Massachusetts Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in Massachusetts is controlled by the Board of Registration of Cosmetologists.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Massachusetts

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?

Cosmetologist

General requirements for cosmetologist license required?

At least 17 years old; 10th grade education

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

Board of Registration of Cosmetologists

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 every 2 years by licensee’s birthday

What are fees associated with licensing?

$68

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 Massachusetts. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application with the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists.
  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

Education

There are basic educational requirements needed before one can become a licensed cosmetologist and/or esthetician in the state of Massachusetts. To complete these educational pathways, there are a number of options forward. Regardless of the course chosen, 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 1000 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 in Massachusetts, students are required to complete a minimum of 300 coursework hours and training. There are also advanced courses available for those interested in furthering their esthetician careers.

The state of Massachusetts does not currently offer apprenticeships as a career pathway to become a cosmetology or esthetician.  

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Massachusetts are required to submit an application for licensure through their educational facility. The director of the school is required to complete the School Certification portion of the application. This license application must be submitted to Massachusetts Board of Registration of Cosmetologists for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. 

Licensing Exam

The state of Massachusetts requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Massachusetts conducts their examinations through the provider Pearson Vue. The cost for both the theoretical and practical examinations is $120 for both cosmetologists and estheticians.

The theoretical cosmetology examination consist of 50 questions and takes 90 minutes to complete. The theoretical examination covers a range of questions including but not limited to:

  • Rules and regulations
  • Health and safety
  • Styling
  • Chemical straightening
  • Coloring

The theoretical esthetician examination consist of 50 questions and takes 90 minutes to complete. The theoretical examination covers a range of questions including but not limited to:

  • State licencing 
  • Health and safety regulations
  • First aid
  • Client interactions
  • Skin analysis
  • Esthetic science 
  • Hair removal
  • Facials
  • Make up types 

The practical cosmetology examination takes 2 hours to complete, and professionals are required to bring their own equipment. The practical examination covers a range of tasks including but not limited to:

  • Hair analysis
  • Hair styling
  • Hygiene control and safety
  • Hair colouring
  • Manicures
  • Hair cutting
  • Makeup application

The practical esthetician examination takes 2 hours to complete, and professionals are required to bring their own equipment. The practical examination covers a range of tasks including but not limited to:

  • Hygiene and safety
  • Makeup application
  • Skin analysis
  • Facials 
  • Hair removal

Continuing Education

At the start of a cosmetologist’s career, these professionals are required to pay a licensing fee of $68 following the successful completion of their examinations. After this, cosmetologists are required to pay a $68 fee every two years on their birthday to maintain their cosmetology license in Massachusetts. Estheticians are required to pay a $68 fee each year on their birthday to maintain their license. These licenses are valid for entry level cosmetologists and estheticians. While it is not required, for those professionals wishing to upgrade their status, further education is available.

Location(s):

Massachusetts