New York Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for cosmetologist in New York is controlled by the New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services – Cosmetology.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in New York

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

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services – Cosmetology

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 4 years

What are fees associated with licensing?

$40

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 New York. These include:

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Submission of an application of intent with the Cosmetology Division of Licensing Services
  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 New York. 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, 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. 

For students wishing to become an esthetician, attending a registered beauty school and completing a minimum of 600 hours of coursework is required.

New York does not currently offer cosmetology or esthetician apprenticeships as a career pathway.   

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of New York are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to Cosmetology Division of Licensing Services for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. The cost of this application is $40.  

Licensing Exam

The state of New York requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. New York requires professionals to have a My NY gov online account, through which they can register for their exam. This exam consists of two parts: a theoretical exam, and a practical exam.  

The theoretical cosmetology exam lasts for two and a half hours and consists of multiple choice questions and costs $15 to undertake. The theoretical cosmetology 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 is $15 and 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 

During the practical cosmetology examination professionals are required to bring their own equipment and costs $15. The practical examination will take a minimum of three and a half hours and 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

During the practical esthetician examination professionals are required to bring their own equipment. The practical examination costs $15 and covers a range of tasks including but not limited to:

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

Continuing 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 at the end of every four year licensing cycle. This process is simple and can be done online through your My NY gov online account. 

In the state of New York, there are no continuing 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.

Location(s):

New York