Cosmetologist Requirements by State

For all future professionals (& professionals), here is some info on state-by-state hour requirements and reciprocity. Some states are missing so if you have that info feel free to give it ;)

Alabama 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Must meet the hours requirements of Alabama at the time of licensure. Must present proof of five years of licensed experience.

Alaska 1650 hours Reciprocity: Must have completed 1650 hours. Alaska will grant credit for work experience. ( 500 hours for each year in the field. )
Note: A Cosmetologist in Alaska may only do facial, hair removal and make-up. A Hairdresser only works with the hair. TWO licenses would be required to do all these procedures.
Arizona 1600 hours
Reciprocity Has practiced as a licensed cosmetologist, aesthetician or nail technician for at least one of the five years immediately preceding his application in another state or country and holds a current license in that state or country. Pays the prescribed fees.
Arkansas 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Granted to all those who hold a valid license but has passed BOTH a written AND practical exam.

California 1600 hours
Reciprocity: As of May 2007 California now has reciprocity rules. See the website for specifics

Colorado 1450 hours
Reciprocity: Colorado does not have reciprocity, we have endorsement and everyone who holds an active license in another state may apply for endorsement and everyone is reviewed on an individual basis.

Connecticut 1500 hours
Reciprocity: With all States that have the same requirements.
Home salons and Mobile salons allowed.

Washington, District of Columbia 1500 hours
Reciprocity: granted to all individuals whose current license is from a State whose requirements are equivalent to those of DC. Credit for work experience may be granted.

Delaware 1500 hours

Florida 1200 Hours

Reciprocity: to those individuals holding a license from another State whose requirements are the same or more stringent than Florida's
A Hair Braiding registration is available in Florida. (Two day-16 hour course)
Home Salons allowed

Georgia 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: The Georgia State Board of Barbers and Georgia State Board of Cosmetology reciprocity requirements are according to which states that reciprocity may be extended to licensees from other states and countries that have similar training and licensing requirements and will extend reciprocity to Georgia licensees. The Georgia State Board of Cosmetology does not reciprocate with California, Florida, Hawaii or New York.

Hawaii 1800 Hours
Reciprocity: granted to all with a current license from a State with equal or greater requirements. Work experience is a consideration if you have less schooling than required.
Home salon and Mobile salon allowed

Idaho 2000 Hours
Reciprocity: granted to licensed applicants who provide official documentation that the requirements for license under which the license was issued are of a standard not lower than Idaho OR who provide official documentation that they have practiced for at least three (3) years immediately prior to making application.
Home salons are allowed. Mobile salons are not allowed

Illinois 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Based on laws in issuing state compared to Illinois Law during the time period in which the applicant was licensed. The state does credit the applicant for work experience.
Home salon and Mobile salon allowed

Indiana 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Applicants that have been licensed as a Cosmetologist in another state may obtain a license in the state of Indiana as long as the state they are originally licensed in has requirements equal to those of Indiana. In the cases where the training is less than Indiana's requirements than the applicant will receive 100 hours of credit for each 1 year period of practical work experience. All applicants regardless of length of time licensed in another state must take an examination on the Rules and Regulations of Indiana pertaining to the profession they are applying for licensure in. If the issuing state did not require the applicant to take a practical examination they must do so to become licensed in Indiana.
Home salon allowed

Iowa 2100 hours
Reciprocity: Iowa does NOT have "reciprocity" with any state. People from certain states can apply for licensure by "endorsement" only if they have taken a "National" exam. Not all states use a national exam. Some only use a "State" exam.
Home Salon allowed.

Kansas 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: provided you have 1500 hours and have been working in the field for at least one year and hold a current license. If you have less than 1500 hours you will have to take a "practical" exam. You may, however, obtain a temporary permit which allows you to work, pending examination.

Kentucky 1800 hours
Reciprocity: Any applicant from out-of-state who holds a valid license and can show proof of 2 years current experience can take the cosmetology practical examination for licensing in Kentucky. The applicant must also meet the minimum requirements from above.
Home Salon allowed.

Louisiana 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Reciprocity with all states, all types of licenses. "We trade state for state."
Home Salon Allowed

Maine 1500 hours
The State Board shall waive an exam and grant a license to an applicant who seeks reciprocity, provided that the applicant has a valid license from a State whose requirements are equal to or greater than Maine's.
Home salon and Mobile salon allowed.

