West Virginia Licensing Overview for a Cosmetologist
Licensing for a cosmetologist in West Virginia is controlled by the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists.
General Guidelines for a Cosmetologist in West 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?
At least 18 years old; high school education; good moral character
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?
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 West Virginia. 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 of intent with the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists
- 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 West Virginia. 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 1800 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.
West Virginia does not currently offer cosmetology or esthetician apprenticeships as a career pathway.
The state of West Virginia requires students who wish to become fully licensed as either a cosmetologist or an esthetician to successfully pass a licensing exam. West Virginia conducts their examinations through the company DL Roope Administrations. This exam consists of three parts: a theoretical exam, a state law 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 West Virginia State Law Exam must be undertaken by both cosmetologists and estheticians and is administered directly after a professionals written examination. This exam covers the rules and regulations associated with working in the state’s beauty industry.
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 West Virginia are required to submit an application for licensure. This license application must be submitted to West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists for both a cosmetology license and an esthetician license. It is a requirement for all professionals to provide a copy of their educational transcript, academic test scoring and identity documentation. During the application process, professionals will be told of the 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 each year. This process is simple and can be done online through the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists. There is a fee of $35 for this renewal.
In West Virginia, professionals are required to complete four units of continuing education during each license renewal period. This allows them to stay up to date with the latest techniques and trends in the field of beauty.