Illinois Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist
Licensing for a cosmetologist in Illinois is controlled by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation – Cosmetology.
General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Illinois
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 18 years old; High school diploma or equivalent
What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?
What are some training programs available for cosmetologist?
How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?
Renew by Sept. 30 in 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 Illinois. These include:
- The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
- Successfully undergo state testing and pass the minimum requirements of each test
- Submission of an application with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- 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 Illinois. 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 1500 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. To become an esthetician, students are required to complete 750 registered hours at a registered school of estheticians.
Illinois does not currently provide an apprenticeship for cosmetologists or estheticians.
The state of Illinois requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Illinois exams are administered by Continental Testing Services. Once this system has approved your examination application, students will undertake the exam 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. The theoretical examination is conducted via a computerized quiz.
It typically takes around 90 minutes to complete the written exam.
Read on to see some sample theoretical questions for the cosmetologist exam.
Which of the following refers to the deepest layer of the epidermis?
- Stratum spinosum
- Stratum granulosum
- Stratum germinativum
- Stratum lucidum
As hair cells grow, what is the process that they go through to reach full development?
How may cranial bones do humans have?
Which of the following will not affect the rate of growth of a nail?
- Prenatal vitamins
- General health
Read on to see some sample theoretical questions for the esthetician exam.
What is one of the principal functions of the skeletal system?
- It protects dendrites
- It aids in the metabolic process
- It produces red and white blood cells
- It produces calcium
Which of the following substances do the sebaceous glands utilize to lubricate the skin?
- Ascorbic acid
- Uric acid
Quats, or quaternary ammonium compounds are used by estheticians because…
- They are odorless
- They don’t soften plastic bottles
- They kill bacterial spores
- They disinfect tools quickly
What are actinic keratoses?
- Rough skin patches
- Atopic dermatitis
The cosmetology exam also requires a practical component. This exam lasts for approximately 3 hours and covers the following topics:
- Hair removal
- Make up
Application for licensure
Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course, students within the state of Illinois are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. Along with this application, professionals are required to submit their exam scores, educational testamurs, and any identification documentation.
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 Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Cosmetologists are required to update their licence on September 30th of each odd year. In order to attain this licence, professionals are required to complete 14 hours of ongoing education each licence cycle, along with a licensure fee.
Estheticians are required to update their licence on September 30 in odd-numbered years. In order to attain this licence, professionals are required to complete 10 hours of ongoing education each licence cycle, as well as pay a licensure fee.