Cosmetologist Must be at least 17 years of age and have completed 9th grade or G.E.D. Applicant must submit proof of completion of 1500 hours of training in a cosmetology school or 24 months as a registered apprentice in a licensed beauty salon.
Makeup Artist Must be at least 17 years of age and have completed 9th grade or G.E.D. Applicant must submit proof of having successfully completed a course or program in makeup artist services approved by the Board.
Reciprocity: Maryland grants reciprocity to those individuals who hold a license from a State whose requirements are the same as or greater than those of Maryland's.
Home Salon allowed.

Massachusetts 1000 Hours

Michigan 1500 hours
Reciprocity: All individuals licensed in another state may obtain their license in the state of Michigan by making an application to the board and meeting the requirements of 17 years of age and a 9th grade education. No examination is required. For those individuals whose states have requirements less than those in Michigan a credit of 100 hours per every 6 months work experience will be awarded.
Home Salon allowed.

Minnesota 1550 hours.
Reciprocity may be granted to currently licensed applicants who pass the Minnesota Board Exam and who have at least 1800 hours of licensed experience within the last three years.
Home Salon and Mobile Salon allowed.

Mississippi 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: with Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.
Home Salon Allowed.
Missouri 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Manicurist-Equal hours or take exam
Home Salon and Mobile Salon allowed.

Montana 2000 Hours
Reciprocity: An applicant with LESS than the hours required by Montana must take the National Practical and Written exams. An applicant may take the additional hours from an approved school.
Home Salon allowed

Nebraska 2100 Hours

Cosmetologist: 1800 hours
Hair Designer: 1200 hours

Reciprocity: All applicants must apply to the board, enclose $100.00, be at least 18 years of age and have the equivalent of a 10th grade education. The applicant must have passed a nationally recognized written test in the state of licensure. The applicant must hold a current license.
Home Salon and Mobile Salon allowed

New Mexico 1600 hours
Reciprocity: Applicants who have not completed a course of study equal to the requirements of this state may receive credit for work experience, for every 6 full months of work the applicant will be credited with 150 hours of training. Any applicants that HAVE completed a course with requirements equal to this state must furnish a transcript of hours and a copy of a valid license.
Mobile Salon allowed

New York 1000 hrs

North Carolina 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: Please see the site for information

North Dakota 1800 hours
Reciprocity: Current license from state that reciprocates ND and meets MD requirements.
Home Salon allowed


Cosmetology 1500 hours Hair Designer: 1200 hours
Natural Hair Stylist: 450 hours

Oklahoma 1500 hours
Reciprocity: All states with equal or better requirements.
Home Salon allowed

Pennsylvania 1250 hours
Reciprocity: With all states except: AL, CA, CT, CO, GA, HI, NJ, NM, R, UT
Home Salon allowed

South Carolina 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: is granted to those applicants who have completed the same requirements as South Carolina. You may have to pass "The National Exam"
Home salon allowed.

South Dakota 2100 hours
Reciprocity: All states with equal requirements and those reciprocating with SD. Also require proof of passage of the NIC theory examination and the NIC practical examination.
Home Salon allowed.

Tennessee 1500 hours
Reciprocity: Applicant holds a license in a State whose requirements are the same as Tennessee. This is true for all licenses. EXCEPT Nail Technology where the State Board requires a theory and practical exam.
Home Salon allowed

Texas 1500 Hours
Reciprocity: granted to applicants with licenses from another State whose requirements are the same as or greater than Texas'.
Home Salon allowed

Virginia 1500 hour
Reciprocity: Granted to applicants who have completed the same amount of hours as required by Virginia. Credit given to those who have worked in the "field" for a minimum of six months.
Note: A licensed barber, who has held a license for at least two years may sit for the Cosmetology exam, without further training.
Home Salon and Mobile Salon allowed.

Washington 1600 hour
Reciprocity: Written exam is taken when an individual submits a complete application and current verification from originating board and pays proper fees.

West Virginia 2000 hours
Reciprocity: granted to those applicants with the same or greater requirements as those of West Virginia's. However, an applicant with less than those hours may receive credit of 300 hours for every year of practical experience.
Home Salon allowed.

Wisconsin 1800 hours
Reciprocity: All applicants must have at least 4000 hours of experience in licensed practice, have never been disciplined by the licensing authority in their state of licensure. Anyone who doesn't meet these requirements must attend a school in Wisconsin and after graduation will get licensed.
Home Salon allowed.