How Long Does it Take to Become a Cosmetologist

If you plan to become a cosmetologist, the first thing you need to do is research. For most people, the amount of time they will be required to give to a profession is one of the most important factors influencing their decision. For cosmetologists, it is necessary to have a high school diploma, as well as be certified by a state accredited school. It is essentially your specialization that will determine the amount of time your training takes and the amount of salary you earn eventually.

How Many Years of School to Become a Cosmetologist?

To become a cosmetologist, you only need a minimum level of education i.e. a high school diploma or equivalent degree. The time it takes for you to get a high school education varies between states. State laws determine the number of credit hours you need to complete to get a high school diploma. For example, in New York, students can get their high school diploma by working as well as attending traditional classes.
Credit hours could vary from 13 to 24. In Wisconsin and California, you only need 13 credit hours to graduate high school. However, in Florida, you need 24 credit hours. A full-time high school diploma could take 3 to 4 years to complete. If you are set on your path to become a cosmetologist, you can expect to invest around 3-4 years.

How Many Years of College to Become a Cosmetologist?

After your high school education, you are expected to either complete an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. However, if you plan to get a degree in cosmetology, you can attend a vocational school or a training program that can eventually lead to a certificate in as little as eight months.
Your student status determines the duration of your program. If you are a full-time student, it will take you a lot less time to get your certificate. However, if you are a part-time student, it could take up to 2 years. In some states, there are also additional requirements you have to meet. For example, in New York, students are required to complete 1,000 hours of education in a general school before getting their cosmetology license.

How Many Hours to Become a Cosmetologist?

On average it takes 1,500 to 2,200 hours to graduate from cosmetology school. The duration of your program will be determined by your area of specialization, as well as your state. Listed below are the hours you are required to put into your certificate, as per the state of California:

  • Cosmetologist: 1,600 hours
  • Barber: 1,500 hours
  • Electrologist: 600 hours
  • Esthetician: 600 hours
  • Manicurist: 400 hours

What Factors Influence the Length of a Cosmetology School?

There are three major factors that will impact the length of your beauty school training:

  • Your Specialization
  • Your State and Program
  • Your Student Status