How Long Does It Take To Get A Cosmetology Degree?

If you're interested in a career in cosmetology, then getting a degree is the best way to break into the profession.  Increasingly, the field of cosmetology is regulated by state professional boards that determine the requirements for licensure.  One can't simply start a barber shop or beauty shop any longer with out first meeting the requirements of the board and getting licensed.  Cosmetology schools allow for interested students to more easily gain the experience and credits necessary to exceed these requirements.  The length of time required to get a degree from these institutions largely is determined by state requirements pertaining to education and experience.


For example, the state of Kentucky requires 1800 hours in order for an individual to get licensed as a cosmetologist, while Texas requires 1500 hours.  So schools in both of those states will more than likely develop their curriculum based around those requirements. Because of this, students can expect the time required for a degree's completion to vary from one state to the next.  On average, however, the program of study takes between eight to twelve months to complete.  After that, an individual is awarded a cosmetology degree and can schedule their exam through the state board.


There are a few caveats for this general rule of thumb, however.  Many Cosmetology boards allow for greater specialization, where they award licensure for professionals other than cosmetologists.  In California, for example, different licenses are awarded for cosmetologists, barbers, nail technicians, and massage therapists.  Each of these require a different number of hours in order to qualify for licensure.  The nail technicians require 600 hours, while the barbers must finish 1500 hours.  Schools in these states must accommodate students seeking licensure in these specialties, which means that the curriculum may be shorter for those individual programs or longer, depending on the state requirements.


The best way to truly estimate the time required to earn a cosmetology degree is to read over your own state's individual requirements for licensure.  Almost all of them are published online and easily accessible by visiting the board's website.  Alternatively, one can contact the admissions office of the beauty school nearest them in order to ask about the length of the program.  They'll be able to provide more details, so prospective students can better understand what is ultimately required of them to earn the degree in Cosmetology and get licensed through the professional board in their state. 

Want to pursue a career in Cosmetology? Get more information about programs in your area or online using our beauty degree finder at the top of this page. ↑