Oregon Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist

Licensing for a cosmetologist in Oregon is controlled by the Oregon Health Licensing Agency – Board of Cosmetology.

General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Oregon

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?

Check with local governing body for updated details.

What’s the state licensing site for cosmetologist?

Oregon Health Licensing Agency – Board of 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?

Renews every 2 years by the last day in the month of original issuance.

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.

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

  1. The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
  2. Successfully undergo state testing and pass the minimum requirements of each test
  3. Submission of an application of intent with the Oregon Board of Cosmetology
  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 licensed cosmetologist and/or esthetician in Oregon. 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 1,450 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 desirable. The hours to become an esthetician are similar, with students needing to complete 500 hours at a registered school of estheticians.  

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

Licensing Exam

Oklahoma requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. The board requires professionals to complete three exams: a theoretical exam, a state law exam and a practical exam. 

The cosmetology theoretical examination is based upon two texts, Milady’s Standard Cosmetology, 2008 edition and Salon Fundamentals, Cosmetology 2009 edition. The exam lasts 90 minutes and covers:

  • Chemicals
  • Equipment and tools
  • Theoretical definitions
  • General knowledge
  • Diseases and disorders
  • Standards of practice
  • Hair care

The esthetician theoretical examination takes 90 minutes to complete and covers:

  • Chemicals
  • Diseases and disorders
  • Equipment and tools 
  • General knowledge
  • Theory definition
  • Standards of Practice

The state law exam for both cosmetologists and estheticians covers:

  • Oregon Administrative Rules, Chapter 817
  • Oregon Revised Statutes, Chapter 690
  • Oregon Health Licensing Agency, Chapter 331, Division 10

Cosmetologists and estheticians are required to complete a practical exam upon completion of their coursework within their beauty school. This will count towards their licensing exam and are not required to pass another practical examination. 

Application for licensure

Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to the Oregon Board of Cosmetology for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. This application requires all transcripts and exam records as well as an application fee.   

Continuing Education

Following the successful completion of your state license to become either a cosmetologist 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 Oregon Board of Cosmetology. 

In Oregon there are no continuing education 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.