same. They are different.

It is important to take note of this difference before time to ensure that you are attending the school that can give you the career you really want.

As I gathered from a popular career source, a cosmetology school is a school that offers full-length beauty courses covering topics on makeup, hair, nails and some skincare.

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The source further said in cosmetology schools, students are provided with information on business management and growth. This gives them the education and skills they need should their dream be to become a business owner.

A beauty school, on its own, does not always provide this kind of invaluable and comprehensive training that cosmetology schools give.

They majorly focus on one or two areas of cosmetology.

You now things for yourself that while enrolling in a beauty school might be a great idea, it may not really be the best for you.

It doesn’t give you the kind of exposure you would really require in the long chase of your career.

Attending a cosmetology school provides a broader range of training, giving you the opportunity to work in different areas later on without additional schooling.

What Are The Basic Things Cosmetology Schools Require?

Like I’ve stated earlier, different states would have different requirements for issuing you a cosmetology license.

But basically, there are just two and most salient requirements you must meet if you would ever want to gain licensure to practice your career someday. Some  of the basics are:

  • You have to be a high school graduate
  • You have to be at least 16 years of age.
  • Acquisition of an equivalent diploma or degree

Furthermore, most cosmetology schools would typically request state-issued picture identification, such as a driver’s license or a state ID.

That’s not all…

Some cosmetology schools would also require that you submit letters of recommendation or personal essays. And some may have you write some kind of aptitude tests.

Just know that every school has different requirements. So take the time to properly research the requirements of the school you want to attend.

How Do I Choose The Best Cosmetology School For Me?

Before you choose the cosmetology school you want to go to, you will have to consider some factors that may likely affect you.

Frankly, I know you would want to select a school that has the prestige and is known for its good records. This will surely help raise the demand for you and make you marketable after you have left school.

Below are some of the factors you may really need to consider before settling for any school to do your cosmetology.

Cost of program: It would be wise to ask yourself whether you can really afford that particular cosmetology school based on your current income level. This is very important as it will help you stay aloft the waters of debt.

Graduation rate: Check out the number of students who are able to successfully complete the program to give you a better idea of how successfully the school is and how well the students are doing. And you really need to consider how difficult the classes are to pass so you don’t get stuck in the program.

Employability: Also consider if a school has the network you may require to get a job immediately after graduation. This is very important.

Are There Special Qualities A Successful Cosmetology Student Should Possess?

If you really desire to be on top of your career, there are quite a number of variables that would make you really stand from the rest.

Going to a good school is part of the whole equation. The other half of it depends solely on your personality.

Very quickly let’s look at those qualities that make you outstanding in your career.

Be people-oriented: Your career as a cosmetologist would only thrive when you are a people-oriented person. Being people-oriented will make you garner repeat businesses always. This basically requires you to learn excellent inter-personal skills and how best to interact with your clients in a way that makes them come back to you over and over again.

Be genuine in all your dealings. People love it when you are.

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Build an infectious aura:  Be the kind of person that clients would ever love to be with.

I used to know of a pharmacist who was so fun and positive that it made every client come back to the pharmacy. His clients would literally smile at the mere thought of him even when not with him.

An inquisitive nature: Be open to learning new things. And enable yourself to stay informed on the newest trends and techniques to better serve your clientele.

In addition to the above-listed qualities, having a certain level of creativity, being tidy, and practicing good time management skills would take you on top of your career.

How Much Does Cosmetology School Cost?

On average, the tuition fee for taking a program in a cosmetology school usually ranges from $6,500 to $10,000 or even more.

However, the cost of your expenses would greatly depend on your school’s location. If your school is in a big city, most certainly, it would raise your expenses but if your school is in a rural area, the tuition would be generally cheaper.

Are there Financial Aid For Cosmetology School For Me?

A common challenge among cosmetology students is figuring out how to pay for their schooling.

Good news!

There are several ways to help you fund your program:

Grants and scholarships. These forms of financial aid are the most desirable because they do not have to be repaid. Look for scholarships for prospective beauty students (such as Beauty School Directory’s own scholarship), but don’t stop there, there are many scholarships available that are unrelated to your chosen field of study. You may qualify based on your personal circumstances or your community affiliations.

Employer sponsorship. In some instances, employers in the beauty industry will be willing to help pay for a beauty school in exchange for the graduate working with that employer for a certain length of time after graduating and getting licensed.


This guide on how to get through your cosmetology school will help you know all the specifics there is for you to know before enrolling in a cosmetology or beauty school. Do follow them word for word and you will be glad you did. This is to your success.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you go to cosmetology school while in college?

Going to beauty school at the same time as one works on their college degree is actually a pretty smart and flexible idea.

The major hurdle in pursuing this strategy is that most college students are using grants and student loans to pay for their education.

How do I start a cosmetology school?

To begin a cosmetology school, you have to observe the following procedures;
Go for Training.
Develop a Business Plan.
Secure a Business License.
Apply for a License to Run a School.
Secure a Space for Your School.
Develop Your Curriculum.
Employ Instructors.
Apply for a BCB License.

How much does it cost to start a cosmetology school?

On average, the tuition fee for taking a program in a cosmetology school usually ranges from $6,500 to $10,000 or even more. However, the cost of your expenses would greatly depend on your school’s location.

How much does a cosmetologist make monthly?

Cosmetologists earn an average yearly wage of $29,590 or $14.23 per hour, not including tips, which can add another 15 to 20 percent to the base salary. The lowest-paid 10 percent of stylists earn $17,930 per year, and the highest-paid 10 percent make over $49,050.

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