Cosmetology Schools in New York State
Whether you're interested in becoming a cosmetologist in the hustle and bustle of New York City or working as one in one of the many other beautiful towns in the state, now may be the time to begin.
New York is the most beauty-obsessed state in the country, meaning your skills may be in high demand among both residents and visitors alike.
Browse our directory of cosmetology schools in New York, or skip ahead to learn about the state's cosmetology licensing requirements and job outlook.
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233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
251 West Route 59
Nanuet, NY 10954
39 North Plank Road
Newburgh, NY 12550
2384 86th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11214
2190 Walden Avenue
Cheektowaga, NY 14225
22 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001
19 Bank Street
Peekskill, NY 10566
340 Elmridge Center Drive
Rochester, NY 14626
Westchester School of Beauty Culture – Accredited
Mount Vernon, NY 10550
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.
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How to Become a Cosmetologist in New York
- 1,000 education hours are required to become licensed.
- You must renew your license every 4 years.
- 0 continuing education hours are required to renew your license.
- The average salary for cosmetologists in New York is $40,330 ($19.39/hour). This is higher than the national average of $35,990 ($ 17.30/hour).
- There is a predicted 6% job increase between 2018–2028 for cosmetologists. This is lower than the expected national growth of 19%.
If you're considering a cosmetology career in New York, you must meet several requirements before you can work.
Those requirements include:
You don't need to complete a background check or have a high school diploma to become a cosmetologist in New York.
A cosmetologist license doesn't permit you to run a business or perform medical procedures. You need additional licenses for these jobs, which may require further education.
Cosmetologist Salary and Projected Job Growth in New York
Average yearly salary for cosmetology in New York
The broad difference between the highest and lowest pay could be caused by the varied costs of living in different areas, cosmetologists' specialties, and career length. For example, a stylist of 10 years providing high-end cuts and dye jobs at a Manhattan salon often earns far more than a cosmetologist of five years in a rural area offering basic services.
The highest-paying areas for cosmetologists in New York are:
|Metro Area||2021 Median Salary|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||$30,440|
|Capital/Northern New York nonmetropolitan area||$29,760|
|Central East New York nonmetropolitan area||$29,060|
Table data from O*Net (2022)
The number of cosmetologist jobs is projected to increase by 6% between 2018 and 2028. Though this number is lower than the national expectation, the estimate doesn't factor in things like people retiring or leaving the state.
A unique aspect of working in New York cosmetology is their gender-neutral pricing and services law. You can't charge clients different amounts for the same services based on their genders. For instance, if two clients of different genders come in with long, straight hair and want it all cut off, the prices must be equal.
What to Expect From a Cosmetology Program in New York
Required to earn a cosmetology license
The first step to earning your cosmetologist license in New York is completing 1,000 hours of training through a state-approved beauty school.
Your training teaches you a wide range of skills, including hair cutting, styling, coloring, manicures, pedicures, and facials. You may also learn business skills to help you build your clientele.
While the program you choose may vary slightly, most New York cosmetology programs include the following courses:
After completing the program, you should be well-prepared to maintain health and safety requirements, perform hair and skin care skills, provide good customer service, and understand the variety of jobs available to you as a licensed cosmetologist.
Can I Apprentice as a Cosmetologist in New York?
New York doesn't offer an apprenticeship path to cosmetology licensure.
New York Cosmetology Licensing Requirements
After completing 1,000 hours of cosmetology training, apply to take the written and practical cosmetology exams. To schedule the exams and pay the $15 per test fee, you must sign up for an NY.gov ID account.
The New York written cosmetologist exam is a 2.5-hour, multiple-choice test. On the exam day, bring a valid, government-issued ID, a copy of your exam confirmation with your candidate number, and two sanitized #2 pencils. Food, drinks, large bags, or reference materials aren't permitted at the exam site.
The test is scored as pass or fail, and results are delivered via the MyNY.gov website. You'll receive an email when your test results are ready. If you fail the written test, you can reapply via the MYNy.gov website.
If you require ADA accommodations, call 518-474-4429.
You may apply to take the New York practical cosmetology exam before or after completing the written exam. Registration for the exam's practical portion is done through the same online portal and requires a $15 fee.
The practical exam requires you to demonstrate the skills you learned in beauty school, including:
On the exam day, bring a valid government ID and relevant cosmetology supplies, including a mannequin.
To pass, you must earn a score of at least 70%. Exam results are available online via the MYNY.gov website. If you fail the exam, you may request an exam analysis within 60 days.
After passing the written and practical exams, you can apply for your license online. You must upload required documentation, including proof of a physical by a doctor, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner and verification you've completed the domestic violence course.
You must also pay a $20 application fee by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa.
New York Cosmetology Licensure Reciprocity
New York has reciprocity or endorsement agreements with 27 states. Unlike many states with blanket rules, New York varies policies by state.
States with New York cosmetology license reciprocity and their requirements are:
Reciprocity applicants must submit certification from their current cosmetology board, an application, and a $40 fee. The experience statements required in a few states are to be filled out by another person stating they know your employment status.
New York has endorsement agreements with a few other states, which require current licensure and some additional training:
Contact the board if you're a cosmetologist in a state not listed and plan to move to New York.
Cosmetology Specialties in New York
New York offers a variety of other licenses in the beauty industry, including esthetics, nail technology, and barbering. Additional licenses allow you to perform more services and open up to more clients.
Another popular beauty field in New York, particularly in NYC, is creating looks for the performing arts. There are dozens of live theatres in the city, including Broadway, off-Broadway, and more. Plus, a ton of movies and TV shows are filmed there.
While you don't need a cosmetology license for this type of work, training is essential as it's highly specialized. It's worth taking classes in theatre makeup, prosthetics, and more. Some of these may be offered as standalone continuing education classes. However, many who enter this field opt to earn a theatre or film degree.
Still, it's wise to consider earning your cosmetology license even though you don't need one for theatre and film work. This lets you have relatively reliable paychecks and build your portfolio while looking for jobs in this field.
License renewal period
Continuing education required
New York requires cosmetologists to renew their licenses every four years. Renewal applications are available online, and you must pay a $40 license renewal fee. You're eligible to renew up to three months before your license expires.
The board adds $10 to your fee if you pay late.
You must retake the written exam if you fail to renew your license within five years of expiration.
There are no continuing education requirements for license renewal. However, additional courses can help expand your service offerings and increase your income.
Contact the New York State Board of Cosmetology
- 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231
- Website: New York Dept. of State Division of Licensing Services
- Call: 518-474-4429
- Fax: 518-473-6648
NY Hispanic Cosmetology & Beauty Chamber of Commerce
This non-profit organization is dedicated to fostering the growth and development of beauty professionals through education, counseling, networking, and job opportunities.
Appearance Enhancement Business Licensure
New York requires a specific license to own a cosmetology business. You can find the information on going this route here.
Financial Aid for Beauty Students
This page provides a ton of information about how to pay for your cosmetology education.