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Cosmetologist

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

Highlights

License required in 51 states
17th most burdensome licensing requirements
4th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)

Definition

Cosmetologists and hairstylists provide beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring and styling hair and massaging and treating the scalp and may also apply makeup, dress wigs, perform hair removal and provide nail and skin care services.

Summary

Every state and the District of Columbia require a license to work as a cosmetologist. On average, these laws cost aspiring cosmetologists 372 days in education and $142 in fees and require them to take two exams -- the 17th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied, making for the fourth most widely and onerously licensed occupation. Days of education range from 490 in South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska to 233 in New York and Massachusetts. All states require at least one exam, and most require two or three. Fees range from zero in North Dakota to $325 in Nevada.

(Last updated May 3, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age
1 South Dakota 80 490 3 12 18
2 Nebraska 165 490 1 12 17
3 Iowa 175 490 1 12 0
4 West Virginia 185 467 3 12 18
5 Idaho 245 467 2 10 16.5
6 Montana 75 467 2 12 18
7 Wyoming 102 467 2 10 16
8 Utah 90 467 2 0 0
9 Nevada 325 420 2 10 18
10 Wisconsin 193 420 2 12 18
11 Kentucky 125 420 2 10 16
12 Colorado 165 420 2 0 16
13 North Dakota 0 420 2 12 0
14 Hawaii 70 420 1 0 0
15 New Mexico 180 373 3 10 17
16 Arizona 185 373 2 10 23
17 Alaska 240 385 2 0 0
18 California 125 373 2 10 17
19 Vermont 235 350 3 12 18
20 Minnesota 245 362 2 12 0
21 Washington 70 373 2 0 17
22 Maine 131 350 3 10 17
23 Alabama 275 350 2 10 16
24 Mississippi 190 350 2 12 17
25 Texas 178 350 2 12 17
26 Washington, D.C. 230 350 2 8 17
27 Georgia 125 350 2 12 17
28 Delaware 173 350 2 10 16
29 Kansas 95 350 2 12 17
30 Missouri 125 350 2 10 17
31 South Carolina 80 350 2 12 16
32 Arkansas 115 350 2 10 16
33 Rhode Island 50 350 2 12 18
34 Oklahoma 40 350 2 12 17
35 Maryland 100 350 2 9 17
36 Ohio 76 350 2 10 16
37 Louisiana 75 350 2 10 16
38 Indiana 199 350 1 10 18
39 Illinois 229 350 1 8 16
40 Michigan 40 350 2 9 17
41 New Hampshire 124 350 2 12 0
42 Tennessee 190 350 2 0 16
43 Virginia 170 350 2 0 0
44 North Carolina 158 350 2 0 0
45 Connecticut 90 350 1 8 0
46 Oregon 90 338 2 0 0
47 Pennsylvania 149 292 2 10 16
48 Florida 125 280 2 12 16
49 New Jersey 110 280 2 12 17
50 New York 70 233 2 0 17
51 Massachusetts 172 233 2 0 0

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