Cosmetology Instructor Certification

An instructor's license can expand your career options.
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A cosmetology instructor's license can help you take your career to the next level. If you have a salon, you can build your business and a future generation of cosmetologists by having apprentices work for you. Or, if you enjoy teaching, you can be an instructor at a cosmetology school, vocational school or community college.

Educational Requirements

    You need a cosmetology license before you can get a cosmetology instructor's license. It's likely that state law will also require you to have a high school diploma or GED. You may need to complete an instructor training program before you take the exams for your license. But, some states will waive that requirement if you have been actively practicing cosmetology for a certain period of time. For example, Iowa requires its aspiring instructors to have 1,000 hours of training unless they practiced for two out the past six years. Even so, they are required to complete the Advanced Instructors Institute training. An instructor's license may allow you to teach apprentices or work at a cosmetology school. But in states such as Texas, you need at least an associate's degree if you want to teach high school or community college.

Taking Exams

    You must pay an application gee and pass the required exams in the order outlined by your state before your license is issued. The types of exams you need to take vary from state to state. In Alabama, for example, aspiring instructors must pass a written exam first. Then, they can take the required practical exam, which has timed sections including a demonstration lecture. Some states require an exam of state laws. If you fail one of your exams, you may be required to reapply for your license.


    Some states consider personal conduct in their licensing procedures. Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs states that an applicant must be of good moral character for a license. Applicants who provide false statements or dishonest answers during the licensing process can be denied a license, have disciplinary action taken against them or face legal punishment. Delays or rejections are also possible for Michigan license applicants who have gone to jail or who were convicted of crimes with jail time as a possible consequence.

License Renewal

    Separate fees are often required for renewing instructor's licenses and cosmetology licenses. Your state may have continuing education requirements to renew your instructor's license as well. For example, renewing a license in Iowa requires a biennial commitment of eight hours of continuing education credits and eight hours of teaching methodology.

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