Cosmetologist

Cosmetologists and hair stylists provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling hair, and massaging and treating the scalp. They may also apply makeup, dress wigs, perform hair removal, and provide nail and skin care services.
License required by 51 states
30th most burdensome licensing requirements
4th most widely and onerously licensed occupation

All 50 states and D.C. require a license to work as a cosmetologist. On average, these laws cost aspiring cosmetologists $177 in fees and over a year (386 days) in education and experience and require them to pass two exams—the 30th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. And because cosmetologists are licensed by every state and D.C., the occupation is the fourth most widely and onerously licensed.

Licensing burdens vary significantly. Fees range from $51 (Ohio) to $450 (Alaska). Similarly, education and experience requirements range from about 233 days in New York (1,000 hours of education) to about 963 days in Massachusetts (1,000 hours of education and two years of experience).

State Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
Alabama $235.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
Alaska $450.00 385 1650 clock hours - 2 0 0
Arizona $247.00 373 1600 clock hours - 2 10 16
Arkansas $125.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
California $125.00 373 1600 clock hours - 2 10 17
Colorado $177.00 420 1800 clock hours - 2 0 16
Connecticut $100.00 350 1500 clock hours - 1 9 0
D C $230.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 18
Delaware $225.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
Florida $90.00 280 1200 clock hours - 2 0 16
Georgia $139.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 17
Hawaii $110.00 420 1800 clock hours - 1 12 16
Idaho $186.00 467 2000 clock hours - 2 10 17
Illinois $210.00 350 1500 clock hours - 1 0 16
Indiana $92.00 350 1500 clock hours - 1 10 18
Iowa $118.00 490 2100 clock hours - 1 12 0
Kansas $195.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 17
Kentucky $200.00 602 1800 clock hours 6 months 3 12 16
Louisiana $75.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
Maine $148.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 17
Maryland $104.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 9 17
Massachusetts $270.00 963 1000 clock hours 2 years 2 0 0
Michigan $200.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 9 17
Minnesota $285.00 362 1550 clock hours - 3 12 0
Mississippi $233.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 17
Missouri $150.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 17
Montana $254.00 467 2000 clock hours - 2 12 18
Nebraska $78.00 490 2100 clock hours - 1 12 17
Nevada $145.00 373 1600 clock hours - 2 10 18
New Hampshire $198.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 0
New Jersey $119.00 280 1200 clock hours - 2 12 17
New Mexico $253.00 373 1600 clock hours - 3 10 17
New York $70.00 233 1000 clock hours - 2 0 17
North Carolina $197.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 0 0
North Dakota $185.00 420 1800 clock hours - 3 12 0
Ohio $51.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
Oklahoma $60.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 8 16
Oregon $115.00 397 1700 clock hours - 3 0 0
Pennsylvania $110.00 292 1250 clock hours - 1 10 16
Rhode Island $100.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 18
South Carolina $175.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 10 16
South Dakota $80.00 490 2100 clock hours - 3 12 18
Tennessee $190.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 0 16
Texas $176.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 12 17
Utah $234.00 373 1600 clock hours - 2 0 0
Vermont $360.00 350 1500 clock hours - 3 12 18
Virginia $280.00 350 1500 clock hours - 2 0 0
Washington $230.00 373 1600 clock hours - 2 0 17
West Virginia $134.00 420 1800 clock hours - 3 12 18
Wisconsin $391.00 362 1550 clock hours - 2 0 18
Wyoming $123.00 467 2000 clock hours - 2 10 16