Alaska Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in Alaska is controlled by the Alaska Board of Barbers & Hairdressers.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Alaska

Specific requirements to perform cosmetologist services can generally be used as a guideline, but make sure to check with your local governing rules and regulations.

Who’s allowed to perform these services?


General requirements for cosmetologist license required?

At least 17 years old; High school education or equivalent

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

Alaska Board of Barbers & Hairdressers

What are some training programs available for cosmetologist?

See training programs

How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?

Renew by Aug. 31 of odd-numbered years

What are fees associated with licensing?

$160 fee / $240 instructor

Cosmetologist / Esthetician Licensing

A cosmetologist is a beauty professional who specializes in the beautification and health of their client’s hair, skin and nails. An esthetician is a beauty professional that specializes in the beautification and health of their client’s skin, particularly through hair removal, skin and facial treatments and the application of makeup. With additional training, a cosmetologist can become an esthetician and vice versa. While there are fundamental differences between cosmetologists and estheticians, the process of becoming licensed within each career is almost the same. This being said, the process of being a fully licensed cosmetologist and/or esthetician varies between each state.

The following pages look at the detailed information on individual state licensing to help give you the best advice as you move forward in your career path.

There are four main steps that need to be completed to become a qualified cosmetologist / esthetician in the state of Alaska. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application of intent with the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers
  3. Successfully undergo state testing and pass the minimum requirements of each test
  4. Maintain your knowledge base through regular education to keep your cosmetologist / esthetician license current.


There are basic educational requirements needed before one can become a licenced cosmetologist and/or esthetician in the state of Alaska. It is important to note that the state of Alaska does not offer a “cosmetology” course. In 1980, this license type was split into an esthetician and hairdresser license, meaning a student must complete a range of small courses to be qualified in a range of fields. The minimum education requirement for this profession is a certificate or diploma in cosmetology / esthetician undertaken at a registered beauty school. To successfully complete this course, cosmetology students are required to complete 1,650 hours of coursework, instruction and exams. For those students who wish to become an esthetician, it is required that he or she complete 350 hours of coursework, exams and instruction. For further training, some beauticians may choose to gain an associate degree to boost their qualifications. For those looking to begin their own start up business, an associate degree is quite a desirable skill to possess. 

Another popular method in which to become a standard cosmetologist in the state of Alaska is through an apprenticeship. To gain an apprenticeship, a student must be over the age of 17 years and have a high school diploma or a GED. For those cosmetology students wishing to undertake an apprenticeship instead of attending a registered beauty school, a hairdressing apprenticeship is available. Students will be required to complete 2000 apprenticeship hours as a hairdresser, however they will not have any of the further qualifications available to a cosmetologist. 

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Alaska are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. The cost of this application is $40 for a student graduating from a beauty school, and $75 to register an application as an apprentice.  

Licensing Exam

The state of Alaska requires students who wish to become fully licensed an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Alaska does not currently offer a licensed cosmetology program. Esthetician students are required to sit and pass a theoretical exam with a score of 75 or more, however they are no longer required to undertake a practical exam. 

Theoretical examination

The theoretical exam for both cosmetology and esthetician is conducted by PSI Services LLC on behalf of the NIC. The exam consists of questions relating to the fields of hygiene, human anatomy, skin analysis, chemistry and more. The exam questions will cover a range of areas that are specific to the course content relevant to your field of study. It typically takes around 90 minutes to complete the written exam.

Read on to see some sample theoretical questions for the esthetician exam.

What is one of the principal functions of the skeletal system?

  1. It protects dendrites
  2. It aids in the metabolic process
  3. It produces red and white blood cells
  4. It produces calcium

Which of the following substances do the sebaceous glands utilize to lubricate the skin?

  1. Lymph
  2. Ascorbic acid
  3. Uric acid
  4. Lipids

Quats, or quaternary ammonium compounds are used by estheticians because…

  1. They are odorless
  2. They don’t soften plastic bottles
  3. They kill bacterial spores
  4. They disinfect tools quickly

What are actinic keratoses?

  1. Rough skin patches
  2. Hives
  3. Shingles
  4. Atopic dermatitis

Ongoing education

Following the successful completion of your state license to become either a cosmetology or an esthetician, it is important to remember that you must renew this license every two years. This process is simple and can be done online through the Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers on the August 31, of odd numbered years at a cost of $160. 

In the state of Alaska, there are no ongoing educational requirements for cosmetology or esthetician licenses, however, many professionals continue to grow their expertise. This allows them to stay up to date with the latest techniques and trends in the field of beauty.