Virginia Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist
Licensing for a cosmetologist in Virginia is controlled by the Virginia Board of Barbers and Cosmetology.
General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in Virginia
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?
What are some training programs available for cosmetologist?
How long is a license good for and when do I need to renew?
Renew every 2 years by date of original licensure
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 Virginia. These include:
- The successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course
- Submission of an application of intent with the Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology.
- Successfully undergo state testing and pass the minimum requirements of each test
- 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 Virginia. 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 undertake 600 hours of coursework at a registered school of estheticians.
Another popular method in which to become a standard cosmetologist in Virginia is through an apprenticeship. For those wishing to undertake an apprenticeship instead of attending a registered beauty school, they will need to be accepted under the charge of a licensed cosmetologist and complete three years and 3000 supervised hours within the field.
The state of Virginia requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. Virginia uses the company Ergometric/National Testing Network (NTN) as their examination administers. This exam consists of two parts: a theoretical exam, and a practical exam.
The cosmetology theory exam covers the following topics:
- Scientific concepts
- Hair care and services
- Skin care and services
- Nail care and services
The esthetician theory exam will cover topics such as:
- Infection Control
- Safety Procedures
- Cells and tissues
- Systems and Functions
- Skin care
- Cleansing, steaming and exfoliation
The cosmetology practical exam requires professionals to bring their own equipment. The practical exam will typically look at a range of areas of the profession including (but not limited to):
- Maintaining a safe work environment
- Hair set up
- Hair removal
- Hair cutting
- Hair coloring
The esthetician practical exam requires professionals to bring their own equipment. The practical exam will typically look at a range of areas of the profession including (but not limited to):
- Hygienic set up
- Facial cleansing
- Hair removal
- Makeup application
- Facial mask
Application for licensure
Upon the successful completion of a cosmetology / esthetician course or an apprenticeship, students within the state of Virginia are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. Educational transcripts, test scores and other documentation will need to be supplied, along with a set application fee.
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 Virginia Board for Barbers and Cosmetology. There will be a fee attached to this renewal.
In Virginia, 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.