How Long Is Cosmetology School? 2023 Best Answers

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

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

Pursuing a career in the fashion and beauty niche is very promising and has high-end returns, but often people need clarification.

Their confusion sets in because they need to know how long it will take them to pursue and complete their program.

Have you a penchant for good looks? Do you 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…

We’re here for you!

We’ll 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 this is your first time coming across the word cosmetology, we will tell you what cosmetology is.

What Is Cosmetology?

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

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 fields related to hair, skin, or cosmetic services.

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

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Why You Need To Attend A Cosmetology School

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

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

Similarly, you don’t just wake up some morning and say you want to be a chef or a nutritionist. You must undergo professional training to build your competence.

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

So, you must go to school to undergo the necessary training in cosmetology to become a cosmetologist.

Furthermore, an observation made by shows there is no way to work around this requirement. Unless you want to do some 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?

Don’t also fail to read; 15 Best Trade Schools For Cosmetology in 2023

How Long Is Cosmetology School?

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

Or you are a newbie wanting to enroll in a cosmetology school, but you worry if you will spend ages there.

Whichever of these you are, we got you covered…

If you are a newbie with all the time, you should enroll in a full-time program.

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

So, completing your program will take at least 12 months or more. Sometimes it might be less, though.

But it may take longer if you are working already and need more time. may help you with various options that let you know the average number of days a cosmetology student will likely spend in school, depending on the state they attend.

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What Factors May Affect Length of Your Cosmetology School

Several factors may affect how long you will 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 requirements for cosmetology professionals.

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

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 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 choosing a particular specialty.

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Are There Part-time Cosmetology Programs For Me?

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

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

This is very important:

While selecting your cosmetology school, ensure 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 no cosmetology programs you could find online.

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

But I will tell you why.

This is why there are yet no certified online programs for you online because cosmetology exposes you to acquiring hands-on skills that require full commitment and practice.

These skills are different from what you can learn online. It would help if you were tutored and mentored through it.

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 remains that you need help finding a 100% online cosmetology program that qualifies you for a license.

Is There Any Difference Between Beauty School and Cosmetology School?

If you would 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 we’ve 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.

The source further said that cosmetology schools provide students 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, only sometimes provides the invaluable and comprehensive training that cosmetology schools give.

They majorly focus on one or two areas of cosmetology.

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

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

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

What Are The Basic Things Cosmetology Schools Require?

As stated earlier, different states would have different requirements for issuing you a cosmetology license.

But basically, there are just two most salient requirements 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 also require that you submit letters of recommendation or personal essays. And some may have you write some aptitude tests.

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

How Do I Choose The Best Cosmetology School For Me?

Before choosing the cosmetology school you want to attend, you must consider some factors that may affect you.

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

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

Cost of program: It would be wise to ask whether you can 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 can complete the program to understand better how successful the school is and how well the students are doing. And it would be best to consider how difficult the classes are to pass so you don’t get stuck in the program.

Employability: 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?

Several variables will make you stand out if you desire to be on top of your career.

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 will only thrive when you are people-oriented. Being people-oriented will make you garner repeat business always. And it would be best to consider how difficult the classes are to pass so you don’t get stuck in the program.

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

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

I used to know of a pharmacist who was so fun and positive that it made every client return to the pharmacy. His clients would 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 serve your clientele better.

In addition to the above-listed qualities, having a certain level of creativity, being tidy, and practicing good time management skills would take you to the 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 must not be repaid. Look for scholarships for prospective beauty students (such as Beauty School Directory’s scholarship), but don’t stop there. Many scholarships are available that are unrelated to your chosen field of study. You may qualify based on your 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.

You should check out: 17 Best Grants For Cosmetology Schools in 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

Is studying cosmetology hard?

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 use grants and student loans to pay for their education.

How much does it cost to go to school for cosmetology?

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.

What skills are needed to have a career in cosmetology?

Do you have what it takes to become a Cosmetologist? You should have these skills:
Customer Service skills
Physical Stamina
Cleanliness and Organization
Time Management Skills

How many years does cosmetology school take?

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 more to complete your program. Sometimes it might be less, though.

How do I become a Cosmetologist?

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.

Do cosmetologists make a lot of money?

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 annually, and the highest-paid 10 percent make over $49,050.


This guide on how to get through your cosmetology school will help you know all the specifics there are 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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