The Board of Registration of Cosmetology and Barbering regulates the fields of cosmetology, electrology and barbering in Massachusetts. It issues licensure to qualified individuals, schools and businesses to ensure that all legal and health concerns are taken into account while practicing cosmetology.If you want to become a part of this field in Massachusetts, you will have to follow certain steps. The following article lists down what needs to be done to become a cosmetologist in Massachusetts, along with a discussion on the salary trends for this field in this state.

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Requirements to Become a Cosmetologist in Massachusetts

To become a cosmetologist in Massachusetts, candidates will have to meet a series of requirements.


  1. Get a High School Degree

This is the minimum education you will be required to complete before you can get into some sort of a cosmetology educational program.


  1. Complete Cosmetology School

After high school, you can enroll in a cosmetology school. For licensing purposes, you will need to complete at least 1,000 hours, as specified by the Board of Cosmetology. The training will be typically divided into salon and classroom sections. You are expected to take classes on a variety of cosmetology topics, such as haircutting, design, chemical relaxing, skin care, nail care and hair treatment etc. In the state of Massachusetts, cosmetologists have three service levels:

  • Operator – Type 2 – This is the entry level position for most cosmetologists and requires the completion of a six month long training course, along with 1,000 hours of professional training.
  • Hairdresser/Cosmetologist – Type 1: This is an advanced level cosmetology position which will require practical experience of at least 2 years under the guidance of a licensed professional.
  • Cosmetology Instructor – Type 4: This will require at least 2 years of experience as a hairdresser/cosmetologist.


  1. Get Your License

After completing the above requirements, you can take the necessary exams to start working as an Operator – Type 2. You will have to submit your application form to Pearson Vue, and get a date for the exam. You must clear this exam in two years after completing cosmetology education. The exam would involve a practical and a theoretical section.


  1. Retain Your License

After you have received your license, you will have to renew it every 2 years after your licensure date. After the first time, your license will renew after every two years on your date of birth. There is no continuing education requirement.

How Much Does a Cosmetologist Make in Massachusetts?

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists cosmetologists among Hairdressers, Hairstylists and Cosmetologists. The annual mean income of this occupation in Massachusetts is $42,260, for the year 2018. The following table provides comparative data that will enable you to understand the above salary figure in a much better way.

2016 2017 2018
Annual Mean Salary (MA) $35,020 $37,410 $42,260
Annual Mean Salary (US) $29,590 $30,490 $30,190

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The salary for this occupation has risen over the years and has also remained well above the national mean salary.