Cosmetology Schools in New Jersey
Thinking about becoming a cosmetologist in New Jersey but don't know where to start? Whether you're knocking on the Big Apple's door in Jersey City, across the way from Philadelphia in Camden, or enjoying the rural areas near Sussex, Garden State residents appreciate their beauty services. So much so that jobs for cosmetologists, hairdressers, and hairstylists are expected to grow by 17% in the coming years.
Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in New Jersey, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
Browse All Cosmetology Schools in New Jersey
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45 Sunset Strip And Route 10 East
Succasunna, NJ 7876
15 Ward Street
Bloomfield, NJ 7003
2100 State Highway 38
Cherry Hill, NJ 8002
1126 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 7083
8200 Town Center Boulevard
Voorhees, NJ 8043
121 Watchung Avenue
North Plainfield, NJ 7060
1458 Route 35 South
Ocean Township, NJ 7712
312 State Street
Perth Amboy, NJ 8861
70 East Holly Avenue
Pitman, NJ 8071
5518 Bergenline Avenue
West New York, NJ 7093
4741 U.S. Route 9
Howell, NJ 7731
Pine Brook, NJ 7058
You must attend a school that meets any licensure requirements as defined by your state. Most states require that you graduate from an accredited or state-approved school.
- 1,200 education hours are required to become licensed.
- You must renew your license every 2 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for cosmetologists in New Jersey is $39,370.
- There is a predicted 33% job increase between 2020–2030 for cosmetologists.
If you think a career as a cosmetologist in New Jersey meets your professional and financial needs, you'll need to take a few steps and meet some requirements before you can receive licensure. You must:
Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in New Jersey
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in New Jersey
Jobs for hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists working in New Jersey are expected to grow by 33% between 2020-2030, leading to the creation of nearly 5,000 new openings. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that these professionals earn average hourly wages of $18.93 or average annual salaries of $39,370. The below chart shows how different cities across the state stack up when it comes to pay.
The highest-paying metropolitan areas for cosmetologists in New Jersey are:
|2021 Median Salary
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
|Ocean City, NJ
Table information sourced from the O*Net (2022)
What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in New Jersey
Required to earn a cosmetology license
Before you can ever use your cosmetology skills on a client, you first need to earn your license. To do this, you must complete the required 1,200 hours of training through a beauty school approved by the state board. These programs instill a wide variety of skills and knowledge you'll need when working as a cosmetologist, including how to cut, style, and color hair, give manicures and pedicures, and apply facials to various skin types. Some programs also include business skills needed to build your business or even open your own salon in the future.
According to New Jersey state law, cosmetology and hairstyling courses must include the following:
Once you complete the required 1,200 hours in the courses mentioned above, you should have the skills needed to keep up with health and safety laws, provide a variety of hair and skin care services, and build a client base by utilizing basic business skills.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in New Jersey?
The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling does not allow for apprenticeships. Instead of following this path, candidates must complete an educational program and seek licensure.
New Jersey Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
Once you finish the required 1,200 hours of cosmetology and hairstyling training, you can apply to take the required written and practical exams.
The state board houses an online application on its website and requires you to pay a nonrefundable $50 application filing fee as well as a $90 first-year licensing fee once you pass the examinations. During the second year of licensing, you will pay an additional $45. All payments must be remitted in the form of a money order or check to the State of New Jersey.
The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling maintains a contract with Prometric to handle the exam process. After the Board has verified the information contained on your application, Prometric sends out an "Authorization to Test" form that allows you to register for the exam and select a testing date via IQT Testing.
Applicants take the first exam on a computer. The test focuses on theory and includes 120 questions, 110 of which count towards your final score. Topics covered in this exam include:
You must receive a score of 75% or higher to pass this exam. You can retake the exam a total of two times if you fail the first time.
Candidates who require ADA accommodations can request these via their school. Some accommodations allowed include extended testing time, special seating, reading assistance, and removal of face masks for approved medical conditions. Examinees must receive confirmation of request approval from the Board before registering for the test. At this time, the exam is only offered in English.
Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam begins, and be sure to bring your candidate admission letter. You will also need your user ID and password to log in on the testing day. Lastly, you will need at least one primary photo identification. Approved options include:
You'll also need to bring a secondary form of identification that matches the address on your admissions letter. Approved options include:
After completing the theory exam, scores will immediately appear on the screen after the last question. Students who pass will see their score, while those who fail will see a diagnostic report identifying areas where they did well and areas where they need more study time.
New Jersey Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
If you hold a license in a different state but want to move to New Jersey and practice cosmetology, contact your current state board and ask them to submit evidence of your active license to the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology and Hairstyling. You should then confirm that the Board received your license information, and they will tell you whether you qualify for licensure by endorsement or need to sit the exam. You must also complete the application and provide all required documentation.
Cosmetology Specialties in New Jersey
In addition to cosmetology licenses, New Jersey provides licenses for manicurists, skin care specialists, and teachers of cosmetology and hairstyling.
Depending on where you live in New Jersey, you may also be able to take advantage of opportunities in New York City for cosmetologists focused on the performing arts. Whether working on a Broadway production or managing hair and makeup for a film shooting in Hoboken, this can be a lucrative path to consider.
Makeup artists providing their services for theatrical productions and performances in New York earned mean annual wages of $122,970 as of 2020.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
All New Jersey cosmetology licenses expire in September of even-numbered years. While the state doesn't require any continuing education hours, plan to pay $90 to renew your license every even-numbered year (such as 2022, 2024, 2026, etc.).
Contact the New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology
The New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology can help you with updating your name or change of address information, acquiring out-of-state licensing, renewal and other useful forms, as well as answer other questions about obtaining a New Jersey cosmetology license. The Garden State is home to a multitude of elite beauty professionals. This is due in part to a solid cosmetology infrastructure in New Jersey from the bottom up. Those looking to be a part of it find out more from these groups.