Florida Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in Florida is controlled by the Florida Division of Professions, Board of Cosmetology.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Florida

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

Who’s allowed to perform these services?


General requirements for cosmetologist license required?

At least 16 years old; High school diploma

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologists?

Florida Division of Professions, Board of Cosmetology

What are some training programs available for a cosmetologist?

See training programs

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

Renew by October 31; Group 1 licenses: even-numbered years / Group 2 licenses: odd-numbered years

What are fees associated with licensing?


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 as we have just explained, the process of becoming licensed within each career is almost the same. With 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 Florida. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application of intent with the Florida Board of Cosmetology and Barbering
  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 Florida. The minimum education requirement for this profession is a certificate or diploma in cosmetology / esthetician undertaken at a registered beauty school, through vocational training or through a junior college. To successfully complete this course, students are required to undertake a minimum of 1,200 hours of training before they can be signed off. 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. 

The hours to become an esthetician are much less, with students needing to complete 260 registered hours at a registered school of estheticians.  

Florida does not currently offer any cosmetology or esthetician apprenticeships.

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Florida are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. The cost of this application is $78 cosmetology student and $85 for an esthetician application.  

Licensing Exam

The state of Florida requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Florida does not use the National Cosmetology Examination through the National-Interstate Council of State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) as their written examination. Instead, the Florida exam consists of only a theoretical exam. This is a two hour exam consisting of 65 multiple choice questions. 

Theoretical examination

The theoretical exam questions will cover a range of areas that are specific to the course content relevant to your field of study. The esthetician exam focuses on:

  • General Safety and Hygiene Procedure
  • Facial, Makeup, and Hair Removal
  • Manicuring and Pedicuring
  • Professional, Legal and Ethical, and Laws and Rules

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 on a biennial basis. This process is simple and can be done online for a fee of $55 for this renewal.

In the state of Florida, 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.