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How Do I Receive Beautician Certification?

By Amy Rodriguez
Updated: Feb 13, 2024

Beautician certification is earned by attending and finishing an accredited community college or trade school after high school graduation, as well as passing a state exam within the United States. Certification is also known as licensure, and is required of each practicing beautician within the United States. In addition to the main beautician course study, you will need to have periodic continuing education to remain licensed.

Many community colleges and trade schools offer beautician training courses that can run between nine and 24 months long. Beauticians that specialize in a certain niche, such as manicuring, may only require the short nine month long program; however, a two year associate's degree in cosmetology allows the student to work with nails, skin, and hair. Regardless of the student's class choices, the trade school or community college must confirm that the person has graduated successfully for him or her to be able to be considered for beautician certification.

Classwork in a college or trade school atmosphere combines lecture and written work with real life experience. To graduate successfully, students must be able to apply the theories learned in class to the salon environment. Haircuts, pedicures, and facials are a few of the different procedures that students must complete to be considered for beautician certification. Many times, local residents will participate as test subjects for a discounted or free beauty service.

After learning and applying the beauty techniques, graduates can take the state exam. Each state has different laws and regulations for various beauty treatments, such as hair color application. In fact, the test is not only a written examination, but also consists of an application and oral evaluation.

The state exam will require the students to style a person's hair as specified by the test administrators. In addition, the student may be asked questions orally to enhance the administrator's knowledge of a student's expertise. This oral portion also helps to qualify the student's communication skills; the future beautician and clientele must have clear communication for a successful beauty treatment process.

Beautician certification is granted after passing the state exam. Workers will receive an official license in the mail that must be displayed at the beautician's place of business. Periodic continuing education courses must be taken even after beautician certification; new coloring strategies or beauty tools may be introduced for a more successful beautician career. Afterward, the worker can apply the new knowledge to enhance current technique and attract new clients.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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